The Chimneys Of Industry Rise Over Adua And The World Seethes With New Opportunities But Old Scores Run Deep As Ever.On The Blood Soaked Borders Of Angland, Leo Dan Brock Struggles To Win Fame On The Battlefield, And Defeat The Marauding Armies Of Stour Nightfall He Hopes For Help From The Crown But King Jezal S Son, The Feckless Prince Orso, Is A Man Who Specializes In Disappointments.Savine Dan Glokta Socialite, Investor, And Daughter Of The Most Feared Man In The Union Plans To Claw Her Way To The Top Of The Slag Heap Of Society By Any Means Necessary But The Slums Boil Over With A Rage That All The Money In The World Cannot Control.The Age Of The Machine Dawns, But The Age Of Magic Refuses To Die With The Help Of The Mad Hillwoman Isern I Phail, Rikke Struggles To Control The Blessing, Or The Curse, Of The Long Eye Glimpsing The Future Is One Thing, But With The Guiding Hand Of The First Of The Magi Still Pulling The Strings, Changing It Will Be Quite Another First, the usual caveats I received an advance copy of this book, free, from the publishers And I consider Joe Abercrombie a friend I do not think that affects my review of this book.Joe Abercrombie continues to do what he does best He sets up a very large chess board, with multiple pieces Often several pieces are in motion at the same time, and as always, the pieces are all the same color It is truly up to the reader to decide which faction they will cheer for, as the characters continue to defy the good or bad labels This is a tale of brute force and subtle magic set in a world on the cusp of an industrial revolution Buckle your seat belts for this one.A few things I will tell you up front If you ve never read any of Abercrombie s books, you can still jump right into his world with this one There is just enough back story for each setting to make it real never a mind numbing re chewing of events from a previous book There are numerous characters Some get a chance to reveal their point of view Others keep their thoughts to themselves and let us judge for ourselves what they are pondering Now, if you have read Joe s other books set in this world, you are in for a richer experience as familiar names, rivalries, hatreds and alliances are renewed, evolve and dissolve in this volume The characters are memorable Even with a large cast, I never had to fumble back to recall who was who, and what was going on A Little Hatred is not a gentle book Characters are shown at their best and their worst, and the full spectrum of what some are capable of can be appalling This is a vivid and jolting tale The fantasy elements of the book are subtle, the magic scarce and yet utterly essential to the plot. ARC provided by the publisher Gollancz in exchange for an honest review.Grim, dark, fun, and glorious A Little Hatred is irrefutably worth the wait Let me begin by saying that although this is a new series in the First Law World and you can technically start your journey into this world here, it s quite mandatory to read at least The First Law trilogy in order to fully appreciate the intricacies of this book even better if you ve also read Best Served Cold and The Heroes Reading A Little Hatred without knowledge of the previous books would be a similar experience to reading Pierce Brown s Iron Gold without reading his previous three books or reading Robin Hobb s Tawny Man trilogy without reading Farseer trilogy first Do yourself a favor and make sure you read The First Law trilogy first before you start A Little Hatred, I even binge reread the entire trilogy to make sure that I can start this book with refreshed information Make some time for it, not only it s a brilliant trilogy, but you ll also be doing a huge disservice to the book and most of all your reading experience if you don t do it On to the actual review now Nothing like being wanted, is there Wanted by someone you want Always seems like magic, that something can feel so good but cost nothing Red Country was first published on October 2012 it s been seven years since Abercrombie released a novel within his First Law World series A Little Hatred is the first book in The Age of Madness trilogy by Joe Abercrombie chronologically this is the eight seventh if you exclude Sharp Ends anthology installment in his First Law World series Honestly, A Little Hatred and Dark Age by Pierce Brown which I ll read after I post this review are two of my most anticipated books of the year to say that I m excited about reading these books are a huge understatement It gladdens me wholeheartedly to say that A Little Hatred successfully exceeded my high expectations, to say the least The story in A Little Hatred takes place roughly 30 years after the end of Last Argument of Kings, that s 15 years after the end of Red Country Many years have passed and with it, the world has entered a new age the industrial revolution, it s a time of innovations, progress, technologies, and commerce Despite the arrival of a new age, fans of the series have nothing to be scared of, everything that s familiar and awesome about First Law World was evidently easy to find in this book Times have changed, but money, politics, power, and bloody war remained as the central driving themes of the story told in his trademarked gritty, at times humorous, and dark storytelling style, Abercrombie once again tells a compelling story that shows how good or bad are most of the times decided merely by different perspectives and which side you stand on Believe it or not, we all want what s best The root o the world s ills is that no one can agree on what it is Abercrombie is pretty well known for his well realized and memorable characters, there s no shortage of them in the series so far Logen Ninefingers, Sand dan Glokta, Jezal dan Luthar, Bayaz, Collem West, Nicomo Cosca, Caul Shivers, Dogman, Black Dow, The Feared, Bremer dan Gorst, and Monza Murcatto to name a few In A Little Hatred, we follow the perspectives of a new cast of memorable characters One way or another, almost all of the perspective characters were related to characters that have appeared before in the series Familiar faces and names do appear quite a lot there are so much depth and complexity in the background of the characters and world building that s impossible to appreciate if you jump into this immediately For example, even after three decades have passed in the world, the legend of the Bloody Nine s glory still triumphed in the North many warriors admire his deeds and try their best to follow his footsteps Also, without entering spoiler territory, for those of you who ve read the first trilogy, you should know by now who the main despicable villain of this series is He s back again, and rest assured he brings havoc, treachery, and maximum manipulations with his arrival Now all a man s worth is how much work can be squeezed from him We re husks to be scraped out and tossed away We re cogs in the big machine The new cast of characters was fantastic to read In A Little Hatred, we mostly follow the perspectives of seven characters Rikke, Leo, Savine, Orso, Vic, Broad, and Clover Every single POV was imbued with a distinctive voice that captivated me I honestly have a hard time deciding which new perspective I loved most within this book Almost halfway through the book, I became addicted to reading every storyline, and I think I have to settle with saying that I love reading every new perspective equally Each character s internal struggles, different motivations, and their characterizations were extremely well written seeing how their paths connect with one another was truly delightful She had long ago learned that at least half of everything is presentation Seem a victim, soon become one Seem in charge, people fall over themselves to obey Superbly written and incredibly vivid battle scenes are one of Abercrombie s strongest strength as an author, and A Little Hatred doesn t disappoint The two big action sequences in A Little Hatred were simply jaw dropping Abercrombie used the same storytelling style he implemented previously in one or two chapters in Last Argument of Kings and The Heroes to create a chain of events with a seamless perspective s transition that portrayed mayhem, destruction, and madness towards every participant in a conflict The poor tend to pay the biggest price of war, and this was showed magnificently Say one thing for Abercrombie, say he writes some of the best duel scenes in fantasy The monstrous rage, the noise of clashing steels, the crushing impacts, and the bloody deathblows delivered everything about the pulse pounding duel featured in A Little Hatred reached a super palpable quality that made my reading experience totally engaging and immersive Why folk insisted on singing about great warriors all the time, Rikke couldn t have said Why not sing about really good fishermen, or bakers, or roofers, or some other folk who actually left the world a better place, rather than heaping up corpses and setting fire to things Was that behavior to encourage I can vouch with temerity that Abercrombie has crafted another amazing book expect great things from him and he shall deliver Fans of grimdark fantasy and The First Law trilogy will have an utterly terrific time reading this must read book, I m sure of it Abercrombie has created a ground breaking impact with The First Law trilogy a lot of modern grimdark fantasy series have been inspired by it Based on the experience from the reading the first book of this trilogy alone, I don t think it s a stretch to claim that The Age of Madness will strengthen that notion Fueled by furious action sequences, profound passages, compelling narratives, and characters that get under your skin A Little Hatred is a bloody brilliant and breathtaking book This absolutely stunning return to Abercrombie s beloved First Law World once again established himself as the reigning lord of grimdark fantasy A new age for grimdark is here, and it is called The Age of Madness Read it.Official release date 17th September 2019You can pre order the book from UK US Book Depository Free shipping The quotes in this review were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions SPOILER FREE REVIEW War It s a fight so big almost no one comes out of it well First of all, this is not fantasy as we know it In fact, this is barely fantasy at all Undoubtedly epic, with than a hint of magic, this is a high fantasy world with a low fantasy feel It s a sign of the times even the big hitters are pursing influence though finance and banking instead of sorcery The First Law world is, for all intents and purposes, our world As a result, the book reads a bit like historical fiction A lot like history If nothing else, the author must have done some serious research into the Industrial and French revolutions to so evocatively and effectively depict this kind of terror, these sorts of turbulent times It s nothing less than a deconstruction of humanity And because of that, it s the very best kind of story telling This is history in action, bloody and indifferent It s a clear eyed look at who people really are and what they really do, in wealth or poverty, in revolution, in war Revealed here are the dangers of idealised Progress, especially when it s really just about Profit, and action for and by the People, especially when it s just about Power Look around, fellow readers, at the world we live in now this isn t just a book about the past Fear not though, if this all sounds a bit serious, this is pure Abercrombie Plots within plots, brutal violence, death and destruction, surprises, and a gold thread of humour to balance the grim.The author isn t the only one who has been looking at the past for inspiration, the narrative is steeped in the supposed glory days of what came before The events detailed in the First Law Trilogy form than just the backdrop for this book, they inform the actions and attitudes of all the players Perhaps you could begin your reading journey here but I highly recommend you don t Not only are there characters from past books playing significant roles no, I m not telling who , many of the issues in play come directly from the other books in the series Or at least, the memory of them or their legend Everyone s favourite psychopath, Logen Ninefingers, figures heavily in the hero worship of this new age of young warriors, exerting the kind of influence that changes the course of the future If this is a book about what the past has to teach us, it s clear to me that many of the characters have learned all the wrong lessons.And what characters they are Since there s only limited information in the blurb, I m not going to spoil any surprises, but at least one of the new introductions is heading towards my favourites list already Maybe even two Every flaw, every bit of self delusion, every failed attempt at virtue is on show, the good in people repeatedly shoved aside by circumstance or self interest It s the kind of real that has you chuckling darkly to yourself in recognition And if you re not Well, perhaps you should take another look It s not all gritty inhumanity Mostly, but not all Even Abercrombie leaves some room for hope Except now I m remembering the overarching pattern of the first trilogy and wondering whether he s playing on my innate optimism I wouldn t put it past him Anyway, this book is exceptional Indisputably, spectacularly, criminally good Clever, funny, and packed with cutting commentary, it s well worth the wait.ARC via publisher Yep, this was as awesome as I d hoped it would be Witty, bloody, and fun Phenomenal characters abound, and it sets the stage for even grander things to come. Wars may be won by the clever, but battles have to be fought by the brave I m confident in saying this is Joe Abercrombie s best work. A Little Hatred would be a remarkable book in ANY genre Fantasy fans are beyond fortunate that Joe chose this one.Abercrombie returns to the world of The First Law without missing a beat, displaying the same incredible empathy, evocative prose, and intensely relatable characters, all navigating one of the most intricate and well constructed plot mazes I ve ever had the pleasure to navigate.Seriously This book is so good, it makes me want to give up writing That is the highest compliment I can pay a work, and I reserve it for writers operating at the level of a James Clavell Joe has earned his place among the masters who transcend genre, and I sincerely hope the wider literary community honors him in the same manner as it has fantasy novelists like Tolkien, Lewis, or Martin. 10 10For those who hold Joe Abercrombie s First Law trilogy in the utmost esteem like I do, you will be very pleased to know that this book is the start of a new series set in that same world In fact, some of the main characters in A LITTLE HATRED are the children or other family members of characters from First Law The setting is also a very familiar one, with the action taking place some years after the turbulent events of the first series All of this makes for a wonderful transition and extension of that particular story arc while giving us something very new to chew on.Welcome back to Angland, where much has changed in the past 30 or so years, and yet in some cases much has not changed The Union still struggles to maintain stability in a land where marauders and enemy armies continually nip at its heels and test its tenuous rule There s also quite a bit of back biting and double dealing from within which doesn t help matters This is a land where power speaks and the best way to gain power is by eliminating your enemies possibly using underhanded methods if necessary As with the previous series, there are threats to The Union from outside its borders, the only thing different is the leaders who have now taken up the mantle The population is growing increasingly bitter and discontented as refugees fleeing from other lands flood into Union territory seeking a reprieve from the corruption and brutality of their own feckless rulers.Ultimately the refugee infusion causes an untenable situation as extreme resentment creeps in and very disparate cultures are forced into a situation where they are competing for the already limited resources provided by an uncaring government only concerned with its own greed and power The Union faces potential invasion as a growing army masses to the north and is preparing for war Can The Union prevail when forces from both outside and inside its ranks are slowly eating away at it like a parasite Or will the past few decades of relative peace result in it being too soft and ill prepared for the onslaught that may be about to be unleashed from the north A LITTLE HATRED has all of the violence, brutality, world building and witty humor that we have come to expect from the Lord of Grimdark himself, Joe Abercrombie I m avoiding spoilers here for those who haven t read the First Law trilogy, but if you haven t read those yet, what is wrong with you What I will say is that for those who may have been afraid that Abercrombie was getting a little soft after releasing a YA series a few years ago, rest assured that the master is back and better than ever What I found especially gratifying in this book is the way that we were allowed to be connected again to some very familiar characters through their children For instance there s Savine dan Glokta, daughter of my favorite character in any Fantasy series, hated torturer and inquisitor Sand dan Glokta Savine has all of the guile and wit of her father but with a tenacity and cunning of her own that makes her a very worthy adversary to those who would cross her Then there s Rikke, daughter of the battle tested friend of Logen Ninefingers, Dogman Rikke has the ability to see the future through a gift called The Long Eye What she sees in her latest visions are truly horrifying indeed, and could have implications beyond imagining.These characters plus a multitude of others really make up the strength of this phenomenal story Abercrombie has always been my favorite author when it comes to writing incredible dialogue, and A LITTLE HATRED shows him in top form once again where that is concerned I mean the guy can flat out write brilliant dialogue and his characters are always fleshed out to an amazing degree I m so glad that I was able to revisit this world again and get immersed in such a wonderful book that doesn t rehash any old ground, but rather expands on the past history to give us an entirely new and engaging story to enjoy A LITTLE HATRED is a can t miss book filled with violence, treachery, suspense, humor, adventure, and that special storytelling knack that can only come from one of the best writers in the genre If you want an amazing read that won t disappoint, pick this one up and read it cover to cover The I read Joe Abercrombie s books, the higher he moves up in the pantheon of the best of the best in Fantasy Well done Lord Grimdark If this first book is any indication of what is to come, then I eagerly anticipate the next installment with much enthusiasm indeed Just a quick note, if you are wondering whether you can jump right into this book without reading his First Law trilogy I would say yes and no Yes it is a totally self contained story and you can absolutely read this book and enjoy it on its own merits However, if you truly want to get the best reading experience from A LITTLE HATRED, I highly recommend reading the First Law trilogy It will give you a much deeper understanding of events and circumstances while also providing valuable insight into the characters. Say one thing for Joe Abercrombie, say he s a hell of a writer The First Law trilogy captivated me from the first page of The Blade Itself with fascinating characters, a great intrigue and thrilling unpredictability A Little Hatred takes place 30 years after the events of Heroes.The Northmen are invading the Union The industrialization has been gaining momentum for a while Business savvy individuals make fortunes at the cost of unprivileged masses Savine dan Glokta, the ruthless daughter of the feared chief inquisitor, controls large chunks of industry and excels at parlor games Her secret lover, Prince Orso, doesn t lack charm or charisma but prefers spending his life inebriated in brothels than doing something of any worth.In the North a hotheaded warrior, Leo dan Brock known as the young lion tries to stop the Northmen and dreams about beating their leader, a psychopathic Stour Nightfall knows as A Great Wolf , in the Circle Both Stour and Leo consider Bloody Nine as a role model, go figure Dogman s daughter, Rikke, gifted with Long Eye foresees troubles on all fronts and she s right It s Abercrombie s world after all and his view of life is dark Lord Grimdark s trademark black humor and wit make the story enjoyable and addictive but when you look past them, you ll witness another tragedy developing right before your eyes While A Little Hatred is character driven and character focused, things do happen Plots and subplots converge, but without strong and distinct voices of the POV characters, they would seem generic Battles, morally ambiguous characters, twisted magic we ve seen it before Abercrombie s characterization skills, brilliant inner monologues of his characters and sparky dialogue make it unique and unforgettable He destroys his characters with perfect timing and no scruples I consider Sand dan Glokta the best character in modern fantasy His daughter, Savine, has the potential to follow in his footsteps Like her father, she s morally gray She s intelligent, manipulative, well educated, and brilliant She ll do anything to get on top Nothing and no one can stop her Except for the harsh reality she s never experienced before Raised in a wealthy home, wearing clothes worth than yearly wages of most people, she considers herself powerful and strong than she really is Her brutal clash with the reality will leave you dazed and confused Fast paced, violent scenes presenting the insurrection in the Valbeck boil with rage and are among the best I ve read this year in any book Some chapters come with a heavy dose of graphic descriptions of violence, and that s something potential readers should know The author doesn t hold back but you already know this, right And I sincerely hope you don t expect a happy romance, do you Because if you do, I have bad news You have to be realistic about these things.Abercrombie juggles multiple plotlines and points of view with gusto Each arc is thrilling and memorable They start to overlap near the end but you need to remember A Little Hatred doesn t work as a standalone a lot of what happens is really just structural work for what comes later But is this really an issue when it s so addictive to read I don t think so A Little Hatred is full of adventure, thrills, and twists and turns With fully realized and fascinating characters that keep the story moving, I just couldn t put id down If you loved First Law trilogy prepare for a feast and enter The Age of Madness. Sometimes you get sent a book written by one of the people whose work you do your best not to rip off I was sent an advanced reader copy by Gollancz Here s what I thought.Zero spoilers.For an author, the problem with reading the books of another author whom you kind of grew up on, is that a you re really worried about whether their work will stand up, like when you try and watch The Princess Bride with someone who has never seen it before and really hope they ll like it, and b if you re writing anything of your own at the time, you have to be really careful that your characters don t mysteriously start sounding like Abercrombie s As a writer one can t help but absorb what you re taking in You have to be realistic about these things.The strength of Abercrombie s writing has always been in the depth and realisation of the characters Those who ve followed The First Law since its beginnings will be well aware that every key view point character is immediately recognisable This is a really deep part of the storytelling, but when you think back on these memorable players, you know what they look like physically, how they would react to any given stimuli, even how they talk These characters live and breathe on the page Sometimes it s hard to imagine that they aren t actually memoirs.A Little Hatred serves up quite a lot of new characters, and every character in this book stands out as clearly as a blade in the neck Abercrombie pulls his familiar trick, of showing us the characters in their proto form which one could be mistaken for thinking of as one dimensional before slowly fleshing them out The denial, the self loathing, the lack of self awareness, all those awful, negative, and frighteningly real feelings we all have in our moments of self doubt come creeping in and twist your understanding of who these people are, and what they do What s particularly surprising is the way that you can start off enjoying the characters, while rather hoping that they get what they deserve, to really feeling for them even a character as corrupted and morally bankrupt as Savine.I don t want to spoil the reveals of the familiar faces as they pop up through the book, but it s a credit to this novel that while we get to say Hi to some of the old favourites, they are not running the show A Little Hatred is a book about a new generation and they get to show their own lives, their own troubles, and yes of course all that good stuff sending people to the mud, torture, bad sex and what not.There is a lot of shagging in this one, and since I m pretty much sure you ve read Abercrombie before, you re likely also familiar with bad morning breath, trousers getting tangled up and so on I like a good dose of romance in my reading, but I m not exactly sure that this is dates and flowers But then, what does one expect I particularly also enjoy how we re constantly reminded and informed by all of the jaded, world weary characters about how stabbing people in the back is the best option, and how violence never solves anything, and that nothing was ever achieved with a sword blah blah and we readers nod along feeling all smug because yeah, tell it like it is man And then we get into the Circle and we re baying for blood just like every Northerner and secretly hoping that someone s going to earn their Name.One of the curiosities about this novel however is that this is the kind of novel that you can only write when you re already a megastar in the fantasy literature world There s not really an actual single plot running through the narrative We see a lot of characters, and they all have their adventures, and while towards the end of the book they get tied together, when I turned the last page I still wasn t entirely sure what the book is about The stability of the Union, maybe Although we re never really asked to care about it It s like a waltz through the First Law world, taking in a little here, a little there, and watching glorious characters make a huge mess of everything.Of course, I m pretty sure that there s a current of narrative that runs beneath it all, especially as Abercrombie has finished all three installments before releasing the first It s testament to the depth and strength of the characters in this story that I m already pretty keen to get my hands on the next one, even if I couldn t actually tell you what the story is actually about And maybe that s kind of the point Life rarely has squared off endings Maybe not all stories need them too.There are some really interesting themes running through A Little Hatred I was at times reminded of the Levellers and other reformation groups in the 17th century not the indie folk band Questions about division of wealth remain suitably muddy throughout Perhaps one of my highlights was when Rikke picks up what is essentially a copy of The Daily Mail, or the reflection of Brexiteer attitudes from the mouth of one of the principal cast There s some interesting feelings for the reader as they see some of the rich made poor, some of the poor made rich, and how we feel about it in each case.Overall, A Little Hatred shows Abercrombie at his blood and dirt best Characters that come to life on the page, bloody showdowns in the Circle, backstabbing, intrigue, loving and hating and dying all rolled into one infinitely digestible package You will love to hate and then hate to love these people, characters who are once flawed and perfect With A Little Hatred, Abercrombie proves that he s still the one to beat. There is now a cover Time to get excited I hope Logan is back.
- 480 pages
- A Little Hatred
- Joe Abercrombie
- 17 September 2017 Joe Abercrombie