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Publisher's Summary

A brilliant, lush, sweeping historical novel about the rise of the most powerful woman of the Middle Ages: Hild. 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 over-king 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.
©2013 Nicola Griffith (P)2013 Macmillan Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By David on 03-27-14

I'd give it 10 stars if I could

Where does Hild rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Probably the best.

What other book might you compare Hild to and why?

It's been described as "Game of Thrones without the dragons" and that's fairly accurate. But the writing is just beautiful, and the women are richly realized.

What does Pearl Hewitt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She's got a gorgeous voice, and does a great job with choosing various contemporary UK or Ireland accents for the characters. I particularly enjoyed her performance of the narrator's ditzy friend Begu. She also reads like she admires and enjoys the prose, which is indeed worthy of it.

Any additional comments?

There's no supernatural elements in this book, just people who believe in the supernatural (Christ included), so if you're expecting a fantasy book, bear that in mind. Also, there's a lot of dynastic politics and geopolitical maneuvering, which can sometimes be hard to follow in audio format as one tries to keep track of names and places. Griffith's website has lots of resources, including maps and a family tree. The book felt real and vivid, totally immersing me in its world. What a place to visit!

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful


By Geza on 12-29-13

Not the Best Audio Book

If you could sum up Hild in three words, what would they be?

Excellent historical novel.

What did you like best about this story?

Insight into how a "see-er" unraveled the patterns of the times.

Any additional comments?

Because of all the unfamiliar names, places and terminology, Hild was not the best candidate for an audio book. I wanted to see a reference map for 7th century Great Britain so I could understand where the various kingdoms were. I needed a glossary for all the unusual terms, and a genealogy chart would have been helpful, too. I wanted to page back to look at names, and couldn't do it. The story was lovely, engaging, well written and well read - but I think I would have enjoyed an e-book or hard cover edition of Hild much more than an audio rendition.

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16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Clare on 11-20-14

Escape into a past world

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, if that friend was really into local history and enjoyed audiobooks.

What other book might you compare Hild to, and why?

Any historical novel but a lot more detailed.

What about Pearl Hewitt’s performance did you like?

Pearl Hewitt has the ability to transport you into the world of these characters. She has a very easy voice to listen to and convincing accents. She became a reassuring voice on my commute to and from work. I'll miss it actually.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The loss of kyan's wife and baby was particularly moving and I had very mixed emotions at the end of the story.

Any additional comments?

This was a very ambitious first audio book and it took me a while to get into the story and follow who the characters were. It would've helped if the author gave a bit more description at the start of each chapter as to where the characters were. A little confusing at times.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Ilse Scheepers on 05-22-16

Gleaming and enthralling

Perfect for fans of characters like Arya Stark and authors like Kate Elliott. Pitch perfect!

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