by Nicola Griffith

Review

Before Hild was born her mother, Breguswith, had a dream that the child she carried would be "the light of the world". Breguswith ensures it, training Hild from a young age to become the official seer of her uncle, King Edwin. Yet it is not through magic Hild sees the future. "Quiet mouth, bright mind" her mother tells her; by careful observation of the patterns in nature and in the changing relationships and ambitions of those around her, Hild develops an uncanny knack to predict and shape future events, a talent which leads many to call her haegtes - witch.

Intricately plotted and thoroughly researched, Hild​ gives a wide-ranging view of what life in the early Middle Ages must have been like for people of all stations. It is both political and domestic, historical and modern, putting women center stage in events they have largely been written out of and showcasing how hard everyone in seventh century Britain had to work to survive.

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