Novella Review: Spear by Nicola Griffith

Spear by Nicola Griffith. Tordotcom, 2022. 9781250819321. 184pp.

This tale starts with a girl growing up in a secret, hidden space in a somewhat magical part of a forest and ends in a full-on Arthurian romance, a heroic journey of the best type. It’s not too much of a spoiler to say that at a point early on the young woman in question leaves the safety of home to find her way in the world disguised as a man (or at least dressed in a way that she’s mistaken for one), and that the Tuath Dé figure into it. I don’t want to say more — if you like the sound of that, just read it.

I love Griffith’s writing in every way, right down to her sentences. And as with all of her books, I feel like this one resisted my attention for a bit, like my brain just can’t handle writing this good without ramping up its processing power. I started and restarted reading this book three times in a week, and then its rhythm took hold of my brain and I could not put it down. It’s one of my favorite books.


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