This exciting YA tale is fourth in the The
Adventures of Finn MacCullen series. An ancient Irish
named Finn Mac Cumhail or McCool so we can guess that this
book FINN'S CHOICE refers to Ireland. Finn lives near
Denver but he is apprenticed to be an immortal Celtic
warrior. Finn tells us that he is half-human, half-Fey, and
with his master Gideon he has been hunting goblins.
Finn is thirteen and he has two quite normal pals, who live
across the street: the Steel twins, Rafe and Savannah. With
other friends who turn out to have strong determination and
talents, he has been fighting off goblin attacks. In the
best tradition of YA fantasy heroes, his parents were
killed in a hunt. Now a goddess has learned about him, and
she comes with an order to test his mastery of the
elements, which is unfamiliar to Finn. But first, he's got
to use bronze knives to fight off the latest goblin attack.
Finn has all the usual attributes of a boy growing into his
teens; he munches breakfast cereal or pizza, insists that a
cellphone would be really useful, and has started to
develop a crush on a girl he likes, Tara Butler (who might
shoot him with arrows in his rear). We can easily identify
with the character, perhaps because the author has had fun
drawing him for three previous books. At the same time he
is trying to master Celtic poetry, battle maneuvers and
layers of Fey politics.
I like that the action shifts unexpectedly to a rural Irish
area, the limestone Burren region. This isn't far enough to
ward off danger. Finn has to make an agonizing choice. The
adventure has a great deal of realism but isn't dragged out
too long, with conversations rather than background
lectures and a strong emphasis on friendship.
The author Darby Karchut tells us that this is the last
book about Finn, but he can continue to adventure in the
readers' minds. She lives in Colorado and writes YA and
adult fantasy books, with a portion of the profits going to
an education not-for-profit group. I suggest grabbing the
whole series about Finn and his friends and enjoying them
right through to FINN'S CHOICE.
Just when Finn MacCullen thought fate couldn’t kick him any
harder after the events of the Festival of the Hunt, it
does. Now, he must overcome a series of nearly impossible
trials to prove his worth as an apprentice, or lose his
place at his master Gideon’s side.
But Finn and Gideon, and their friends, are determined to
boot fate right back. They’re going to do whatever it takes
to succeed, including teaming up with a sorceress and a
certain teen angel.
However, Finn’s life has as many twists as a Celtic knot,
and master and apprentice find themselves in their ancestral
homeland of Ireland with only their wits—and a fair bit of
the Black Hand’s charm—to protect them from the vengeful
Celtic goddess known as the Scáthach.
In this heart-stopping finale of the award-winning series,
it’s going to take every scrap of Finn’s Irish luck and
pluck to save himself, and his master, from death. Or worse.