Book - 2013
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Daughter of a poisoned prince and a crafty noblewoman, quiet, bright-minded Hild arrives at the court of King Edwin of Northumbria, where the six-year-old takes on the role of seer/consiglieri for a monarch troubled by shifting allegiances and Roman emissaries attempting to spread their new religion.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374280871
Branch Call Number: FIC GRIFFIT 2013
Characteristics: viii, 546 pages : map, genealogical table ; 24 cm


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Nicola Griffith podcast, December 2013

Nicola Griffith reads from "Hild," her new historical novel about the life of St. Hilda of Whitby. (more)

From Library Staff

This historical novel takes place in seventh century England. Hild, the niece of a man who would be over-king of all the Angles, must use her incredible mind and keen observations to keep herself and her family alive. Not only must she navigate shifting alliances between families and regions, but... Read More »

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May 13, 2019

Persevered through a quarter of this book because I wanted to like it. For the first time in my life I didn't finish a book I have started reading. I was waiting to be transported to her mystical world but it was just too hard a task. I respect the views of those who liked it but I am am just not one of you.

Jan 20, 2018

Let me respond to quibbles others have raised about this book.
Quibble 1. "Where's the plot?" If you were to write a wikipedia synopsis, Hild wouldn't seem to go anywhere fast. But the tension of old Anglo-Saxon politics and religion here practically overwhelmed me. Hild twists and turns just like I think life must have back in the 600's.
Quibble 2. "Why did the author invent same-sex romantic relationships?" Same-sex relationships existed for'eva. Duh. And, I find the author's explorations of desire and growing up sooo much more realistic than the romance dynamic present in even the best historical novels (You know, hunky-knight and long-lashed sighing-lady...Cornwell and Penman, I'm looking at you).
Quibble 3. "Hild is way too smart." A friend put it best: Hilda is "a bit of a wish-fulfillment figure but what's a saint for if not holding our aspirations?"

Loved it! I never read the glossary; anything I cannot get in context I just go with. (I prefer a book completely written in dialect that you have to kind of figure out). In this particular book I found the use of “wyrd” (loosely destiny) to be quite satisfying. I liked the way this book unfolded. it kind of reminded me of Mists of Avalon/Fifth Sacred Thing in the way it was kind of a revisionist fictional history -

cals_moviebrooks Mar 02, 2016

Nicola Griffith uncompromisingly immerses the reader in a world of pastoral beauty, savage violence, bawdy humor, luscious food, strong alcohol, intense sexuality, and complex politics. All this is experienced by Hild, from age 3 to age 18, as she travels with the court of an ambitious warlord in 7th century Britain. The smattering of old English words and the large cast of characters can make this novel a bit daunting at first, but much like Frank Herbert's DUNE, it eventually creates an exotic world you'll want to return to repeatedly

Dec 25, 2015

Hild, the short version: Feathered clouds trailed across the pewter sky. Jackdaws cartwheeled and cawed. Hild stood proud in her royal blue dress. She called for her gemaece. Gesiths grumbled as she passed. Mud. Envy. A threat. Where was Cian? Gwladus? She reached for her seax. Grip. Swing. Thrust. Blood. So much blood. Fate goes as ever it must. My wyrd. I am the light of the world.

May 25, 2015

I wanted to love this book! There are not many historical fiction books out there that take place in the early middle ages and this time period is one of my favorites! Griffith gets a gold star for the huge amount of research she did when writing this book. However, it did make for a dense and heavily detailed book. Griffith frequently used old English words in the story and I was almost constantly referencing the glossary in the back, especially in the beginning. I am glad that I picked this up because it is such an unique book, but it was a challenging read!

Dec 18, 2014

If you like in-depth, biographical, historical novels you might like this title. Portraying the world of a young girl coming of age during the period when Christianity meets the old gods of 7th century England, it is full of intrigue, mysticism, and subtlety. For fans of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and other sweeping histories of the early British monarchy.

m2 Aug 04, 2014

A medieval novel of St. Hilda of Witby's early life -- but that doesn't do this book justice. It is better to say, a science fiction novel about a seer who can predict the future when she is a young girl, an extraordinarily bright, merciless warrior who loves -- her half-brother. Like science fiction, Griffith's book does its world building without conceding anything to the reader (tho' there is a glossary, I would skip it; it is thrilling to race along, trying to figure out where you are and what is being said.) The closest book I have read to this is Sarah Monette's Melusine.

Run, don't walk, to your nearest book store or library and ask for Hild

rowanquincy Jun 13, 2014

A good read. Lots of historical details and characters make this a dense read. The author really made the past come alive. Hope there is a sequel.

Jun 06, 2014

This is a beautiful, meandering story of the imagined childhood of Saint Hild of Whitby.

Set in a time when Christianity was replacing the old Pagan religions with the help of the political machinations of the British royalty, the pace of the story lets you get immersed in the life and times of the powerful of 8th century Britain.

I loved this story. The characters were fascinating, even those with small parts to play are not left to be cardboard cutouts but are given life and personality. The setting was portrayed and described with enough definition to engross but not bore and the writing was stunning. Highly recommended.

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