Hild by Nicola Griffin

Published: 10/04/2014

ISBN: 9780349134253


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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.


One thought on “Hild

  • Paul Allard

    This dramatic historical novel takes place during the 7th century when Britain is fragmented into small kingdoms and fiefdoms and it relates the struggles between each of these and the constant quest for more land, fuelling rivalries and treachery at every opportunity. It is also about the creeping influence of Christianity and the way that the Christian priests jockey for power and position.

    The main character, Hild, starts off as a young girl of 3 years of age, already a bit older mentally and intellectually than her physical age. She is constantly manipulated by her mother and others to fulfil a role over which she has no choice. We see her develop through the years into an important factor in the court of whichever king is in power at the time. She enjoys nature and spends a great deal of time observing and learning from it.

    The author has obviously done a lot of research into this era and she does not tire of putting a lot of detail into the novel so that the reader can understand the mores of the time. There is also a map, family tree, glossary of terms which help but I had to consult these often just to keep track of who everybody was and where they fitted in, especially as the names are quite confusing.

    Thoroughly engaging and entertaining, this novel is recommended to all who like a long fascinating historical novel.

    Review also posted on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Goodreads and W H Smith. Trying to post it on Waterstones.


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