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Hild by Nicola Griffith
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Hild (original 2013; edition 2015)

by Nicola Griffith (Author)

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8755710,139 (3.97)121
Member:paulmorriss
Title:Hild
Authors:Nicola Griffith (Author)
Info:Blackfriars (2015), 640 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

Hild by Nicola Griffith (2013)

  1. 20
    The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (kiwiflowa)
  2. 20
    The Corn King and the Spring Queen by Naomi Mitchison (debbiereads)
  3. 10
    Credo by Melvyn Bragg (gennyt)
    gennyt: Another historical novel covering the religious and political upheavals of 7th century Northumbria.
  4. 00
    Oswald: Return of the King by Edoardo Albert (gypsysmom)
    gypsysmom: Both these books take place in Northumbria around the same time period.
  5. 00
    The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson (wandering_star)
  6. 00
    Absolution by Murder by Peter Tremayne (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These historical novels feature Hilda of Whitby, who strongly affected the course of British Christianity. Hild focuses biographically on her youth, while Absolution by Murder is a mystery set in the context of the crucial meeting at Whitby that Hilda influenced.… (more)
  7. 00
    Revolutionary by Alex Myers (GreenVelvet)
    GreenVelvet: Both brilliant historical fiction novels with strong female characters who chafe against the gender roles of their eras
  8. 01
    Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (wandering_star)
  9. 03
    The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (kiwiflowa)
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» See also 121 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
This novel starts with such promise. Griffith's reimagining of 7th century Britain is so convincing and her Hild is a singularly vivid character that defies cliche. The story feels fresh and surprising. Eventually, however, it flags, and even worse, modern sensibilities insinuate themselves into the narrative in a way that feels jarring and unwelcome. There could be future installments of Hild, and one hopes that Giffiths can keep it on the rails next time. ( )
  maritimer | Mar 4, 2017 |
It's set in 7th century Britain and follows the early years of Hild who later became Hilda of Whitby. There's not a lot known about her, so it's mostly fictional, though there's a lot of historical detail that Nicola's taken to get right. It follows her from when she was young into her teenage years. She's seen as a seer and so has more power than a child or a woman might have at that time. She needs to decide what to do with it though. Her foreseeing powers are played very straight, there's no magical realism here, yet she impresses others with those abilities.

I struggle with complex plots, and I must admit I got lost in the battles and politics of the time, but I just let it flow by and grabbed onto the things that I could get ahold of when they came up. Fortunately Nicola is planning a follow-up book as there is a lot more to come in Hild's life. ( )
1 vote paulmorriss | Dec 23, 2016 |
I was underwhelmed by this. I was reading an ARC so I didn't have the author's note or maps, so perhaps I was at a disadvantage but I don't know why Griffths' novel stopped before Hilda's transformation to the abbess of one of the most notable monastic houses of the early medieval period. The novel felt very hodgepodged to me - lots of research,a modern sensibility and an ending that I didn't believe.

It's also a complex time of warring factions, tribes, and religious tensions and there is simply too much going on. The novel is quite hard to follow. Maybe the historical research got the better of Griffths and she lost the emotional connection to her characters.

I know comparisons are odious but I can't help but think of Hilary Mantel's novels on Thomas Cromwell which have a similar complexity but also make a real connection with the reader.

I feel like Griffiths has missed the mark with Hild.

( )
1 vote laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
I tried a few times the last year and never managed to get into it, always losing the story, but at the 5th or 6th try I now finally managed finish it (there is a 2-page dictionary at the end, which helps). The story is summarized as a mini "Game of Thrones", and Hild itself is all too perfect and wise. Not going to read the second book. ( )
  harmen | Oct 11, 2016 |
Loved it. This novel feels whole and complete in a most delightful way. It moves full circle and embeds you in the world and culture of these people. Fascinating and well worth the read. ( )
  pammab | Sep 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
Hild is a pulse-pounding page-turner. It is a rich and inspired work of fiction. It is a book that fills both the urge to be taken away and the urge to be brought closer, to be called, as the jackdaws call, both outward and home.
 
Hild is a book as loving as it is fierce, brilliant and accomplished. To read it felt like a privilege and a gift.
added by karenb | editNPR, Amal el-Mohtar (Nov 4, 2013)
 
In short, Griffith triumphs with this intelligent, beautifully written, and meticulously researched novel.
added by DorsVenabili | editBooklist, Kerri Price (pay site) (Oct 1, 2013)
 
Griffith goes boldly into the territory, lingering over landscape, wallowing in language, indulging the senses, mixing historical fact with feminist fiction in a sweeping panorama of peasants working, women weaving, children at play, and soldiers in battle: the Dark Ages transformed into a fantasy world of skirt and sword.
added by DorsVenabili | editPublishers Weekly (Jun 24, 2013)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nicola Griffithprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ward, Jeffrey L.Mapsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Balbusso, AnnaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Balbusso, ElenaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eoff, KarlaCopy editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kagan, AbbyDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Strick, CharlotteCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Important events
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Kelley, my warp and weft
First words
The child's world changed late one afternoon, though she didn't know it.
Quotations
Dogs own space and cats own time.
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Disambiguation notice
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Before she became Saint Hilda of Whitby, Hild establishes a place for herself at her uncle Edwin of Northumbria's side as he plots to become overking of the Angles during the Middle Ages, and she is able to use her amazing skills as a seer to protect her family and help others.
Haiku summary
Hild, the light of the
world: king's seer, butcher-bird,
pawn – and lonely girl.
(passion4reading)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374280878, Hardcover)

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

Hild is born into a world in transition. In seventh-century Britain, small kingdoms are merging, usually violently. A new religion is coming ashore; the old gods’ priests are worrying. Edwin of Northumbria plots to become overking of the Angles, ruthlessly using every tool at his disposal: blood, bribery, belief.
     Hild is the king’s youngest niece. She has 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 human nature and predicting what will happen next—that can seem uncanny, even supernatural, to those around her. She establishes herself as the king’s seer. And she is indispensable—until she should ever lead the king astray. The stakes are life and death: for Hild, her family, her loved ones, and 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 medieval age—all of it brilliantly and accurately evoked by Nicola Griffith’s luminous prose. Recalling such feats of historical fiction as Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter, Hild brings a beautiful, brutal world—and one of its most fascinating, pivotal figures, the girl who would become St. Hilda of Whitby—to vivid, absorbing life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:45 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"A brilliant, lush, sweeping historical novel about the rise of the most powerful woman of the Middle Ages: Hild Hild is born into a world in transition. In seventh-century Britain, small kingdoms are merging, usually violently. A new religion is coming ashore; the old gods' priests are worrying. Edwin of Northumbria plots to become overking of the Angles, ruthlessly using every tool at his disposal: blood, bribery, belief. Hild is the king's youngest niece. She has 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 human nature and predicting what will happen next--that can seem uncanny, even supernatural, to those around her. She establishes herself as the king's seer. And she is indispensable--until she should ever lead the king astray. The stakes are life and death: for Hild, her family, her loved ones, and 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 medieval age--all of it brilliantly and accurately evoked by Nicola Griffith's luminous prose. Recalling such feats of historical fiction as Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Sigrid Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter, Hild brings a beautiful, brutal world--and one of its most fascinating, pivotal figures, the girl who would become St. Hilda of Whitby--to vivid, absorbing life"--… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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