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A Little Hatred

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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 sp 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...


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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 sp 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...

30 review for A Little Hatred

  1. 5 out of 5

    Robin Hobb

    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 characte 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.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Petrik

    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 previou/>Grim, 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 2019 You can pre-order the book from: Amazon UK | Amazon 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

  3. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    ***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 more 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 rea/>‘War? ***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 more 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 more like historical fiction. A lot more 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 more 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

  4. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    Instability Joe Abercrombie has written an outstanding, earth-shattering book. A Little Hatred, is the first book of his new trilogy The Age of Madness, which is based in the world he created for The First Law trilogy. The lands of The Union and its neighbouring empires reverberate with the past echoes of battles, courageous exploits and heroic characters. Characters such as Logan Ninefingers, Dogman, Black Dow, The Feared, Jezal dan Luther and Sand dan Glokta, are still mentioned in revered tones, and after 30 years, some are Instability Joe Abercrombie has written an outstanding, earth-shattering book. A Little Hatred, is the first book of his new trilogy The Age of Madness, which is based in the world he created for The First Law trilogy. The lands of The Union and its neighbouring empires reverberate with the past echoes of battles, courageous exploits and heroic characters. Characters such as Logan Ninefingers, Dogman, Black Dow, The Feared, Jezal dan Luther and Sand dan Glokta, are still mentioned in revered tones, and after 30 years, some are still alive. This is a novel that is structured along multiple threads and points of view, which provide a wide variety of fascinating story arcs. Abercrombie manages to create a new array of unforgettable characters who all equally contribute to an adventurous story. He creates diverse complex characters, where some you will favour, but he doesn’t make it easy, as each person conveys traits that portray what is good and bad in humanity, what is virtuous, and what is corrupt. The Union has fought the toughest wars for years and it has cost a lot of money and even though there has been peace for a long time, the debt of war is substantial. In current times an industrial change is underway where machines have the capacity to outwork and outperform real people. The nature of jobs will also change and we only have to reflect how our own industrial revolution affected the lives of so many. With increased industrialisation comes the movement of people from rural areas to cities and for some comes increased wealth, while for many others comes poverty, hardship and resentment. Something will give and society feels like a tinderbox waiting for the spark to ignite a revolution. “ ‘Every man with a say in how he’s governed. Every man with a vote.’ ‘So no more king?’ ‘Every man’ll be a king!’ Broad might’ve called it treason once, but his patriotic feelings had taken quite the kicking the last couple of years. Now it just sounded like daydreams.” With the cost of industrialisation, innovation, and serious debt, the Union is ill-equipped to fight another war. Please let there be another war! To add to the precarious position of the Union, the North under the leadership of Stour Nightfall, the Great Wolf, have started attacking the northern border of Angland. A border defended by Lady Finree and her son Leo, the Young Lion, who may have the courage but not the wit to battle the seasoned warrior, Nightfall. Other characters providing a unique POV and storyline include Dogman’s daughter, Rikke, gifted with the Long Eye, Savine dan Glokta, the highly intelligent and ruthless daughter of the chief inquisitor, and Prince Orso, heir to the throne of The Union’s empire, Broad, Clover and Vic. It was wonderful to read each enthralling and entertaining narrative with equal fascination. There is no reason why this book can’t be read without any previous experience of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law world. However, knowing how he writes his trilogies you need to start this trilogy with this book. Also, if you have the chance of reading the First Law trilogy before this, take the opportunity – not only will you adore it but you’ll meet wonderful characters that only get a mention in this book. I would highly recommend this book and this fantasy world and characters Joe Abercrombie has created, stand with the best ever imagined. I'd like to thank Orion Publishing Group and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC version in return for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Eames

    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.

  6. 5 out of 5

    James Tivendale

    I received an advanced review copy of A Little Hatred in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Joe Abercrombie and Gollancz. This first novel in The Age of Madness series is set a generation after The First Law trilogy. We are reintroduced to this world as it is in a bit of a crisis. It's a new age that features the introduction of machinery, a potential revolution, brutal hard labour, and the fear and hatred of progression. It's reaching a boiling point and that could soon equate I received an advanced review copy of A Little Hatred in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Joe Abercrombie and Gollancz. This first novel in The Age of Madness series is set a generation after The First Law trilogy. We are reintroduced to this world as it is in a bit of a crisis. It's a new age that features the introduction of machinery, a potential revolution, brutal hard labour, and the fear and hatred of progression. It's reaching a boiling point and that could soon equate to absolute turmoil. Here, once again, Abercrombie showcases why he is still one of the finest Grimdark/ Dark Fantasy writers of all time. The author's world-building and characterisation are as impressive, detailed and unique as ever and the humour presented is amazing and typical Abercrombie. Point of veiw characters Orso, Savine, and Rikke are the children of Jezal, Glotka, and The Dogman respectively. Some of the old favourite players are featured here but they don't take over the mainstage. The new ensemble is well worth reading about and they organically take other the reins that steer this narrative. Abercrombie still creates bastards you love to hate and that you hate that you love. The author is a genius at creating characters that I actually care about however horrible they may be. My two absolute favourites follow were the so-called awful alcohol-addicted King-in-Waiting Orso who deep down wishes to be a good person and a leader - and also arguably the novel's finest character the sex-addicted entrepreneur Savine Glotka. There a quite a few point of view players throughout and in addition to the aforementioned, Leo, the perfect hero and Broad the formidable warrior with a harsh past are great to follow. Their scenes were stunning to visualise and were the most memorable. Some of the players may seem two-dimensional initially until Abercrombie deftly expands on their thoughts, emotions and agendas and massages the depth of their personalities into our minds. As mentioned, we see some old legends from the past such as Glotka, The Dogman and Bayaz but the new characters are not in the shadows of their predecessors at all. They truly own the narrative. I had a brilliant time reading this and returning to Abercrombie's world. Although I haven't completed all of The First Law books and even though you probably could start reading here, I think some prior knowledge of at least one or two of the original trilogy is truly beneficial. A Little Hatred does read like the typical first book in a fantasy epic which may build up to truly monumental and stunning moments but it doesn't really work as a standalone. I believe Abercrombie has completed the remaining two books though and I can't wait for the next entry and to lose myself here again. Bravo. When I have finished all The First Law books I will return to this and the rating may be increased to 5-stars. PS. This is a more casual review than normal as I finished the novel a little while ago but haven't had the internet for a few weeks. Today is the first time I've been able to get around to reviewing it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Myke Cole

    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 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.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nick T. Borrelli

    10/10 For 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 trans 10/10 For 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 more 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.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Holly (Holly Hearts Books)

    “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.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ed McDonald

    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 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 more 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.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lukasz

    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 daught 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 more than yearly wages of most people, she considers herself more 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.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/09/16/... It’s been quite a few years since we had a novel set in the First Law World, and returning to it was a bit like coming home to a comfortable place—well, at least as homey and comforting as it can possibly be when it comes to a Joe Abercrombie book, but you get my meaning. And one thing is certain, A Little Hatred is in every way a story you can expect from the Lord of Grimdark, essentially told in a gritty style heavily emphasizing the bleakness of a 4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/09/16/... It’s been quite a few years since we had a novel set in the First Law World, and returning to it was a bit like coming home to a comfortable place—well, at least as homey and comforting as it can possibly be when it comes to a Joe Abercrombie book, but you get my meaning. And one thing is certain, A Little Hatred is in every way a story you can expect from the Lord of Grimdark, essentially told in a gritty style heavily emphasizing the bleakness of a world characterized with brutality and violence. And indeed, Abercrombie’s fans will be pleased to find these pages filled with his familiar brand of madness and chaos, in equal parts gory and comical. But an important note before we begin: while A Little Hatred kicks off a new trilogy called The Age of Madness, in context it is actually the seventh full-length novel set in the greater First Law sequence. Although you can technically begin your adventure here, you will be missing out on many books’ worth of background information that would make reading A Little Hatred a lot more enjoyable, not to mention a lot less confusing. The First Law trilogy would be where I would start, and the bare minimum I would recommend having under your belt before you start this novel which is set roughly thirty years after the events of Last Argument of Kings. Much about the world has changed, but we do return to some familiar names and places. Once more, we are thrown into the middle of a conflict between the North and the Union. Northmen, being Northmen, are rallying behind a new leader and setting their sights on an invasion, while in Adua, the seat of the realm, a new threat is secretly brewing in silence and gathering strength. A new generation of characters are at the helm, beginning with Rikke, daughter of the Dogman. Gifted (or cursed, depending on your perspective) with the Long Eye, a kind of second sight that allows her to glimpse the future, Rikke foresees something terrible and spends most of the beginning of the novel fleeing from the vicious Stour Nightfall and his men. Meanwhile at the border, Leo the Young Lion, the ballsy son of Finree and Harod dan Brock from The Heroes, is in the middle of the action fighting his own battle against the hordes of invading Northmen even as he dreams of the fame and glory of bringing Nightfall down himself. At the capital, however, the situation is as lackadaisical as ever with the feckless Crown Prince Orso up to his usual self. A spoiled and pampered playboy, he’s aware that he’s a disappointment to everyone around him but is nonetheless perfectly happy to carry on with his philandering ways. That is, until his current dalliance with the beautiful and sophisticated Savine dan Glokta turns into something more and makes him realize he is not the man he wants to be. Savine is of course the daughter of the infamous Sand dan Glokta, a character whom fans of Joe Abercrombie should know very well. But while the king’s Arch Lector has a role to play in this one, it is Savine who really takes the reins and drives the story. A brilliant and shrewd entrepreneur, she sees the burgeoning dawn of new machine age as an opportunity to profit from the increased industry, but with the resulting worker rebellion causing violence to erupt across the realm, Savine quickly finds more trouble than she bargained for. Why did I love this book? Let me count the ways. First, the characters, which are as ever on point. I can always depend on an Abercrombie novel to wow me with its cast of colorful personalities, and of course this was no exception. The individual perspectives of Savine, Orso, Leo, Rikke and others combined and intertwined to make up backbone of this fascinating narrative, and as the story progressed, all the threads became increasingly more complex and addictive. A Little Hatred is clearly this next generation’s chance to shine, and for those of us who loved the earlier books, it’s hard not to feel a rush of exhilaration and no small bit of concern for the children of some of our favorite characters as we watch them struggle to find themselves and forge their own way in this harsh and unforgiving world. Abercrombie is also known for putting his protagonists through the wringer, and so you can be sure there will be plenty of cruel emotional conflict as well as perseverance and growth through dangerous challenges. Which brings me to the story. Rife with mayhem and moving pieces, the plot is practically brimming with action, with the Union beset on multiple fronts. From within, a revolution threatens instability and causes tensions to flare up into violent confrontation, while from without, the borders of the realm are being pummeled mercilessly by the invading forces of Stour Nightfall. Readers get to see all facets of these conflicts from multiple viewpoints, and in pure Abercrombie fashion, nothing is ever clear-cut or simple. And so lastly, I want to talk about the world-building. This is the world of the First Law as we know it and love it, full of gritty detail and atmosphere. Needless to say, it was a joy to revisit this setting again, to witness how it has changed in so many ways and yet has remained the same in all the important respects. Abercrombie has created an undeniably living and breathing world, one whose wonders and grandeurs shine through even in all its brutality and darkness. Life is a strange and complicated business after all, with nothing ever remaining static, so you can also expect to see this kind of dynamism in A Little Hatred. One of the prime examples can be seen in the social environment, which plays a pretty big role in this novel, influencing character motivations and decisions, as well as being affected by them in turn. So if you have been following this series and author, don’t stop now; A Little Hatred is a novel you will no doubt love and fully embrace the moment you start it because it is pure Joe Abercrombie. Sure, I haven’t loved all his First Law books, with The Heroes being first to come to mind, but I have to say this one feels solid and it speaks to me in a way that makes me feel confident for the future direction of the trilogy. Even if you haven’t read any of the previous books, I think this can easily hook you. It is simply a novel that commands your attention and keeps you compulsively turning the pages to see where it will take you. For a series starter, it has established a seriously impressive foundation, and I am looking forward to the next installment.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Fares

    I'll give this 4 stars, but it's like a Schrodinger 4 where it can be a 5 and a 1 at the same time. I sure love putting myself into rating dilemmas don't I?!😂 I hate one small part of this, not even a part but one thing, but again this is dark fantasy and this should be expected shouldn't it? I guess this all depends on how it goes in book 2. But for all of you Dark Fantasy lovers out there, this was awesome. My problem with it is more personal views than anything. I'll give this 4 stars, but it's like a Schrodinger 4 where it can be a 5 and a 1 at the same time. I sure love putting myself into rating dilemmas don't I?!😂 I hate one small part of this, not even a part but one thing, but again this is dark fantasy and this should be expected shouldn't it? I guess this all depends on how it goes in book 2. But for all of you Dark Fantasy lovers out there, this was awesome. My problem with it is more personal views than anything. The writing, the characters, the setting and plot are truly all phenomenal! And I love the ending! This what always fascinates me about Abercrombie's books, the characters win but still they lose horribly, the become better and worse people at the same time! And say one thing about them, say they are unique!

  14. 5 out of 5

    James Islington

    I’m not going to write a long review for this, because if you’re an existing fan of the world of The First Law, it’s pretty simple – just go and get it. It’s a brilliant addition. For those unfamiliar with Joe Abercrombie’s work, The First Law trilogy - of which this new series is a continuation, one generation down the track - is basically the epitome of ‘grimdark’: a gritty, low magic setting and a story with plenty of real-world swearing, sex scenes, and (at best) morally ambiguous characters I’m not going to write a long review for this, because if you’re an existing fan of the world of The First Law, it’s pretty simple – just go and get it. It’s a brilliant addition. For those unfamiliar with Joe Abercrombie’s work, The First Law trilogy - of which this new series is a continuation, one generation down the track - is basically the epitome of ‘grimdark’: a gritty, low magic setting and a story with plenty of real-world swearing, sex scenes, and (at best) morally ambiguous characters. If you know you simply can’t enjoy books like this, then A Little Hatred’s not for you (and that’s perfectly OK, I’ll hasten to add). Otherwise, this new series would work well as an entry point to see whether it’s up your alley, or – my recommendation – you could go and try the original trilogy, starting with The Blade Itself. And, regardless of where you start, these books are very much worth checking out. I’m someone who vastly prefers stories that have a minimum of the things I’ve mentioned above, but I can still enjoy the grittier ones if they’re exceptionally executed. A Little Hatred definitely fits into this category: it’s fantastically written, with a strong story, memorable characters and flashes of humour that do just enough to lighten the constant oppressiveness of the world. Put simply, if I was ever going to recommend a grimdark series to anyone, it would be this one. Highly recommended.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Silvana

    By the dead, this is the best fantasy novel I read this year. Six out of five bloody stars. This novel is one helluva breathless ride. Joe Abercrombie is one of the most entertaining writers I've ever read. Don't expect too much literary, poetic stuff. He has carved his own niche. Like most of his characters, his writing is lean, mean, cheeky and exhilarating at the same time. Show-don't-tell principle is applied with very little exposition, supported by great pacing. I never feel bored. I lose By the dead, this is the best fantasy novel I read this year. Six out of five bloody stars. This novel is one helluva breathless ride. Joe Abercrombie is one of the most entertaining writers I've ever read. Don't expect too much literary, poetic stuff. He has carved his own niche. Like most of his characters, his writing is lean, mean, cheeky and exhilarating at the same time. Show-don't-tell principle is applied with very little exposition, supported by great pacing. I never feel bored. I lose sleep; my eye bags are currently a courtesy of this book. All of those added with memorable, layered characters with very distinct voices. Yeah, I know, I just basically described his First Law novels. They are THAT good, and this book continues that tradition, if not even more glorious. A word of advice though, please take your time to read the previous books in the First Law world first before reading this book, as there are lots of nuances and background that will enrich your experience.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Holly (The Grimdragon)

    “She knew with one twitch of a sword she might lose her lover, her home, her future. People can be so tough, survive so much hunger and cold and disappointment, take beatings you wouldn’t believe and come out stronger. But they can be so fragile, too. One sharp piece of metal is all it takes to turn a man into mud. One little stroke of bad luck. One ill-judged whisper.” Say one thing for Joe Abercrombie, say he makes me want to smash his books into my face over and over again because they are so “She knew with one twitch of a sword she might lose her lover, her home, her future. People can be so tough, survive so much hunger and cold and disappointment, take beatings you wouldn’t believe and come out stronger. But they can be so fragile, too. One sharp piece of metal is all it takes to turn a man into mud. One little stroke of bad luck. One ill-judged whisper.” Say one thing for Joe Abercrombie, say he makes me want to smash his books into my face over and over again because they are so bloody brilliant! To say that I’ve been eagerly anticipating this release is a ridiculous understatement! Opening the box from Orbit, seeing what was inside? My mind left my body and visited another dimension for a hot second. I was a kid on Christmas morning, hopped up on sugar and caffeine, exploding into a million colors. I CAN SEE THROUGH SPACE and TIME!! Listen. I’m an excitable person, okay?!? I am endlessly grateful for the opportunity to have read and reviewed this incredible book before it is available to the rest of the world. A Little Hatred was everything I was hoping for and then some! You have to be realistic about these things, after all. The wait for this has been more than worth it! Banter, battles, badass women! What more could I want?! I am for sure the target audience for this! I would be remiss to not acknowledge this seriously radical cover. It’s quite different from the rest of the books in this universe, but I dig the hell out of it! Design by Lauren Panepinto and art by Sam Weber, the same artist who did the stunning 10th anniversary edition book jacket for The Name of the Wind. Oof. “And every moment with her felt like an adventure. She could kidnap a conversation and in a breath carry it off into strange territory. You never knew where you’d end up, but it was always honest.” A Little Hatred returns to the First Law universe roughly thirty years after the events in Last Argument of Kings. If you’re a newcomer, at least read the First Law trilogy before starting this. I’ve said it before and I’ll never stop saying it.. this series should be READ IN ORDER!! Technically Best Served Cold, The Heroes and Red Country are considered standalones, but trust me. Watching this sprawling, epic beast of a story unfold throughout each book is a masterclass in how to write a fantasy series! The development is unlike any other. Truly. There are very few series where I’ve given each book five stars.. but the First Law is one such rarity! Each and every book, including the short story collection deserve ALL THE BLOOD-SOAKED STARS!!! As always, the lines between good and evil are blurred in the mud with Abercrombie. His characterizations are some of the most outstanding I have ever had the pleasure to read. A Little Hatred is mostly about the children of these characters from the previous books that we’ve come to know. There are a few returning characters as well, which is yet another reason why you should shove the original series straight into your eye holes! The backstory that Abercrombie creates for these individuals is immense. Each nuanced detail is pivotal in building this complex world. However, this new trilogy is certainly paving the way for the old to step aside to make way for the new generation. We are entering the Age of Madness, indeed! The world has become industrialized, technology is on the rise and the North is invading the Union. There’s nothing I love more than a rag tag group of characters and A Little Hatred has plenty! It focuses on multiple fantastic POV’s, including: Rikke, the daughter of.. nah. I’ll let you find that out on your own! ::mischievous smirk:: Through the mud, blood and guts, Rikke is just.. everything. She is such a vivid, raw character. A new favorite, without a doubt! She wears a gold ring through her nose to keep her tethered to the earth, because of the gift that she has called the Long Eye, which is the ability to see into the future. Women born with the Long Eye are rare. She is accompanied by Isren-i-Phail, a hillwoman. She is essentially Rikke’s keeper of sorts, as well as assistant, tutor and best friend. She’s pretty damn amazing! Then there is Savine dan Glotka, daughter of.. you guessed it, Sand dan Glokta! One of my all-time favorite characters of EVER! She is ruthless (I mean, HELLO! Look who her father is!) and a savvy businesswoman. Prince Orso is the son of King Jezal and next in line for the throne. He’s spoiled, vain and much more clever than anyone ever expects. Leo dan Brock is a reckless warrior, taking on the Northern fighters and trying to prove to his mother, Lady Governor, that he isn’t a fool. Known as the Young Lion, he has a bit of hero worship for the Bloody-Nine. By the dead, A Little Hatred was just so fucking incredible! It’s a complete and utter masterpiece. In fact, I believe that this is Abercrombie’s best book. Everything that he does memorably throughout his novels, he does here. And then goes above and beyond! Unapologetically bleak, twisty plot twists, uncompromising violence, gallows humor, painfully awkward and deliciously sexy romance, characters with distinct voices, fucking bonkers imagery and of course, the gritty battle sequences. No one writes a battle quite like Lord Grimdark. The reality of the battles, the hacking and slashing, the emotional investment, the palpable energy that radiates throughout. There is a shit ton of blood that gets spilled between the pages of this book and it is glorious! ABERCROMBIE EVEN WRITES ABOUT MENSTRUATION! IN FANTASY! IN GRIMDARK FANTASY, AT THAT! I AM HERE ALL DAMN DAY FOR THIS! Sometimes you find that perfect book, the one that hits you at the exact right moment. Everything aligns. The writing, the characters and the world-building just makes your soul sing. A Little Hatred is that for me. It’s beautifully, authentically First Law. Joe Abercrombie has done it again. Goddamn. (Massive thanks to Orbit Books for sending me a copy of my most anticipated 2019 read to gush & flail over!)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Milda Page Runner

    Bloody awesome! This book is everything I expected and more. I suppose if you read any of the First Law books you won’t need my encouragement to grab it. If you haven’t… personally I wouldn’t recommend starting with this one. Plenty of references to past events and many old faces show up on the screen – you’d be missing out on too much context and irony. In my opinion you need at least First Law trilogy and the Heroes to fully appreciate this story. Whilst it’s not the end the story (o Bloody awesome! This book is everything I expected and more. I suppose if you read any of the First Law books you won’t need my encouragement to grab it. If you haven’t… personally I wouldn’t recommend starting with this one. Plenty of references to past events and many old faces show up on the screen – you’d be missing out on too much context and irony. In my opinion you need at least First Law trilogy and the Heroes to fully appreciate this story. Whilst it’s not the end the story (obviously) it doesn’t finish on a cliffhanger and is a satisfying meal on it’s own. You don’t need to wait for the end of trilogy to enjoy this book. As my friend Ivan said: It’s classic Abercrombie goodness! So what are you waiting for? Question to people who already read the book. (view spoiler)[ First Rikke’s prophesy sounds like a bunch of gibberish in the beginning but makes perfect sense in the end: ‘I saw a wolf eat the sun. Then a lion ate the wolf. Then a lamb ate the lion. Then an owl ate the lamb.’ Who do you think an owl is? Bayaz? Or perhaps Rikke herself? (there are sure plenty of remarks about her large out of this world eyes) (hide spoiler)]

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michael Sliter

    Four Stars Expectations are a funny thing. From authors with a track record of utter success, who resonate with you on multiple levels, you simply set your expectations higher than they should be. Higher than you set for other authors, and you expect the world. It's no surprise, then, that you end up being a little let down from time to time. Just a little, though. A Little Hatred would probably be closer to a 5 star for another author, but the weight of what came before so Four Stars Expectations are a funny thing. From authors with a track record of utter success, who resonate with you on multiple levels, you simply set your expectations higher than they should be. Higher than you set for other authors, and you expect the world. It's no surprise, then, that you end up being a little let down from time to time. Just a little, though. A Little Hatred would probably be closer to a 5 star for another author, but the weight of what came before somewhat overwhelms it. Not a single character in this book compares to the helpless complexity of Glotka, or the sick-to-change-himself Logen Ninefingers. For much of the story, the characters felt more predictable, like more of the same side characters from the past books. The various revelations (like the impact of the banking industry, or the main character relationships that you already knew about, if you were paying attention in Book 3) feel heavy-handed, and the grimdarkness is somewhat shoved down your throat (hundreds or thousands of words are dedicated to pollution). A Little Hatred just feels less original than The First Law. Honestly, I feel like a lot of it was me and my relentless comparisons. A better man would have read this as an independent work. That said, a four star Abercrombie book is better than most dross out there. I love the world. I love the change into the industrial setting. I love that the world still has that hopeless and dirty feel that Abercrombie is known for. I like most of the characters, and I want to grow to love them. I think the biggest limiting factor was there was about 7-8 povs by 20% into the book, versus the deeper dives from the first trilogy. The story itself was fairly standard fantasy fare, but it was still well done. I'll likely never get bored of the wars in the north, which were a highlight for me. I'll be honest in that I want more Glotka. I'm stuck in nostalgia mode, here. I would LOVE the inevitable cameo of Logan Ninefingers, even if he is in his 60s. He'll still be badass. But, I also want to love the new characters as much, and will desperately be awaiting book 2 in anticipation of just that. Before they Were Hanged was a slow start that reasonated with me, and I have a feeling that Age of Madness will go in the same direction. Abercrombie is just too damn good.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Liviu

    One of my highly expected novels of 2019, The First Law: The Next Generation Volume 1, aka A Little Hatred, was even better than expected; clearly a first volume so the big picture is still unclear, but lots of things happen and there is a great ending that makes it a complete volume independent of sequels, though of course much is promised. There are 6 main characters, all children of the original first law books (most of the original characters still are around at least to start wit One of my highly expected novels of 2019, The First Law: The Next Generation Volume 1, aka A Little Hatred, was even better than expected; clearly a first volume so the big picture is still unclear, but lots of things happen and there is a great ending that makes it a complete volume independent of sequels, though of course much is promised. There are 6 main characters, all children of the original first law books (most of the original characters still are around at least to start with). The 3 leaders to be, the lion, Leo dan Brock, whose mother Finree is currently the acting governor of Angland, the wolf, Stour Nightfall, son of Black Calder and nephew and heir of Scale Ironhand king of the North, who has decided that time has come to take back the protectorate still led by an old weary Dogman, and the lamb, prince Orso, son and heir of Jezal the first (Jezal having a few great cameos) who has an unmatched reputation for laziness, cowardice, uselessness and immorality. On the girl side, we have the tough Rikke, daughter of the Dogman, epileptic but with visions that may turn out to be quite true and important, the even tougher Vick (dan Teufel), daughter of the iron mine camps and revolutionary to be and of course ruthless Savine, financier, businesswoman, socialite, founder of the new scientific Solar society, patroness of science, technology and inventions (only for profit of course) and daughter of the most feared man in the Union, inquisition chief Arch Lector Glotka. They all have memorable parts to play, wars to fight, revolutions to foment or escape, and no less dangerous balls and feasts at the courts of the North and of the Union to attend. With a superb cast including Yoru Sulfur, Bayaz, Calder, Finree dan Brock, Jezal and Terez, various other new (most notably Zuri, Savine's Gurkish personal "secretary", former Sergeant Gunnar Broad), and old characters from the First Law original books (Superior Pike, Wonderful and many, many others), the novel is even darker and more cynical than the first series, the body count keeps rising and overall it is Abercrombie at his best; top fantasy of the year to date

  20. 5 out of 5

    Charlie - A Reading Machine

    A Little Hatred (The Age of Madness #1) by Joe Abercrombie is set in the same world as his magnificent First Law series and boy is it a treat to be back. “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, A Little Hatred (The Age of Madness #1) by Joe Abercrombie is set in the same world as his magnificent First Law series and boy is it a treat to be back. “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...” I think what I love most about Joe’s writing is the way he brings his characters to life. They are rarely predictable, constantly changing as they experience the world around them and always multifaceted. I’ve read some reviews that say Joe’s characters do not develop throughout his series. I can understand their point, especially when Logan began and finished the First Law Series by jumping out of a window. I think this only applies though if you expecting a serving girl to become a princess, a farm boy to be revealed as ‘the chosen one’ or basically an average nothing to become an exceptional something. A change of station is an obvious way to affect a change in a character but the shifts Joe likes to twist can happen in an instant, a look, and therefore a dozen times in a conversation. It’s incredibly exciting and just when you think you know where someone’s story is going he inevitably, and, without mercy, puts them on them on another path that throws everything you thought you knew into question. It’s something like playing chess against a grandmaster who happens to also be madman. As always there is plenty of fantastic combat. The pages are littered with bludgeoning back alley ambushes, intricate and finely detailed duels, masterpieces of dance and rhythm in themselves and of course the muddy body strewn battlefields where thousands of men and women meet their end with no romance whatsoever. My allegiance between the players was always shifting as well which is a huge delight. I mean Gorst is an asshole but he is definitely an asshole you want on your side and no one really wants to be part of the Glotka family do they? Nooooo they don’t. But for Savine? If anyone could make it worth it she could. I’m particularly excited to see where this series goes because of the interesting setting in terms of the rise and fall of a society. It’s the industrial revolution in a world previously powered by magic and there is a shifting of the currencies of power. The rich and influential are seeing the very things that make them so usurped by new levels of mechanical technology, a lessening of their magical ranks and the availability of far more common means of attaining wealth. At the same time we have those stuck at the bottom finding hope and agency among their peers and the chance for just that little bit more. But as a wise and terrible man says ‘if you give them just a bit more what do you think they will want next?’. Fun times. As a side note I used the First Law wiki page a bit whilst reading this and it was a great way to quickly relive some of the histories of the characters than have been around over five or six books now. Whether you’re a big fan who wants a refresher or a new reader of Joe’s work he doesn’t want to feel like they need to read a slew of other books to enjoy this one, it’s worthwhile checking it out. I think if you do start here though you’ll definitely be going back to see how it all began so don’t delve too deep or you’ll spoil some of the greatest grimdark you’re very likely to read. 9/10 A Little Hatred (The Age of Madness #1) is published by Orbit. A review copy was provided by the publisher for which I am extremely grateful, though it had no effect of my review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    kartik narayanan

    This is another classic Joe Abercrombie. Brutal, gritty, poignant. But I found it to be a bit of a slow burn. The story takes its time introducing characters and builds up pace only towards the middle. Then it turns into a fast express with a satisfying payoff towards the end.

  22. 5 out of 5

    S. Naomi Scott

    ++ DISCLAIMER: I received an advanced reading copy of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review. ++ I was a little concerned going into this book as I’d already seen a number of reviews saying that despite it being the first of a new series, you really had to have read Abercrombie’s First Law trilogy in order to fully appreciate this new novel from the self-appointed Lord of Grimdark. Given that I’m a veritable Abercrombie virgin, I was worried that I’d ++ DISCLAIMER: I received an advanced reading copy of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review. ++ I was a little concerned going into this book as I’d already seen a number of reviews saying that despite it being the first of a new series, you really had to have read Abercrombie’s First Law trilogy in order to fully appreciate this new novel from the self-appointed Lord of Grimdark. Given that I’m a veritable Abercrombie virgin, I was worried that I’d miss out on some hidden plot lines or fail to grasp the mysterious twists and turns that link back to his earlier works. Having now finished the book I think I can say with some authority that even if you’re as new to Abercrombie as I was you can read and enjoy this delightfully refreshing novel. Set several decades after the events of The First Law, this novel takes place in a world in the grip of the early years of an industrial revolution. Machines are being used to gradually replace the labour of the masses, leaving those masses out of work and embittered. A rebellion is forming, and it is up to the agents of Grand Lector dan Glokta to end the revolution before it begins. Meanwhile, on the border of the Union there’s a war brewing, and the armies of Stour Nightfall threaten to bring down the hard-won Protectorate of the North. What we have here is a deliciously well-written novel that manages to bring something a little different to the fantasy genre. There are still some pretty blatant elements of the magical and mystical presented within the narrative, most notably in the character of Rikke and her prophetic Long Eye, but then there’s also the treatment of the rise of the machines. Here we get to see both sides of the social divide, with sympathetic characters being drawn from both the privileged noble classes and the downtrodden working classes of the revolution. The storytelling itself is phenomenal, but it’s in the character development and the growth of the narrative that Abercrombie seems to excel. Even the more repellent characters are presented in a delightfully readable manner, and the gradual unveiling of the manipulations going on behind the scenes leaves the reader with plenty of questions for book two and beyond. By the end of this book I was left with no doubt that there’s a lot more going on than this first chapter has revealed, and look forward to the next instalment with bated breath. I daresay I might have gotten more out of the narrative if I’d previously read The First Law as other reviewers seem to suggest, but even without that prior knowledge this is still a remarkably strong first instalment and racks up a strong four and a half stars as far as I’m concerned.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Peter McLean

    Welcome back to The Union, some twenty years later. Welcome to the industrial revolution, to a new world of belching smokestacks and Dickensian deprivation, of child labour and urchin chimney sweeps, cotton lung and the workhouse. Welcome to the dark Satanic mills of progress. I've always been impressed by Abercrombie's ability to switch from laugh-out-loud hilarity to utter horror and back again in the space of a few pages, but in this book it's stronger than ever. Never knowing which you're go Welcome back to The Union, some twenty years later. Welcome to the industrial revolution, to a new world of belching smokestacks and Dickensian deprivation, of child labour and urchin chimney sweeps, cotton lung and the workhouse. Welcome to the dark Satanic mills of progress. I've always been impressed by Abercrombie's ability to switch from laugh-out-loud hilarity to utter horror and back again in the space of a few pages, but in this book it's stronger than ever. Never knowing which you're going to get next makes for an emotional rollercoaster ride that I can only liken to channel-flipping between Blackadder III and something by the Marquis de Sade. For me, Abercrombie's real strength has always been in his characters, and again here he doesn't disappoint. Twenty and more years have passed since the last books, and although old friends like Glokta and the Dogman make an appearance we're more focused on their sons and daughters now, on Rikke the Dogman's daughter, on Crown Prince Orso and Leo dan Brock and Savine dan Glokta. Savine is a special favourite of mine, a socialite and investor with a cutting tongue to defeat the strongest steel, but her father Sand dan Glokta still holds the reins of power in his withered claws. Neither of them are the sort of people to be deterred by a little hatred, but behind the scenes the strings are still very much being pulled by the Magi. This is a splendid opening salvo in the new trilogy, and I'm eagerly looking forward to the next one.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    As another reviewer said, Abercrombie has still got it, and then some! What a fantastic start to the new First Law series, with a fascinating historical backdrop centering on the social upheaval at the dawn of the industrial revolution (a theme that resonates today, at the dawn of a technological revolution fueled by automation and artificial intelligence). There's some oblique social commentary in this context. Or maybe not. But in any case, the real point is that it sets the stage for some rea As another reviewer said, Abercrombie has still got it, and then some! What a fantastic start to the new First Law series, with a fascinating historical backdrop centering on the social upheaval at the dawn of the industrial revolution (a theme that resonates today, at the dawn of a technological revolution fueled by automation and artificial intelligence). There's some oblique social commentary in this context. Or maybe not. But in any case, the real point is that it sets the stage for some real societal turbulence and upheaval. And that means conflict and violence. As always, he does a masterful job weaving together a whole slew of POV's and interweaving story lines. These include ample servings of gritty battle, witty dialogue, world and war weary cynicism, some beloved (and aged) characters from previous series and the introduction of some spectacular new ones, many related in some way to known First Law characters. Each a mix of scoundrel and hero, some a little more of this and a little less of that. No blacks and whites in the Circle of the World, only shades of gray.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Pallav

    Simply put, book of the year. No two ways about it. And for a no spoiler review, keep reading. Abercrombie is at the top of his game. He struts into the circle like a ringmaster who knows he has the lions trained to follow his every twitch. He makes, words, characters, and situations jump through hoops and obstacles like a magician. This is peak craftsmanship at work. Nothing wasted, nothing extra, all words where they need to be, all characters as fleshed out as they can be. You will love them, Simply put, book of the year. No two ways about it. And for a no spoiler review, keep reading. Abercrombie is at the top of his game. He struts into the circle like a ringmaster who knows he has the lions trained to follow his every twitch. He makes, words, characters, and situations jump through hoops and obstacles like a magician. This is peak craftsmanship at work. Nothing wasted, nothing extra, all words where they need to be, all characters as fleshed out as they can be. You will love them, you will hate them, you will marvel at the artistry of Abercrombie and how deftly he manages to surprise you and pull the rug from your feet every single time. More than the war or the action, even if it was this bunch of characters simply interacting with each other like a political drama, what a wonderful story even that would be. But there is plenty of bloodshed, action, and war to sate the thirst of those of us who are inclined to reading about violence because we can't kill everyone in the world with our bare fucking hands. This book is cathartic. Eagerly awaiting book 2.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Twerking To Beethoven

    Wow, just wow. It's taken me a while to finish this book as I've been awfully busy of lately but, at the end of the day, it allowed me to savour "A Little Hatred" one line at a time and, once again, Abercrombie delivered. Fantastic book, truly satisfying with a couple of mind-blowing moments towards the end. Five glorious stars. One of the best novels of 2019, me thinks.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Hiu Gregg

    Review to come. Oh fuck yes is there a review to come.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sir Anni

    6 Stars 🌟 :)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Solseit

    Nothing short of 5 stars. The negative? One year before the next book. And 2 years to complete the trilogy.

  30. 4 out of 5

    david y biblioflick

    What we know so far. . . and that's [still] not the cover btw, hoping we see it soon - perhaps on the next update. Cover Copy: 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 K What we know so far. . . and that's [still] not the cover btw, hoping we see it soon - perhaps on the next update. Cover Copy: 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 specialises 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. . . Publication Date: 19 September 2019 (UK and possibly US) The first book in the new trilogy, set in the First Law World. (Second book: The Trouble with Peace, Third book: The Beautiful Machine) 7 POVs - 4 males, 3 females, split into 3 parts (maybe) Takes place (mostly) in the Union and the North and 30 years (or so) after the first trilogy - industrial phase Politics, war, danger, hangings, BLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!

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