Hild: A Novel by Nicola Griffith

Hild: A Novel

byNicola Griffith

Hardcover | November 12, 2013

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A brilliant, lush, sweeping historical novel about the rise 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 The Author

Nicola Griffith is the award winning author of five novels and a memoir. A native of Yorkshire, England-now a dual U.S./U.K. citizen-she is a onetime self-defense instructor who turned to writing full-time upon being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1993. She lives with her wife, the writer Kelley Eskridge, in Seattle.
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Details & Specs

Title:Hild: A NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:560 pages, 9.17 × 6.43 × 1.85 inPublished:November 12, 2013Publisher:Farrar, Straus And GirouxLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0374280878

ISBN - 13:9780374280871

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Bookclub Guide

Bringing to life a dynamic woman at the center of early medieval British history, Hild is a captivating novel of a beautiful, brutal world, where kingdoms are shaped by the sword and love often depends on the whims of politics. As King Edwin's youngest niece, Hild has special responsibilities, but her powers of observation are what truly set her apart. As a child, she demonstrates an uncanny way of observing human nature and predicting future outcomes, quickly establishing herself as the king's seer. When a new religion comes ashore, she sees a Roman bishop tout rituals that defy the old gods of the Angles. Amid the turmoil of these transitions, Hild grows into womanhood under the protection of the king's warriors but possessing the physical strength to take care of herself. With her fame growing throughout Northumbria, she takes a pivotal role in the lives of the conquered, while keeping the secrets of the men and women who are closest to her heart. This guide is designed to enrich your discussion of Nicola Griffith's Hild. We hope that the following questions will enhance your reading group's experience of this luminous novel.

Editorial Reviews

"You will never think of them as the Dark Ages again. Nicola 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, The 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." -Neal Stephenson"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. It sings with pitch-perfect emotional resonance, and I damn well believe in this woman and everyone she engages. I finished the book full of gratitude that it exists, and longing for more." -Dorothy Alison"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. If it wasn't like this, it should have been--and I'm sure that it was!" -Manda Scott"What a fabulous book! Hild has all the joys of historical fiction--transportation into a strange, finely detailed world--along with complex characters and a beautiful evocation of the natural world. But the tensions of the gathering plot make Hild feel like a quick read--too quick! I fell into this world completely and was sorry to come out. Truly, truly remarkable." -Karen Joy Fowler