(1947- ) US writer. All of his work, including two novels as by Casey Flynn, have dealt in one way or another with Ireland, except for one late tale, Otherworld (1992), a contemporary Dark-Fantasy thriller. KCF began publishing Celtic Fantasy with A Storm upon Ulster (1981; vt The Hound of Culain 1986 UK), which tells the story of Cuchulain; Cuchulain defends Ulster from Meave (i.e., Meadhbh), queen of Connacht. A later novel, Isle of Destiny: A Novel of Ancient Ireland (1988), prequels Cuchulain's life before the main conflict.
KCF's first series, the Sidhe sequence – Riders of the Sidhe (1984), Champions of the Sidhe (1984) and Master of the Sidhe (1985) – is based on a central narrative cluster of Irish myth, the story of the divine Tuatha Dé Danann (> Gods), who become rulers of Ireland with the aid of the Irish hero Lugh Lamfada (i.e., Lamhfhada), originally a Trickster god associated with Season rites. In KCF's hands this backdrop of divinity serves (as in most of KCF's work) mainly as an Underlier bolstering of characters whose actions he tends to explain in terms fairly close to Rationalized Fantasy.
The Finn MacCumhal sequence – Challenge of the Clans (1986), Storm Shield (1986) and The Dark Druid (1987) – is based on a third Irish complex of tales, the Fianna Cycle, whose central figure, Finn (or Fionn) Mac Cumhaill (> Finn Mac Cool), here takes on a fairly straightforward role as a Pariah-Elite hero, distrusted for his Fairy blood, who makes his appearance out of the Water Margins, gathers Companions about him, and defends Ireland from invaders; the sequence ends rather inconclusively with Finn – after a Shapeshifting dispute with an evil Druid – safely in the arms of his beloved.
Later novels – like Cromm (1990), Legends Reborn (1992) and The Darkening Flood (1995) – tend to confront the contemporary world with figures out of Celtic fantasy. The Gods of Ireland series as by Casey Flynn is Most Ancient Song (1991) and The Enchanted Isles (1991).
KCF is a bland writer whose subject matter is savage. Only rarely does that underlying content make its mark. [JC]
Kenneth Covey Flint