Behold! Hot off the presses: the first Preview Copy (FSG/MCD’s way of saying Advanced Reading Copy) of MENEWOOD. There’s just one right now but more are on the way!
Image description: A gorgeously illustrated book—Menewood by Nicola Griffith—standing up right on a sunlit wooden table.
Look at the blurb on the back:
Image description: the back of a big book. In giant letters the back copy reads “The long-awaited sequel to Hild—bigger, bolder, bloodier and even more medieval than the beloved original.”
This is truth in advertising. It is certainly bigger—30% bigger than Hild. Look at the size of that spine:
Image description: a thick book standing spine out and lettered in gold: Menewood Nicola Griffith
The ARC might be a bit brick-like but the finished book will be beautiful. The hardcover proportions will be much more graceful—a bigger trim size that isn’t suitable for ARCs because at this length it would be too floppy and weird to hold in softcover. Then of course there’s that cover—the gorgeous art by the Balbusso twins, deliciously-textured cover stock, and glittering with luscious gold—enough to wake anyone’s inner dragon.
And then there’s the interior design. It’s not quite finished yet—some of the pretties won’t be in the ARC—but the book is divided into three volumes, and each volume further divided, for a total of seven parts. And each part has a little bit of fanciness. Then there’s the maps. (Yes! Plural!) And the Family Tree and the Glossary. And the Historical Note. And that note’s footnotes! And… Well, there’s a lot of stuff.
And, oh , it is most definitely bloodier. The book covers four of the most violent and intense years of Early Medieval Britain north of the Humber. Let me just put it this way: William the Conqueror wasn’t the first to harrow the North…
So it’s big. It’s beautiful. And it’s bloody. And, yes, is it bold. It is not a polite book. It’s a book about power. Hild is not a shy and retiring being and it’ll be some time before she becomes anything like a saint. In MENEWOOD she is turned up to 11: love, lust, life; grief, war, risk and reward. No holds barred. But Hild is a whole human being, textured and complex. She also thinks and dreams, dwells and pauses, plans and persuades. Above all, the learns.
There’s so much I want to tell you about this book. And I will, over the next few months. In the next post, though, I’ll start with the important stuff: how to get hold of a copy—pre-orders, review copies, and perhaps even a sweepstakes or competition. Stay tuned!
4 thoughts on “Big, Bold, Bloody and Beautiful”
Looking gorgeous! I love how you’ve brought to life this somewhat murky time of English history before there was really was an England; just various people establishing their claims to pieces of it. Those lands themselves take on vivid shape when Hild walks upon them. I look forward to experiencing more through her senses!
I am person who has suffered years of disability and depression. In 2023 I have gotten some very sucessful treatment for my depression. I am constantly in awe of what you accomplish. Early descriptions of Memewood’s length turn me off and I thought I would not ever read it. You have changed my mind. No, I am not interested in the bloody that comes with the times, but rather, it the journey is on to being a mystic that captivates my imagination. 2023 has been a time of great growth in my meditation skills and I am interested in your descriptions of yours.
Stay Strong and Beautiful, Carl
Woo!! It must be mine! Can’t wait for Menewood to come out!
It looks great! I’m looking forward to seeing the family tree, as I get lost with characters sometimes. “More medieval” makes me smile. Was the first book lacking in medieviality somehow?
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