There’s been a lovely lull between waves of publicity stuff so I’ve been enjoying blinking and catching up with my reading (and sleep). For now, here are three blog reviews–I love each for very different reasons–plus a few miscellaneous items. (Also see roundups #1, #2 and #3.)
A book for winter, by Robin Sloan
“On the surface, Nicola Griffith’s book is not the kind I usually gravitate towards — which, maybe, ought to make the recommendation count for even more? Hild is set in 7th-century England, and it traces the life of its namesake, the woman known today as St. Hilda of Whitby. I got my hands on an advance copy earlier this year and found myself utterly absorbed. It’s been a long time since I was so happy reading a book this fat; a long time since I was so sad to see it end. […] As I read, and after, I found Hild’s way of thinking seeping into my brain. She is a scientist before science, a flâneuse before Paris or anything remotely approaching it. She is a watcher, a pattern-finder, a naturalist growing into a politician. […] This truly is a winter book — big and heavy, with a warm heart. It will look good wrapped in colorful paper.”
Far Beyond Reality
Hild, by Nicola Griffith, by Stefan Raets
“I am here to tell you: don’t hesitate. Read this book. It is wonderful and your life will be the richer for it. […] This is a journey of a novel. I was lost to the world reading it. If you’re only going to read one historical novel this year, make it this one. If you weren’t planning on reading a historical novel, read it anyway. Buy it this weekend: it will be, after all, the Feast Day of St. Hilda.”
Extremely interesting discussion about Hild and how the novel does or doesn’t fit into the SFF genre. Conclusion: it could be speculative fiction but most likely not fantasy, unless– Ah, but you’ll have to listen to But I’ll leave you to find out for yourself.
Here’s a photo by @Skullule whose trees are a pretty exact match for Hild’s :