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4.0 

Menewood

By Nicola Griffith
Menewood by Nicola Griffith digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

Named a Best Book of the Year by Vox and Autostraddle

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.

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2 Reviews

4.0
“Thank you to NetGalley and MCD for the ARC. I panicked because I realized that I hadn't read Hild, the first novel in this series, but I managed to read it before getting to this one in a reasonable time. And so worth it to read both consecutively! It's such a treat to get such a vivid picture of the Anglo-Saxon culture, which we know relatively little about, in such an imaginative and immersive novel. My favorite books are the ones that fully embrace all of the senses; I can taste the food they're eating, feel the pain, happiness, etc that characters feel, smell what they smell, and so on. Menewood checks all of these boxes. A lot of the details here, I'm assuming, are guesswork about early medieval England, but all of it works and none of the story feels forced or cliche. On top of that, there is some truly beautiful writing skill on display. My only qualm is potentially that, after two novels, I still don't really know who Hild is from the inside. Everything seems to be happening to her or adjacent to her, rather than from her point of view. More of an inner monologue might have been effective, but perhaps that wasn't the intention for this series. Either way, Menewood is a strong entry and I'll definitely be reading more of Griffith's work in the future.”

About Nicola Griffith

Nicola Griffith is a dual UK/US citizen who lives in Seattle, Washington. She is the author of award-winning novels including Spear, Hild, and Ammonite, and has written for Nature, New Scientist, The New York Times, The Guardian, and other publications. She is the founder and cohost of #CripLit, holds a PhD from Anglia Ruskin University, and enjoys a ferocious bout of wheelchair boxing. She is married to the novelist and screenwriter Kelley Eskridge.

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