Praise for Hild

Media reviews
  • "Hild is a book as loving as it is fierce, brilliant and accomplished. To read it felt like a privilege and a gift."  — Amal El-Mohtar, NPR
  • "…dazzling… Griffith’s lyrical prose emphasizes the savagery of the political landscape, in which religion, sex, and superstition are wielded mercilessly for personal gain." — Rachel Abramowitz, Paris Review Daily
  • "In it's ambition and intelligence, Hild might best be compared to Hilary Mantel's novels about Thomas Cromwell." — Jenny Davidson, Bookforum
  • "A book that deserves a place alongside T.H. White, to say nothing of Ellis Peters. Elegantly written—and with room for a sequel." — Kirkus
  • "Splendid...not only beautiful but also meaningful... I can hardly wait for the next."  — Brian Attebery, Los Angeles Review of Books
  • "Completely different, otherworldly in its scope and ambition... Homer and Virgil used similarly breathtaking artistic effects... Intoxicating." — Paste Magazine
  • "Vibrant, if brutal... Inventive and vivid." — Washington Post
  • "Seattle writer Nicola Griffith has created a marvel and a joy. […] But it’s the book’s sheer beauty that will most astonish readers." — Nisi Shawl, Seattle Times
  • "Griffith triumphs with this intelligent, beautifully written, and meticulously researched novel." — Booklist
  • "You must have it when it comes out in November... You need it. Go do whatever you have to do to make sure Hild by Nicola Griffith is in your life at the first moment it can be." — Bookavore
  • "Hild is magnificent, an urgent, expansive pleasure... The world changes within the book, within Hild, and within the reader lucky enough to fall under its power. It is a rich and inspired work of fiction." — Lambda Literary Review
  • "This is one of the truly great novels of the past year. Griffith will seduce you with her lush, fantasy-epic prose, and keep you mesmerized with her well-wrought tale of politics in an age of superstition." — Annaleen Newnitz,
  • "Hild is the most absorbing and addictive story I've read in years… It’s historical fiction… It’s feminist fiction… It’s intelligent fiction… It’s glorious fiction… It’s also, finally, passionate fiction: a novel of loneliness, fear, love, desire and joy in living, and surviving. Hild is dominated by the character of Hild herself. She is a magnificent creation, a wholly believable person." — Vulpes Libris
  • "In winter I like sprawling novels, full of conflict and intrigue, and during the bleakest, coldest days of December I holed up with Nicola Griffith’s Hild, a book of love and sex and war and religious upheaval, and I recommend it even over the warmest pair of Sorels." Maud Newton, Flavorwire
  • "Hild is an immersive experience, its exquisite language serving as a portal to a distant time and place... Griffith brings a remarkable sensuousness to the setting, beautifully evoking the lush physicality of the joys, hardships and sheer work involved in a life so intertwined with the vagaries of the natural world. The language is strung with unexpected gemlike turns of phrase: women ride in a wagon 'like coddled eggs,' their boots 'the colour of owl breasts.'" — Shelf Awareness
  • "Hild is bound to draw comparisons to Wolf Hall. It’s a thick, engrossing novel of political machinations and intrigue, historical detail and rich language. Like Wolf Hall, it’s the sort of thing to make you miss a stop on the train, or forget to start dinner cooking, or stay up just a little longer, to stay in the world it spins around you. But it's a different beast. The world it inhabits, the language, and the story itself are earthier, bloodier, more pagan." — Book Dwarf
  • "Filled with complex relationships, Griffith’s narrative flows like a river; Hild’s thoughts and deeds are expressed in pitch-perfect tone, in prose approaching poetry. Anyone expecting to open up this book and read a dry fictionalized biography about St. Hilda of Whitby is going to be sorely disappointed. Unexpected, perhaps, but utterly brilliant." — Historical Novel Society
  • "It carries us into lands every bit as faraway and exotic as Frank Herbert’s Arrakis or Ursula Le Guin’s Gethen. Such a book is Nicola Griffith’s Hild…a remarkable fictional account of Hilda’s early years. […] This is a book sure to be compared with everything from The Mists of Avalon and Wolf Hall to, I’m betting, The Lord of the Rings. It has it all—the epic sweep, the utterly convincing level of detail, and the larger-than-life characters. Griffith has taken a handful of pages from the Venerable Bede and made a gift of them for us all, creating in Hild a passionate, unique and thoroughly unforgettable
  • "The writing is uncannily perceptive, with none of the flowery excess of some historical fiction writing." — Library Journal
  • "A sweeping panorama of peasants working, women weaving, children at play, and soldiers in battle." — Publishers Weekly
  • "Time after time, a sentence brings you there – "slack tide, when the muscular surge of the water stops, is just gone, like a dying man’s breath." "The rain was coming down like rods of glass from an iron lid of a sky." [...] As an evocation of the Dark Ages it’s a beautiful read, reminding me often of Dorothy Dunnett’s King Hereafter and Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter."  — Cecelia Holland, Locus
  • "Another stunner." — New York Journal of Books
  • "Think Wolf Hall plus Game of Thrones, with a feminist twist. The writing is exquisite, with all the beautiful and gritty details of the early medieval period. Fans of historical fiction will gobble it up, but the setting lends just enough mysticism that fantasy readers will want to take a look, too. One of the best historical novels I’ve read in quite some time."
Advance Praise from other writers
  • "You will never think of them as the Dark Ages again. 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, Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones—to the extent that Hild begins to feel like the classic on which those books are based." — Neal Stephenson
  • "Vivid, vital, and visceral, Hild's history reads like a thriller." — Val McDermid
  • "You could describe Hild as being like Game of Thrones without the dragons, but this is so much deeper than that, so much richer. A glorious, rich, 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. The research is pitch perfect, the characters fully alive. If it wasn't like this, it should have beenand I'm sure that it was! " — Manda Scott
  • "Honestly a masterpiece." — Robin Sloan
  • "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
  • "Nicola Griffith is an awe-inspiring visionary, and I am telling everyone to snatch this book up as soon as it is published.Hild is not just one of the best historical novels I have ever read—I think it's one of the best novels, period. It sings with pitch perfect emotional resonance and I damn well believe in this woman and every one she engages. I finished the book full of gratitude that it exists, and longing for more." — Dorothy Allison
  • "Hild is a marvelous blend of mystic wisdom and human savvy. It feels true. Hild's transformation from reluctant 'chosen one' to world-shifting chooser is potent and convincing. Griffith's prose frequently reminded me of Seamus Heaney. Her language has that clear, punchy strength that comes across as beauty instead of brutishness. It often sounds like what's being described. This is the kind of broad, character-rich book you want to live with a while. It's a saturating experience. I loved it."  — Dennis Mahoney
  • "An enthralling tale from an extraordinarily talented writer. It drew me into the volatile, dangerous world inhabited by the real Saint Hild fourteen centuries ago. The historical setting feels so real that it seemed that I was walking across the living landscape of seventh-century Britain. The characters are utterly believable in their time and place. Historical accuracy alone would make this novel a remarkable achievement, but the author has given us a thrilling story, too. Brilliant stuff!" — Tim Clarkson, author of The Picts (2010), Columba (2012)
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