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‘You are a prophet and seer with the brightest mind in an age. Your blood is that of the man who should have been king …That’s what the king and his lords see. And they will kill you, one day’ Britain in the seventh century – and the world is changing. Small kingdoms are merging, frequently and violently. Edwin, King of Northumbria, plots his rise to overking of all the Angles. Ruthless and unforgiving, he is prepared to use every tool at his disposal: blood, bribery, belief. Into this brutal, vibrant court steps Hild – Edwin’s youngest niece. With her glittering mind and powerful curiosity, Hild has a unique way of reading the world. By studying nature, observing human behavior and matching cause with effect, she has developed the ability to make startlingly accurate predictions. It is a gift that can seem uncanny, even supernatural, to those around her. It is also a valuable weapon. Hild is indispensable to Edwin – unless she should ever lead him 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 see the future and lead men like a warrior.
In this vivid, utterly compelling novel, Nicola Griffith has brought the Early Middle Ages to life in an extraordinary act of alchemy. Drawn from the story of St Hilda of Whitby – one of the most fascinating and pivotal figures of the age – Hild transports the reader into a mesmerising, unforgettable world.
Luxuriously long and utterly absorbing . . . A magnificent and convincing portrayal of a strange, wild, beautiful world * Guardian *
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