With the historical epic Hild, Nicola Griffith creates an alternate reality, strange in its particulars yet utterly recognizable as human. Through the preternaturally observant eyes of Hild--a child when the novel begins--Griffith unfurls a vivid tapestry of nature and craft, belief and myth. Inspired by the life of St. Hilda of Whitby, Hild is an immersive experience, its exquisite language serving as a portal to a distant time and place.

In the seventh-century Northumbrian court of King Edwin, his niece Hild rises to prominence as a seer through the machinations of her mother, Breguswith. In truth, the girl's "prophecy" is shaped by her extraordinary intelligence and powers of observation, which enable her to see patterns in the intrigues and political machinations of those around her. But danger is constant, and Hild must prove her usefulness to King Edwin again and again--or die. While everyone orbits the king, Breguswith operates so cannily from the shadows that her effects on the court may be the most profound of all.

The women in this world are strong and complex. Particularly intriguing is the lifelong bond between pairs of women, called gemæcce, who spin and card together from childhood until death, through marriage, sickness and childbearing.

Though it is the richness of historical detail that may be most overtly noticeable, Hild is above all a story of love and friendship--and how the preservation of those things demands sacrifice. --Ilana Teitelbaum, book reviewer at the Huffington Post

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