A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie – An Audio Book Review

A little hatred


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

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Orion Publishing Group Ltd

My Rating of ‘A Little Hatred’: 5 out of 5

Purchase: Audible UKAudible USAmazon UKAmazon US



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.

22 thoughts on “A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie – An Audio Book Review

  1. That was my issue with this book as well – the two romances felt too mirror-like for my tastes, and I didn’t much appreciate that, unusually heavy-handed for Abercrombie, approach to his characters. Not many things feel artificial in his books, but this did! I hope the next installment will rectify this situation, especially in the light of Bayaz once again directly meddling in basically everything there is to meddle in!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Bayaz. He’s like a well-meaning old man that just suddenly snaps when you don’t do things his way.

      Glad the romance thing wasn’t just me. It did go wildly different for a moment when the whole Orso/Savine thing got brought to light … but then the way it went away after that just ended up mirroring each other. I get what he’s trying to do, make it seem like fate wants certain things to happen, but it feels more like ham-fistedly trying to make something happen unnaturally to fit a word count rather than allowing something to come of it organically.

      I really did enjoy the book as a whole and just hope the rest of the series carries on well. I love how Orso was essentially his father when he was young (narrator even used the same voice for it haha)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hate Bayaz, and his little helpers. A horrible tyrant in velvet gloves, who considers the world his sandpit.
        The romance was just… forced. Nothing to do with fate, IMO, more to do with interchangeability of the pawns in the game Bayaz plays, and the constatation that all young people are the same which I don’t fully agree with 😉

        I think Orso was a much nicer person than Jezal! I remember not liking Jezal, then warming up to him, and then just pitying the poor bastard… 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yea, Jezal is far harsher at his son’s age than Orso was.

        Ahh, I love Bayaz. Strikes me as a man who built something wonderful and just gets annoyed when the people don’t use it right haha.

        He’s vaguely similar to Varys from Game of Thrones.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You could shake hands with Piotrek on that, he’s a fan of Bayaz as well 😉 I actually have some hopes for Savine’s handmaiden, but I’m afraid she’ll be just the same as Bayaz, only younger and without a beard 😜 but with the same penchant for meddling and treating everyone as her pawns. We’ll see soon, I guess!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It was thanks to this novel that I finally rescued the First Law trilogy from the bottom of my TBR and finally started reading it, and now I wonder why I was so short-sighted until now! 😀
    While the two romances do have something in common, this sameness is pardoned by that delightfully acerbic conversation that Savine and Rikke have at some point: to me it was one of the best sequences in the story…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent review as always! The part that had you fearing for the book being a foresight of real events was funny. With a looming economic disaster, I can see a new form of industrialization to take form! 😛 I look forward to the sequel too and can’t wait to see where Abercrombie takes things. This was also my first book by him, so… I need to fix that too and check out the First Law trilogy as soon as possible! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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