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….
Author: Joe Abercrombie
Narrator: Steven Pacey
Run Time: 20 hrs 19 mins
Audio Release Date: 17/09/2019
Series: The Age of Madness #1
Publisher: Orion Publishing Group Ltd
My Rating of ‘A Little Hatred’: 5 out of 5
For me, as a huge fan of the First Law Trilogy and the world that Abercrombie has created, A Little Hatred was an utter treat and complete delight. It brings back so many old and familiar faces from the original trilogy and introduces so many new and exciting ones that I feel I’ll love just as much as the original.
There is so much going on in this book that you can’t help but feel it will be every bit as epic a series as the First Law, if not more so. It has just the right blend of old characters that give the world a complete, solid feel and a good amount of new ones that are written so well you can’t help but feel you’ve known them forever. It’s too common for an author to set a sequel series in the future and have their original characters as names from history. I’m glad that route wasn’t taken here. It makes you feel so much more connected to have old favourites gracing the pages in big ways.
The character work is fantastic in this one and readers of the first series will not help but be able to pick up on the similarity between parent and child of so many of the characters. In this world it really is ‘like father like son/daughter’ for the most part. It makes me curious if the children will grow up as they are or to be more like their parents were as they grew older.
I listened to this just as the threat of lockdown loomed due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. So, I’ll not lie when I say that the scenes of uprisings and revolution were a bit of a ‘oh god, what if’ scenario. Last thing you want to think of is the people surging in riots when you’re about to go into your own home for a good period of time with little outside contact. But, I suppose that made it feel extra edgy to me and I loved it all the more.
Abercrombie tells a wonderful story in a fantastically-crafted world. Fans of his writing style in the First Law trilogy will not be disappointed. A Little Hatred is laced with the same wit and character self-putdowns. It has been over a decade since I first read ‘The Blade Itself’ but, even with all that time and so many different books read between that and this, I slipped back in like I had only just finished The First Law Trilogy yesterday.
If I had one slight niggle with it, it would be that despite the great differences in story lines between the two sets of characters, Orso/Savine and Leo/Rikke felt like they were basically telling the same romance story in different ways. It veers off drastically but for the most part it just felt like things were progressing at an identical pace and it just felt a bit samey. That being said, I still enjoyed it.
That being said, this book has sparked the burning desire to re-read all of the books set in this universe and I’m already about 80% finished with The Blade Itself. Abercrombie is truly a writer that tells his story in a way that is far too addictive for any reader to put down easily.
I think the most important positive from the whole thing is how breath-takingly perfect Steven Pacey’s narration is. As I mentioned above, I am reading the rest of the books in the First Law universe but, due to the fact that Steven Pacey narrates those as well, I am buying the audio books rather than settling for the ebooks I already own. Easily one of the top 5 narrators narrating today.
Long may stories continue to be told in this universe.
Now all there is to do is wait for the next in the series.