A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie

Title: A Little Hatred.
Series: The Age of Madness #1.
Writer(s): Joe Abercrombie.
Publisher: Orbit.
Format: Advance Review Copy.
Release Date: September 17th 2019.
Pages: 480.
Genre(s): Fantasy.
ISBN13:  9780316187169.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★★.


It is a bit mad that I have never yet had the chance to pick up a Joe Abercrombie book until now. His name has echoed its way to my ears as countless readers of fantasy books have sung their praise for the man’s work since his First Law trilogy. With each release, he has successfully proven his claim to the throne and garnered a hefty amount of loyal followers who would gladly bend the knee and attest their utmost love for his work. While it might be my first foray in his glorious world, this first book of his Age of Madness trilogy turned out to be one of the most enthralling reads that not only allowed me to get a substantial dose of his striking mastery of the genre but also an eye-opening revelation of the potential in the world he has expanded for his readers.

What is A Little Hatred about? At the brink of an industrial revolution where progress is in everyone’s agenda, the story follows multiple characters in their respective struggles within an uncertain and unstable world. First, comes Leo dan Brock who searches to gain the respect of the realm by charging headfirst into the battlefield, going up against the marauding armies of Stour Nightfall. Second, comes Savine dan Glokta, the daughter of the most feared man in the Union, who also happens to be one of the richest ladies of the society and with a knack for business. Last, comes Rikke, daughter of the Dogman, who holds a special ability, seen either as a blessing or a curse to the perceiver, where she can take a peek into the future. Under the guidance of the mad hillwoman Isern-i-Phail, she tries to control these powers but runs into some issues throughout the process.


The most impressive and noteworthy remark that should be mentioned about Joe Abercrombie’s latest novel is his characters. Although a bit numerous, his understanding of their personas allow him to bring them to life like no other author before. They don’t simply stand out with their complexity but jump out of the pages and bring the reader to care for their outcomes, sympathize for their predicaments and root for their triumphs. These characters prompt the reader’s emotions and manipulate them into developing a brass-bound attachment. It doesn’t even matter if you know their genealogy or their history—although I won’t lie that it must be rewarding to be a die-hard fan of Joe Abercrombie’s work right now—as their actions and beliefs allow them to be charming and captivating characters. Nothing about them is black or white as they stumble in gray areas far often than not. It’s following them through adversity that makes this story so irresistible.

Then, Joe Abercrombie also delivers some of the best prose in fantasy as he somehow brilliantly infuses this grim world on the brink of an Industrial Revolution with a steady stream of witty banter. Although each character is portrayed with their own set of motives, characteristics and personality traits, they all, however, share a sense of humour that is as gold as it can get. It’s how Joe Abercrombie merges the bleak multilayered society with the quick-witted repartee that makes this book so extraordinary. If you ever wondered if the pacing ever slowed down throughout this story, think again. The amount of action interspersed into the narrative, at the heart of the conflicts that grow within this society where man is put aside for coals, furnaces, and machine, is more than enough to keep you drooling for more of this world.

A Little Hatred is a vivid, witty and stark expedition into a grim industrial fantasy world where mayhem meets revolution.


Thank you to Hachette Book Group Canada for sending me a copy for review!



46 thoughts on “A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie

  1. Well well well! Lashaan may I say that your introduction sounds…knightly? I will post a discussion about it but I think your writing was influenced by this book’s prose! Now that being said you are pretty convincing especially when you describe how this author builds his characters that it is impossible for us not to walk in their shoes!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I see you’re already sold, so now you should quickly make up for the lost time and read The First Law trilogy 😉
    Though I’m far from bending the knee to anyone, or attesting my undying love to anyone but my Significant Other, I do enjoy a dose of Abercrombie’s prose – and this is on my TBR 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maaaaan, if I had time, or an insane reading speed, I’d have read all his books and so many other books already too. 😛

      Hahahaha I totally agree. But hey, it was all figurative! Nothing literal here. 😛 I do hope you get around to reading this soon. I’d be curious to read your thoughts on it. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If I had wings, I’d be a butterfly 😛 Or at least a UFO 😀
        I already ordered my copy from the library, but the waiting list is long 😉 I have Gutter Prayer to contend with in the meantime, though, thanks to your recommendation 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so relieved not to be the only reader whose never read Abercrombie before! Lol.

    Also relieved to know I don’t need to have read the first law to enjoy and follow this. I was going to try and cram those books in before starting this but maybe I’ll skip it. Super excited for this one so glad you enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maaaan, I totally understand you, Sarah. If I had the time, I’d have tried to read all his books before tackling this too but sometimes it’s just impossible. I’ll just reread this one in a far, far future, after I’ve read his other books or something now.

      Hope you get the chance to read and enjoy this one though! I’ll look forward to hearing your thoughts on it! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Stunning cover.
    When I read that there are three main characters, I sighed. I like to focus on one and it seems like a trio is a cliche. But I’m glad to hear that you still thought favorably of the characters.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s a delight to read such an enthusiastic review: the discovery of a new-to-us author should always be a hugely positive experience as yours with Abercrombie. I found myself nodding in agreement along the way, especially when you mention the perfect balance between the drama and the character’s peculiar brand of humor, which gives the story its own special flavor.
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My very first Abercrombie book was Best Served Cold (which I later learned was a stand-alone follow-up to his First Law trilogy, and I loved it to pieces, so that when here I saw the main character of that book mentioned, Monza Murcatto, or enjoyed the cameo role played by Caul Shivers, I felt right at home 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I honestly didn’t know they were all set in the same world until I looked into the author’s books and saw a “series” page on Goodreads for the First Law universe. Definitely a bit sad that I didn’t already read them all before A Little Hatred but I’m excited to fix that in the future! 😂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Aislynn! That’s interesting. I haven’t yet tried his earlier books but I assumed that they were a bit similar in style as this one. Maybe a second chance is all they need. At least this one was quite outstanding for me, even if I didn’t ever read an Abercrombie book before! 😀


  6. I thought it was so neat that Sophie showcased this review Lashaan!! I actually noticed that sometimes your reviews mirror a little of what I imagine is the writing style of the book but thought I was just being a little crazy. But turns out it was true!! 😀 I’m glad you enjoyed his prose so much. It is a feat to pair humor and banter with a bleak world. I can see why this was really exciting to you! I’ve never actually heard of this author so need to check out if any of his premises excite me. Thanks for sharing your excitement so well. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad to hear that Sophie’s shoutout brought you here, Dani! She’s definitely very sweet for doing so. And yes hahah I do it on purpose most of the time though and it’s fun to play that game when reviewing, it just shows more love for the book/author hahah


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