A Little Hatred – Joe Abercrombie
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 echoes of battles, courageous exploits and heroic characters from the past. 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, with a new array of unforgettable characters. Abercrombie manages to create a cast of 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, it’s too difficult to follow if read out of sequence. Also, if you have the chance of reading the First Law trilogy first, 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.