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on 25 November 2017
Absolutely delighted to have found this hardback version. Sutcliffe cannot be beaten in retelling of classical myth. She retains the flavour and tone of the original stories.
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on 16 February 2013
Sutcliff is perhaps best known for the 'Hound of Ulster' or 'Sword at Sunset'.; MacCool deserves its place among these classics:. good narrative style makes this an excellent read; you can hear the voice of he bard siting by the log fires in the Dun of long ago. A real imagination-catcher. Great reading.
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on 15 May 2013
To be honest, I had high expectations of this, it being written by Rosemary Sutcliffe, but I was somewhat disappointed. One of my favourite books of all time, since childhood, is her re-telling of Tristan and Iseult. I also loved her take on the Arthurian legend. If anyone can put flesh on the bones of an ancient hero and make him come alive, Rosemary Sutcliffe can, or so I thought.

I have read the Fenian cycle of Ireland's mythology. I have also read Lady Gregory's version of Finn mac Cool's story. Rosemary has just repeated these, adding no insight or originality of her own, which surprised me. In fact, she left a lot out. I think she could have done so much more.

If you know nothing of Ireland's mythology, this book would be a good place to start. It's written in an easy, accessible style, yet retains much of the character of the old tales. But detail is sparse, and there is no character development. If you want to know more, search online for the four mythological cycles themselves, or read Lady Gregory's book, 'Of Gods and Men' for a really fascinating view of what life was probably like in ancient Ireland.
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on 12 July 2012
This is a review written by 9-year-old me (I've not read this book for 20 years). I was enthralled by the stories. They're pitched at a perfect level for curious-and-bright kids (if that sounds arrogant, don't worry, I'm not bright any more). I remember wincing at the skin being ripped off Conan's back, feeling his temptation at the salmon, and being whisked away on adventures both on land and at sea. I must dig it out and have another sneaky read! It really gets the best of the romanticism combined with a little bit of old-school Boys-Own swashbucklingness.
2 people found this helpful
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on 8 December 2001
These traditional Irish tales are retold in the same vivid lyrical style that makes Rosemary Sutcliffe's historical fiction so enjoyable. They tell of the Fianna,their heroic leader Finn MacCool, and their adventures, battles, and dealings with the Fairy Kind in the rolling hills of Killarney. As the author says they "are full of loose ends and contradictions, and unexplained wisps of stangeness...made simply for the delight of story-making".
Written for children but an enthralling introduction to Irish myths for all ages. Ideal for reading aloud - magical, and bloodthirsty enough to delight even the Roald Dahl generation.
16 people found this helpful
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on 6 December 2011
I bought the book to read as a bedtime story to my daughter. I remember most of the stories from when I was young, so looking forward to passing them on to another generation.
The book itself is in great condition, although came with a different front cover than shown on the advert - but I am sure that this will not stop my daughter's enjoyment of these classic tales.
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