mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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We Are Us. (18; 5:13)

Hild by Nicola Griffith.

The light of the world.
The girl, the seer, too tall:
"My king..." the hag says.

This is one of those books I know going in I was going to like to such a degree that I worried that it would bias me. Nicola Griffith rules at writing, we are internet pals, & that totally tilts me. Luckily Hild rules, it rules so hard it is self-evident, so I don't really have to try too hard to present an objective appearance. Do you like Game of Thrones? 'cause if you like all that jockeying for the throne, this is the book for you. In fact, I can feel the salivation of the marketing folks who got to market it as such. I personally am on the side that says A Song of Ice & Fire is a major gender role critique, where there moral of the story is "misogyny & rape culture is the norm, & that is a bad thing," but Griffith posits a happier-- & equally plausible, pessimism & nihilism aside-- of alternate paths. Of power & submission & control, of reason & & faith & superstition, & the intersection of all of three. I would be remiss in discussing the book if I didn't mention the language. You can choose to ignore the use of historical language, to follow the context clues, & you'll be easily able to keep up. If you are a language nerd-- which I am not really, despite some modest interest in linguistics-- you can dig a little deeper, & appreciate the depth of the research Griffith put into this. There are places where she paraphrases Atwood or sings "Do Your Ears Hang Low," playing lightly with anachronisms, a flash of Alex Bledsoe's Eddie LaCrosse books. Griffith is telling a serious story using ever tool available to her, every faculty, & it works. The lives feel lived in. As a parting note: I really want Nicola to do a similar historical fiction take on Hildegard of Bingen; that's not a joke at all. Hildegard of Bingen is fascinating, on so many levels, from the Sacksian migrane stuff to the lingua ignota. A whole H series.
Tags: books, griffith, haiku, hild

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