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Nicola Griffith - Hild (2013)

Hild comes to adulthood in a changing world. Her family is royal, wealthy, triumphant, in an age where these things are no surety of safety or ease. Hild must grow and learn among those to whom she is a threat, or a tool, or a token to bargain with, and who will pay no heed to her own wishes and desires.

Hild has the pattern making mind. Her mother, Breguswith, says so. Breguswith will do anything to keep her children safe: she will ally herself with powerful kings, abandon her home and her gods, work to create wealth and trade, lie, flatter, murder, and deceive. This is not a safe world, for anyone. Breguswith has dreamed that Hild is the light of the world.

Hild is the seer, sees the patterns in the flight of birds, the scudding clouds, the ebb and flow of trade and war. The world will gleam in the light of the Christ god: dewdrops on the barley fields, gold at throat and shoulder, carnelians at the wrist, seaspray at ship's prow, the light of candles in the new churches, and the blades of swords raised high in war. The old gods will fall. Hild will be the light of the world.

The book is Hild, by Nicola Griffith. There are five-hundred-and-thirty-two beautifully written pages. Enjoy.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
dalmeny
14th Jun, 2015 13:33 (UTC)
I have just finished The Blue Place and have Hild in my reading pile. I picked up both on the US trip. Haven't read anything by her that isn't beautifully-written.
coth
14th Jun, 2015 15:56 (UTC)
I recommend it. Every single page was a delight for one reason or another.

I have some minor reservations, mostly due to it starting when Hild is three with a rather improbable degree of consciousness of what is going on, and ending abruptly with Hild on the verge of adulthood. And thus requiring at least one more volume of the same length.

pennski
15th Jun, 2015 20:27 (UTC)
What a lovely and concise review.
I too have a couple of reservations, but overall it was a wonderful book.
coth
16th Jun, 2015 08:38 (UTC)
Thank you.

It is a wonderful book, filled with the sense of wonder appropriate to a historical fantasy. Which of course is where the problems are, at the next level of criticism. I would like to write a critical essay about it, but that will have to wait. This is not a year in which I will be writing essays about books, I think.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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