by Nicola Griffith
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Pub Date 03 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 31 Oct 2023
In the much anticipated sequel to Hild, Nicola Griffith’s Menewood transports readers back to seventh-century Britain, a land of rival kings and religions poised for epochal change.
Making a much-anticipated return to the world of Hild, Nicola Griffith’s Menewood transports readers back to seventh-century Britain, a land of rival kings and religions poised for epochal change. Hild is no longer the bright child who made a place in Edwin Overking’s court with her seemingly supernatural insight. She is eighteen, honed and tested, the formidable lady of Elmet, now building her personal stronghold in the valley of Menewood.
But old alliances are fraying. Younger rivals are snapping at Edwin’s heels. War is brewing—bitter war, winter war. Not knowing whom to trust, Edwin becomes volatile and recalls his young advisor to court. There Hild begins to understand the true extent of the chaos ahead—and realizes she must find a way to navigate the turbulence and fight to protect both the kingdom and her own people.
She will face the losses and devastation of total war, and then must summon the determination to forge a radically different path for herself and her people. In the valley, her last redoubt, Hild draws strength from the fierce joy she finds in the natural world, as, slowly, her community takes root. She trains herself and her unexpected allies in new ways of thinking, learning what it means to gather and wield true power. And she prepares for one last wager: risking all on a single throw for a better future.
In the last decade, Hild has become a beloved classic of epic storytelling. Menewood exceeds it in every way.
A Note From the Publisher
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 62 members
Ms Griffith once again takes us into the medieval world of 7th century Britain with all of its splendor, dirt, greed, war, family and love. This is a continuation of the novel Hild, beginning four months after Hild ends and covering he next four years in Hild's life. These four years in Northern British history are filled with chaos, war and changes that bring kings and religions to critical points of change.
Hild is a a tried and true warrior, viewed as a "Godspeaker" or prophet across Britain and in Edwin's court. She is also the Lady of Elmet, a wife, soon to be mother, a daughter and protector of the people who make up her world. Hild's world will soon be a stronghold, a sanctuary from the ravages of an oncoming war she builds in a damp and marshy place called Menewood. Hild has reached adulthood, she's no longer the precocious and fey child to be used by those around her. She has grown weary of serving kings and fighting for King Edwin in the ongoing wars for power. Nonetheless, Hild will do what is necessary to protect the kingdom and her people. She has gained a keen understanding of the chaos and some of the changes and perils that will be faced in the near future and she intends to be prepared for her and her people to survive it.
Menewood is an epic tale and somehow, Nicola Griffith has managed to outdo herself and her prior book, Hild. And, Hild was extraordinary. I am anxious to read more of Hild, after all, Saint Hild had a larger story than just wars and minor kingdoms; There is so much more to learn about future Prioress Hild. I hope there's a third novel of Hild in the future and that it will be told to us by this very talented storyteller!