Kenneth Flint's Reviews > A Storm Upon Ulster - Son Of The Sidhe: Book Three

A Storm Upon Ulster - Son Of The Sidhe by Kenneth C. Flint
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Nov 08, 11

(Review from the author)
Read in November, 2011

A Storm Upon Ulster by Kenneth C. Flint is "the writer at work," and working with love and care and a hell of a lot of homework. It's a retelling of the myth of the mighty Irish hero Cuculain, the warrior from Ulster who, single-handed, held back all the armies of all the southern kingdoms for the better part of a week. Let me say of the book, quickly and briefly (because I want to share with you what it evoked in me), that it is splendidly structured and paced, full of brilliant scenes, smells, sounds, conflict, adventure, magic; and is recommended most highly.
Now, through and through the book, pivotal to attitudes and actions, is the concept, the force, of honor at its most pure. Great warrior though he was, the only practical reason that Cuculain could hold back the armies of Queen Meave single-handedly at the ford of the border-river was that all of the thousands of soldiers honored his challenge and gave it full and unstinting agreement. Day after day he killed their chosen champions, and never a thought was given to the decision a modern commander would have made: to advance on a miles-wide front and let the lunatic stand there bypassed.
Further: some of the Queen's top men were Ulster exiles, and had blood brothers in the Ulster forces. No man would fault these warriors for refusing to fight, kill, or even injure a brother, even if the whole tide of battle depended on it. And I mourn the dilution and disappearance of this sense of honor in this world of broken commitments, false promises, looting, stealing, and cheating. The bloodiness and de facto cruelty of the warriors' conflict was a horror, but it was confined and guided by something clean, something rarely or never encountered today.
Theodore Sturgeon review
in Rod Serling's Twilight Zone Magazine
1981
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