Hachette Book Group (AU)
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Hild Kindle Edition
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|Length: 446 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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From the Inside Flap
'You are a prophet and seer with the brightest mind in an age. Your blood is that of the man who should have been king ...That's what the king and his lords see. And they will kill you, one day'
Britain in the seventh century - and the world is changing. Small kingdoms are merging, frequently and violently. Edwin, King of Northumbria, plots his rise to overking of all the Angles. Ruthless and unforgiving, he is prepared to use every tool at his disposal: blood, bribery, belief. Into this brutal, vibrant court steps Hild - Edwin's youngest niece.
With her glittering mind and powerful curiosity, Hild has a unique way of reading the world. By studying nature, observing human behavior and matching cause with effect, she has developed the ability to make startlingly accurate predictions. It is a gift that can seem uncanny, even supernatural, to those around her.
It is also a valuable weapon. Hild is indispensable to Edwin - unless she should ever lead him 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 see the future and lead men like a warrior.
--This text refers to the digital edition.
In this vivid, utterly compelling novel, Nicola Griffith has brought the Early Middle Ages to life in an extraordinary act of alchemy. Drawn from the story of St Hilda of Whitby - one of the most fascinating and pivotal figures of the age - Hild transports the reader into a mesmerising, unforgettable world.
From the Back Cover
'You will never think of them as the Dark Ages again. Griffith's command of the era is worn lightly and delivered as a deeply engaging plot. Her insight into human nature and eye for telling detail is as keen as that of the extraordinary Hild herself. The novel resonates to many of the same chords as Beowulf, the legends of King Arthur, Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones - to the extent that Hild begins to feel like the classic on which those books are based.'
'Vivid, vital, and visceral, Hild's history reads like a thriller'
'You could describe Hild as being like Game of Thrones without the dragons, but this is so much deeper than that, so much richer. A glorious, intensely passionate walk through an entirely real landscape, Hild leads us into the dark ages and makes them light, and tense, and edgy and deeply moving. The research is flawless, the characters fully alive'
'Nicola Griffith is an awe-inspiring visionary, and I am telling everyone to snatch this book up. Hild is not just one of the best historical novels I have ever read - I think it's one of the best novels, period'
'Dazzling ... Griffith's lyrical prose emphasizes the savagery of the political landscape, in which religion, sex, and superstition are wielded mercilessly for personal gain'
Rachel Abramowitz, Paris Review Daily
'In its ambition and intelligence, Hild might best be compared to Hilary Mantel's novels about Thomas Cromwell'
Jenny Davidson, Bookforum
--This text refers to the digital edition.
- File size : 1328 KB
- Print length : 446 pages
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : Blackfriars (10 April 2014)
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- ASIN : B00IXTQJ2I
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 228,383 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Nichola Griffith’s HILD is stunning, challenging, exhilarating, courageous – and at times shocking!
Fiction set in this period is rare and though many publishers have been wary of taking it on, I have noted with growing excitement new novels set in the 7th century recently emerging. Perhaps this is partly sparked by interest in the discovery of the fantastic Staffordshire Hoard! Whatever it is – I welcome it! Living within sight of Whitby Abbey and utterly obsessed by this period myself, I approached this chunky new novel with some trepidation, but quickly realised that I would be picked up and carried along by a master storyteller. HILD does not give us the traditional religious sainted abbess, but I have never been happy with that pious image. Instead, Nichola Griffiths fills the huge gaps in our knowledge of Hild’s early life with soaring imagination and a tale of epic proportion, without ever straying far from what is known of the period. Young Hild takes on the role of seer, which makes perfect sense to me. We follow her as she learns to survive in a violent, devious world by developing a reputation of ‘otherness’ along with physical strength, intelligence and sensitivity – she is personally vulnerable. A powerful sense of magic and destiny is conveyed, without ever needing to step into fantasy. This Hild is a killer when she deems it necessary and a ruthless warrior – an aspect that I felt slightly less comfortable with. I’m impressed by the enormous breadth of research – we discover every aspect of Hild’s world: smells, sounds, mead-hall culture, stinking hovels, weather, food and song. I particularly enjoyed the theme of textile production that threads and weaves its way throughout. Griffiths does not hold back on her usage of Anglo-Saxon words; she expects her reader to make an effort to understand - and I’m sure that the more we are exposed, the more accessible these words will become - they are after all the roots of the language we use everyday. HILD covers the early, unknown period of Hild’s life and I look forward with enormous curiosity to discover what will happen next. How can she possibly get from here to ruling a double monastery? I can’t wait to find out!
The Wake took me a month to read. With its approximation of Old English it is rich and tangled and takes you straight into the turbulent mind of its protagonist and into the old ways of a land swiftly and inexorably changing. Hild has already taken me twice that time and l am only a quarter of the way through. Why is it such a slow read? There is so much detail of daily life in the seventh century, and that tends to swamp the narrative. Hild barely emerges as a fully rounded character. She should be fascinating, but she comes across as annoying. The minor characters are more vividly drawn.
Nicola Griffith has done admirable research, but the story has little pace and intermittent excitement. Yet there is something compelling about her style which keeps drawing me back. Her prose is distinct and unusual with touches of poetry. It is a time l know little about, and l have already learnt so much about society, clothing, customs and language. In the end, though, it is not a patch on The Wake, or, indeed Bernard Cornwall's Saxon Chronicles.