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Hild Audiobook

Hild: A Novel

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.
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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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (157 )
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3.9 (147 )
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4.3 (144 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Geza Kamuela, HI, USA 12-29-13
    Geza Kamuela, HI, USA 12-29-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Woburn , MA, USA 03-27-14
    David Woburn , MA, USA 03-27-14 Member Since 2013
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    "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!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chrissy WEST PALM BEACH, FL, US 10-04-14
    chrissy WEST PALM BEACH, FL, US 10-04-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Excellent!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Hild to be better than the print version?

    I have read the print version and listened to the audio book numerous time. Though I love the story in general I will say that I enjoyed the audio immensely - trying to figure out how to pronounce some of the Anglo/ Irish/ Briton names was difficult in the print version to say the least!


    What about Pearl Hewitt’s performance did you like?

    Terrific narrator!! The ancient names seemed to roll right off of her tongue.


    Any additional comments?

    Great read - strong, female focused historical fiction. I can't wait for the rest of Hild's story

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Keefe France 09-09-14
    Susan Keefe France 09-09-14
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    "Incredible historical saga."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I would, although it is no light read. Loving history, I found this epic tale of the woman who is otherwise known as St Hilda of Whitby, extremely interesting. and am full of admiration both for the author’s attention to detail and the narrator Pearl Hewitt.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Definitely Hild, what a character!


    What about Pearl Hewitt’s performance did you like?

    I and am full of admiration both for the author’s attention to detail and Pearl Hewitt’s ability to pronounce the names and narrate such an incredible story.Pearl Hewitt brings Hild, and the other Nicola Griffith’s characters to life, the listener is able to become totally absorbed into life in the Dark Ages.


    Any additional comments?

    This is an amazing saga which is set in seventh century Britain, at a time when the country consisted of small kingdoms, there was religious unrest and battles raged all the time. The sheer attention to detail of this novel, makes it an amazing story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justdar 07-20-14
    Justdar 07-20-14
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    "Excellent book in all formats!"
    Where does Hild rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Very high!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The details were fascinating, and as dense as it was at times, every detail furthered the story.


    Which character – as performed by Pearl Hewitt – was your favorite?

    Hild


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristin 10-12-15
    Kristin 10-12-15 Member Since 2014
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    Story
    "Hard work but worth it"
    If you could sum up Hild in three words, what would they be?

    Intense, evocative, ambitious


    What did you like best about this story?

    Strong, multi-hued, female characters and their complicated relationship to each other and the men in their world. The sense of place, era, and history. The lovely, lyrical writing makes listening to the recorded version feel like immersion into a saga poem.


    What about Pearl Hewitt’s performance did you like?

    Initially, I did not like Ms. Hewitt's performance, thinking it sounded a little airy and lisp-y. As the story continued, however, the airiness and "lispy-ness" faded, and I grew to marvel at the many accents and nuances she brought to the characters, and her ability to pronounce all of the challenging names, words, and places featured in the story. Her excellent performance truly brought a challenging book to life for me.


    If you could rename Hild, what would you call it?

    The Light of the World


    Any additional comments?

    I listened to this book AND concurrently read a paperback version of it, which was extremely helpful to understand the characters' relationships to each other, the 7th century vocabulary and pronunciations, and the map of 7th century Britain where the action occurs. For me, it would have been difficult to get the most out of this book simply by listening to it alone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Shearer Virginia, USA 09-16-15
    L. Shearer Virginia, USA 09-16-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Love!"

    I can't wait for the next one! This word minimum is stupid, but the book is lovely.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara 09-06-15
    Barbara 09-06-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Get the Kindle version too."

    This factionalized biography of a 7th century Anglo-Saxon girl who eventually became one of the most powerful and influential women in early Christian England, Hilda of Whitby, is difficult reading without the map, glossary and pronunciation guide in the Kindle version. Together, the book was wonderful. The author captures the natural world as well as the customs and material culture of that remote time. Highly recommended and worth the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Hinds boston, ma, usa 07-09-15
    G. Hinds boston, ma, usa 07-09-15
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    "Great detail, disappointing ending"
    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The arc of Hild's young life is explored very well, but we do not learn how she became St. Hilda, and overall the ending begs at least as many questions as it answers.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    What this book does exquisitely is immerse you in the world of seventh-century Britain, what life was like for women in that period, how unstable the political (and religious) scene was, and what avenues there were for gaining power and/or improving one's lot.


    Any additional comments?

    I agree with another reviewer that it would really help to see the map and family tree, which are in the print book (I looked it up at my local bookstore and took a picture). The number of character and place names that are thrown about can be pretty bewildering.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 01-06-15
    Paul 01-06-15 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    6
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    "I TRIED and TRIED ..."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    but had to abandon this one. The story took an inordinate amount of time to grasp my attention and I had to stop.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Clare
    11/20/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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