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!