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Hild

A Novel

Nicola Griffith

Picador

In seventh-century Britain, a new religion is coming ashore and small kingdoms are merging, frequently and violently. Hild is the king’s youngest niece, with a glittering mind and a natural authority.

She is destined to become one of the pivotal figures of the Early Middle Ages: Saint Hilda of Whitby. But for now she has only the powerful curiosity of a bright child and the precarious advantage of a plotting uncle, Edwin of Northumbria, who will stop at nothing to become overking of Angles. Hild establishes a place for herself at his side as the king’s seer, and she is indispensable—as long as she doesn’t lead Edwin astray. The stakes are high—life and death—for Hild, for her family, and, increasingly, for those who seek the protection from this strange girl who seems to see the future. Drawing from the few records history has left us, Nicola Griffith has brought the young Saint Hilda’s harsh, but beautiful, world to vivid, absorbing life.

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THE CHILD’S WORLD CHANGED late one afternoon, though she didn’t know it. She lay at the edge of the hazel coppice, one cheek pressed to the moss that smelt of worm cast and the last of the sun, listening: to the wind in the elms, rushing away from the day, to the jackdaws changing their calls from “Outward! Outward!” to “Home now! Home!,” to the rustle of the last frightened shrews scuttling under the layers of leaf fall before the owls began their hunt. From far away came the indignant honking of geese as the goosegirl herded them back
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REVIEWS

Praise for Hild

“One of the best novels, period.”—Dorothy Allison

“Truly, truly remarkable.”—Karen Joy Fowler

“Extraordinary...[Hild] resonates to many of the same chords as Beowulf, the legends of King Arthur, The Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones.”—Neal Stephenson

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

“Terrific… Griffith has taken what little is known of the life of St. Hilda and imagined a vibrant, if brutal, world... Hild [is] a pleasure to sink into.”—The Washington Post

“Sharp as steel, clear as garnet, essential and sensual and right, Griffith’s telling of Hild’s adventures offers us something far better than mere comfort: the lure of the sublime.”—The Seattle Times

“Splendid...I can hardly wait for the next.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

“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

In the Press

The Language of Hild | Work in Progress
Words matter. They're like icebergs; nine-tenths of their meaning lies beneath the surface. But that hidden meaning has mass, it has momentum. A single word can crush your pretty sentence, or paragraph or even scene, like tin.
- FSG's Work in Progress
‘Hild,’ by Nicola Griffith - The Washington Post
A new novel with a title character based on St. Hilda of Whitby introduces a new sort of female hero.
- The Washington Post
Work in Progress » Blog Archive » Nicola Griffith & Sean McDonald
Authors and Editors in Conversation   Sean McDonald: So, 7th-century England! How did that happen? Your last novel was a distinctly 21st-century crime novel.
- FSG's Work in Progress
The Makers of Britain 
When I was nine, the library I went to divided books not by age-appropriateness but by shelf height. If I could reach it…
- Medium.com

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Nicola Griffith

  • Nicola Griffith is author of five previous novels. She has been a recipient of 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. She lives with her wife, the writer Kelley Eskridge, in Seattle, Washington.

  • Nicola Griffith Jennifer Durham
    Nicola Griffith
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    Available Formats and Book Details

    Hild

    A Novel

    Nicola Griffith

    Seattle Times Best Books of the Year, James Tiptree, Jr. Award Honor List, Nebula Awards - Nominee, Lambda Literary Award - Nominee
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    FROM THE PUBLISHER

    Picador

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