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Extended Audio Sample Hild: A Novel, by Nicola Griffith Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nicola Griffith Narrator: Pearl Hewit Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A brilliant, lush, sweeping historical novel about the rise of one of the most powerful woman of the Middle Ages

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. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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 A Game of Thrones—to the extent that Hild begins to feel like the classic on which those books are based.”

    Neal Stephenson, New York Times bestselling author of Cryptonomicon

  • “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, New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club

  • “Griffith’s prose transports and beguiles.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Griffith has taken what little is known of the life of St. Hilda and imagined a vibrant, if brutal, world. Her descriptions are inventive and vivid, making Hild a pleasure to sink into…Our male heroes are going to be jealous.”

    Washington Post

  • Hild is a brilliantly researched, intensely granular, almost out-of-body experiences of being transported to another world. Every detail of life in the seventh century is foreign, but rings true. The plot kept things moving, and the prose reminded me of Marilynne Robinson in its beauty and strangeness.”

    Huffington Post

  • “Luminous prose…A nice medieval trope.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “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.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Provides a fascinating view of women’s lives in the early Middle Ages, from their vital roles in textile production and keepers of the household to sleeping arrangements and sexuality.”

    Library Journal

  • “Griffith triumphs with this intelligent, beautifully written, and meticulously researched novel.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Griffith does admirable work in imagining and populating the ancient British world…Elegantly written—and with room for a sequel.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Nicola Griffith is an awe-inspiring visionary, and I am telling everyone to snatch this book upIt 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, author of Bastard Out of Carolina

  • “You could describe Hild as being like A 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. If it wasn’t like this, it should have been—and I’m sure that it was!”

    Manda Scott, author of Dreaming the Eagle

  • “Vivid, vital, and visceral, Hild’s history reads like a thriller.”

    Val McDermid, author of A Place of Execution

  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, November 2013
  • Finalist for the 2014 Lambda Literary Award
  • A 2014 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Finalist
  • A 2013 Nebula Award Nominee for Best Novel
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