In the much anticipated sequel to Hild, Nicola Griffith’s Menewood transports readers back to seventh-century Britain, a land of rival kings and religions poised for epochal change.
We’re thrilled to reveal the cover of Menewood—available on October 3, 2023 from MCD Books.
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 Edwin needs his most trusted advisor. Old alliances are fraying. Younger rivals are snapping at his heels. War is brewing—bitter war, winter war. Not knowing who to trust, he becomes volatile and unpredictable. Hild begins to understand the true extent of the chaos ahead, and now she must navigate the turbulence and fight to protect both the kingdom and her own people.
Hild will face the losses and devastation of total war, and then she must find a new strength, the implacable determination to forge a radically different path for herself and her people. In the valley, her last redoubt, her community slowly takes root. She trains herself and her unexpected allies in new ways of thinking as 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 picks up where that journey left off, and exceeds it in every way.
From author Nicola Griffith:
“Menewood has been a long time coming—over a decade from beginning to end. It simply would not be hurried. It’s a big book, epic and intense, but it’s also full of quieter emotions, stolen moments of contentment and peace, basking in sunlight or enjoying a bowl of soup. It’s a book about life—how it feels, what it means, why it changes. At its heart it’s about its protagonist, Hild (who some of you have already met), becoming herself, learning to live on her own terms, to build and wield power—exploring and really inhabiting who she is.
It’s set 1400 years ago in seventh-century Britain and it takes up where its predecessor, Hild, left off. It covers fewer years of Hild’s life than the first book yet it’s longer, and deeper and richer—a bigger book in every way. (Imagine it as a trilogy in one volume and you’ll have a sense of what to expect.) It has, though, the same mix of heroic scale and human intimacy, the same soaring sense of the high, wild places of the Long Ago.
Hild when it came out ten years ago was a different kind of book—full of the awe and magic of life, only with no actual magic. It was about a different kind of protagonist: a bright girl then young woman who stayed one step ahead of the murderous whims of a volatile king using acute observations of nature and human behaviour to work out what might happen next.
How do you portray that on a cover? You find a different kind of artist—in this case an artistic team, Anna and Elena Balbusso—play with time, perception and colour to create clean visions that are somehow infused with layers of wonder. For Hild, they captured Hild’s frank and open gaze perfectly. We wanted to refresh the cover of Hild to coincide with the publication of Menewood—and we’ve adjusted the type but the image didn’t need a single change. Now, for Menewood, the Balbusso twins again perfectly capture who Hild has become: Against the backdrop of violence and regime change stands a (young) adult marked by war, honed by the responsibility of power–and vivid with life.
I loved writing this book—Hild and her world are a joy to me. I can’t wait for others to read it.”
Nicola Griffith (she/her) is a dual UK/US citizen living in Seattle. She is the author of award-winning novels including Hild and Ammonite, and her shorter work has appeared in Nature, New Scientist, New York Times, etc. She is the founder and co-host of #CripLit, holds a PhD from Anglia Ruskin University, and enjoys a ferocious bout of wheelchair boxing. She is married to novelist and screenwriter Kelley Eskridge.