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Hild: A Novel (The Light of the World Trilogy) Hardcover – November 12, 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars 447 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In her first foray into historical fiction, Griffith explores the young life of Hild, the future St. Hilda of Whitby. Set in seventh-century Anglo-Saxon England, during the early years of Christianity there, the novel begins with the sudden death of Hild’s father, Lord Hereric. To secure the futures of her daughters, Hild’s ruthless and cunning mother embarks on a plan to hook their fate to the coattails of Edwin Snakebeard, Lord Hereric’s ambitious brother and king-to-be. Soon, Hild becomes Edwin’s trusted seer, and as the novel progresses, she attempts to stay in his favor, treading carefully among the large egos of the court and knowing that her survival depends as much on luck as it does on the accuracy of her predictions. Griffith expertly blends an exploration of seventh-century court life and a detailed character study of Hild as she balances a need for acceptance, love, and friendship and a desire to escape the strict gender roles of her time. While fierce battles and political intrigue feature prominently, so do the fascinating details of everyday life, particularly the lives of women. In short, Griffith triumphs with this intelligent, beautifully written, and meticulously researched novel. --Kerri Price

From Bookforum

Hild recounts the early years of an actual seventh-century English girl,[...] a remarkable child treated by those around her as though she possesses supernatural powers. [...] Griffith realistically represents the brutality of everyday life in this milieu. She is interested in exploring the costs of slavery for both parties to the trasnaction, the ramifications of illness or injury in an age of physical violence, and the effects of political change at the highest level on the lives of individual people. […] In its ambition and intelligence, Hild might best be compared to Hilary Mantel's novels about Thomas Cromwell. [...] [Griffith has a] sharp eye for what happens to plants and animals (especially birds) over the course of the seasons, as well as an understated and just-lyrical-enough prose style that delights the reader locally without ever distracting from the forward movements of character and plot. —Jenny Davidson

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.78 pounds
  • Hardcover : 560 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 9780374280871
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0374280871
  • Product Dimensions : 6.43 x 1.85 x 9.17 inches
  • Publisher : Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First Edition (November 12, 2013)
  • ASIN : 0374280878
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.0 out of 5 stars 447 ratings