Hild by Nicola Griffith
A Novel

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A book that deserves a place alongside T.H. White, to say nothing of Ellis Peters. Elegantly written—and with room for a sequel.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

A brilliant, lush, sweeping historical novel about the rise of one of the most powerful woman of the Middle Ages: Hild

In seventh-century Britain, small kingdoms are merging, frequently and violently. A new religion is coming ashore; the old gods are struggling, their priests worrying. Hild is the king's youngest niece, and she has a glimmering mind and a natural, noble authority. She will become a fascinating woman and one of the pivotal figures of the Middle Ages: Saint Hilda of Whitby.

But now she has only the powerful curiosity of a bright child, a will of adamant, and a way of seeing the world--of studying nature, of matching cause with effect, of observing her surroundings closely and predicting what will happen next--that can seem uncanny, even supernatural, to those around her.

Her uncle, Edwin of Northumbria, plots to become overking of the Angles, ruthlessly using every tool at his disposal: blood, bribery, belief. Hild establishes a place for herself at his side as the king's seer. And she is indispensable--unless she should ever lead the king astray. The stakes are life and death: for Hild, for her family, for her loved ones, and for the increasing numbers who seek the protection of the strange girl who can read the world and see the future.

Hild is a young woman at the heart of the violence, subtlety, and mysticism of the early Middle Ages--all of it brilliantly and accurately evoked by Nicola Griffith's luminous prose. Working from what little historical record is extant, Griffith has brought a beautiful, brutal world to vivid, absorbing life.
 

About Nicola Griffith

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Nicola Griffith is a native of Yorkshire, England, where she earned her beer money teaching women’s self-defense, fronting a band, and arm-wrestling in bars. In 1993 she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Her novels are Ammonite, Slow River, The Blue Place, Stay, and Always. Her writing has appeared in Nature, New Scientist, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among other places. Her awards include the Tiptree, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards, the Premio Italia, and the Lambda Literary Award (six times)—most recently for her memoir, And Now We Are Going to Have a Party. Griffith lives with her partner, the writer Kelley Eskridge, in Seattle, Washington.
 
Published November 12, 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 560 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Hild
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Aug 18 2013

A book that deserves a place alongside T.H. White, to say nothing of Ellis Peters. Elegantly written—and with room for a sequel.

Read Full Review of Hild: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Jun 24 2013

Britain in the years after Rome is a relatively undiscovered country for historical fiction. Griffith goes boldly into the territory, lingering over landscape, wallowing in language, indulging the senses...

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NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Gregory J. Wilkin on Dec 03 2014

One great thing about books where the protagonist is a detective (or former cop with a death to deal with, like Griffith’s Aud) is that every detail can rise to the level of clue.

Read Full Review of Hild: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

NPR

Good
Reviewed by Amal Elmohtar on Nov 14 2013

Hild is a book as loving as it is fierce, brilliant and accomplished. To read it felt like a privilege and a gift.

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Reader Rating for Hild
75%

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