Hild is the king’s youngest niece. She has the powerful curio ...more
This reader got bogged down in highly-and-repetitively-detailed world building and the army of characters with impossible names and a plot that lurched from battle to battle for reasons that I simply gave up ...more
I have spent the last four days in seventh century Britain so fully engrossed in its brutal and beautiful world that sitting down at my computer feels like I have come back to the future.
Saint Hilda of Whitby, daughter of a Northumbrian prince, grew up to become an Abbess, a trainer of bishops for the growing Christian church in Britain, and a consultant to kings and princes, but except for a brief mention in The Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Bede, aka the Father of English His ...more
It's also a complex time of warring factions, tribes, and religious tensions and there is simpl ...more
Every moment f ...more
My objections are similar to the ones appearing in other reviews. Yes, it is meticulously researched, and paints a very real-seeming picture of daily life for women in the time period. I often felt very immersed in the world of the book. Yes, Hild the character is awesome and brilliant and genre-convention-breaking.
But this book meanders, and it does a very poor job of explaining just what the he ...more
If you think there’s a lot to unpack in that first sentence, you ain’t read Hild yet.
Politics, war, and the very early Christian conversion attempts by Roman priests in 7th Century Britain.
Women. Spinning, weaving, plotting, planning, making the world go ' ...more
"The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there." (L.P.Hartley)
These two quotes, pulling against each other, capture something immensely important between them. I'm always fascinated in historical fiction to see how authors deal with this. How do they give a sense that they're not writing about "us in fancy dress, with our mouths full of... prithees and zounds," (as J.L. Carr puts it), but still do justice to the fact that we ...more
If you are interested in historical fiction at all, read this book.
It is gorgeously written, set in Medieval England, covering the "history" of a powerful woman, St. Hilda of Whitby. T ...more
I mean look at it. Its gorgeous. A nice teal/turquoise blue and that picture of Hild on the front, very nice indeed. Now this is a nice fat chunky book, but I gotta say I was very impressed. It kind of took me a chapter or two to get into the story but ...more
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 s ...more
4 stars for everyone else
I read this a few years ago so very briefly the things that stuck with me:
- It's a terrific book, I enjoyed it but left it not wanting to read the next one or possibly anything else Griffith had written.
- Griffith did massive research on the era and that's what lodged in my head after a few pages, stayed there and lingered. This is a very dense read, I kept feeling that I should be organizing my note cards for i ...more
I wanted to like this one. I really did. Orphaned noble attempts to navigate tricky politics she only barely understands in Dark Ages Britain? And it's all historical? Sounds incredible. Unfortunately, the reality is ridiculously dull and cluttered with pointless detail and irrelevant names.
Reading Hild is a lot like being cornered at a party by someone who has ...more
Hild's a ...more
I’m starting this review with that information because I believe man ...more
I’ve read everything by Nicola Griffith, so I’ve been looking forward to this release with quite a lot of anticipation. I have to say, the book isn’t really what I expected. However, neither was it disappointing – not even close!
While Griffith’s previous work has been (excellent) science fiction and crime fiction, usually with a tense, quick-moving plot, ‘Hild’ is straight historical fiction. While there’s plenty of violence, the pace of the book is slow and deliberate, a ...more
Often frustrating, but still a masterful piece of work.
He sat down to write a review. His hand fell to the grip of his seax. He looked out at the late-spring trees, where the blossoming pogarups heralded a good beef crop and cheerful chickadicks with their "twee-twee" indicated a probable rise in barometric pressure over the next week, with impact on the Baltic shrimp harvest, which worried him because with all the boats out shrimping it ...more
Hild is the first in a trilogy that explores the story of Hild, or St. Hilda of Whitby. Little is known about St. Hilda; she was the founding abbess of Whitby monastery in ancient Britain, in the 7th century, where the Synod of Whitby was held. Most of what we know about the real Hild is from the Venerable Bede who provides a relatively contemporary depiction of her as an already mature and powerful woman at the time of the Synod. So, Nicola Griffith is writing a series, of which Hild is the fir...more
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* Aud Torvingen