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Hild by [Griffith, Nicola]
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Hild Kindle Edition

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 640 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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'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.

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.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2034 KB
  • Print Length: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Blackfriars (10 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group (AU)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IXTQJ2I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #81,418 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Boring.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 339 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow slog through old England 23 April 2015
By Ms. Mopsy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like a challenging read, especially in historical fiction. My favorite books of all time are Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles, not the easiest books to follow, but definitely the most rewarding for me. I was looking forward to Hild, especially since I'd read Nicola Griffith before and enjoyed her work.

Sorry to say I'm finding Griffith's attempt at historical fiction to be a tad turgid and bogged down by the obviously well researched authentic names words, and events that defy the reader to have a smooth reading experience. She sadly sacrifices readability in her quest for authenticity. For instance, in the practice of two young girls forming a lifelong friendship/partnership the word "gemaecce" is used to refer to the two girls/women. I was not able to do any further research about that practice because that word is nowhere to be found on the Internet, at least on the search engine I used.

If an author is going to write about such things that are so esoteric and archaic that they have disappeared from general knowledge and readily available reference materials, then it's truly a dedicated reader that is able and willing to stick around for the whole of the journey unless that author is able to give a point of view that the reader can grasp. Didn't happen for me.

Another problem for me, in the early parts of the book, was the main character herself. This is a small child who's written by the author as though she's a grown woman. Yes, Hild is supposed to be an exceptional child, but giving her the actions and dialogue of an adult beggars the imagination, at least for me.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Weighty...too much so 13 August 2014
By SIRIUS - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
One would like to appreciate the big 5 publisher's stretch with this novel, a big stretch beyond the norm of crappy Tudor and romance-driven historicals set in "Rome" or "Egypt" and the usual generic historical cover with a woman in a gown ( the gown usually inappropriate to the novel's time period.)

But having made that stretch to try putting out something weighty, a good editor would have been necessary to get the lead boots off this prose. As other reviews note, this novel is heavy on the archaic terms to a degree that hampers the reader rather than helping with atmosphere. By page 100, one is tired of the sole point of view: Hild's. She is not a charming child, and by page 100 has reminded the reader of Hild's powers [ occult? -- it is not made clear] and she has already referred to herself countless times as Light of the world. However, the child is not the protagonist and a better choice could have been made for the narrator. Nor does the narrator's coming-of-age hold many surprises. The best aspect of the novel are passages relating to the seasons, and wildlife. Somewhere along the way the author fell in love with her concept for the novel but then lost her way in the execution of it.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, lyrical prose. Excruciating narrative flow. 3 February 2014
By DBF - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I have read many of the greats of historical fiction, books that were written in many different styles, and enjoyed them all. Cornwell, Dunnett, Mantel, Penman, Follett, etc, all have a gift for recreating the details of life in past centuries and creating characters that convincingly portray actual figures in history, while maintaining a storyline that while not always easy to follow, makes sense and propels the reader through the book. Hild does not quite meet those standards. Detail in itself is not enough to create a compelling narrative, especially detail that is fraught with confusion regarding meaning, pronunciation and relevance to the story. My advice to anyone just starting this book would be to keep a running list of the peripheral characters and their locations/family connections, memorize and supplement the map provided, and consult the glossary frequently (supplementing it with the web for the many words not included). Sound like a lot of work? It is, but will help tremendously if you truly wish to understand the events in Hild's life and to learn something about the history involved in this story. Also, be aware that it ends rather abruptly as there is a second volume being written.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, conceived with extraordinary imaginative power 28 October 2016
By Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an extraordinary novel, exploring the character if Hild with powerful imaginative detail, and based on careful historical research.

And it is a great story, pulling my reading along, hour after hour, with the struggles of its characters in a society beset with sometimes violent struggles for political and religious power.

Is it essentially a hero's quest? The classic heroic journey for personal destiny and spiritual awakening?

Or is it a merely the careful crafting, through the development of one young woman in a complex society, of a story about the very nature of what it means to be fully human?

At the very least, it is a fully imagined world, including detailed observations of the natural world, and the strategic thinking involved in political and military decisions. The novel revolves around the strengths od Hild, who seems to understand the relationships among the families and hierarchies who work together in a complex medieval society. To me, the characters felt like real whole people, with distinct temperaments and personalities, in other words fully developed rounded characters.

i plan to reread this novel closely, and will recommend it to many of my friends.
I will also tell my friends that this great story includes some quite compelling erotic scenes. Each is essential both to character development and to the momentum of the plot. As with the rest of the novel, these scenes are beautifully written.

Be forewarned however, it would seem there will be at least one more volume of this important imaginative 'biography' of Saint Hild.
Waiting for more might try our patience,

Frankly, I lack the confidence to label this novel "Great."
So many novels of the past labeled "Great" lack the insight into human nature necessary to earn that judgment, especially compared to some recent achievements in English literature. (I cannot judge works that I can read only in translation.)

That said, at this moment , I believe Nicola Griffith deserves the acclaim of the finest literary judges in the world for her great creation.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ultimately disappointing 5 June 2015
By Beets - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The first two thirds of the book are magical, pulling the reader into a world that feels true to a court in 7th century England, particularly from the point of view of women. As Hild matures, however, it leaves historical fiction behind and becomes a fantasy novel with Hild turning into a bi-sexual Amazon warrior with serious incest issues.

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