A Little Hatred (The Age of Madness #1), by Joe Abercrombie

A Little Hatred is the first entry in the Age of Madness trilogy, by Joe Abercrombie. It takes place in the same world as the First Law Trilogy (The Blade Itself, Before they are Hanged and The last Argument of Kings) and other standalone novels that followed it (Best Served Cold, The Heroes and Red Country). A Little Hatred takes place fifteen years after the events in Red Country, and twenty-eight years after the end of the original First Law Trilogy. It follows the interweaving stories of seven characters, with the action taking place for the most part in The North and Midderland.

Author – Joe Abercrombie

Joe Abercrombie is a British fantasy writer and film editor. He is the author of The First Law Trilogy and other related works of fantasy. In 2014 he published Half a King, the first book in his Shattered Sea series, which won the 2015 Locus Award for best Young Adult book.

Joe Abercrombie studied psychology at Lancaster Royal Grammar School and Manchester University. He moved into television production before taking up a career as a freelance film editor. During a break between jobs he began writing The Blade Itself in 2002, completing it in 2004. It was published by Gollancz in 2006 and was followed by two other books in The First Law trilogy, Before They Are Hanged and Last Argument of Kings.

What’s it about? – Synopsis

The chimneys of industry rise over Adua and the world seethes with new opportunities. But old scores run deep as ever.

Alternative Book Cover - A Little Hatred, Joe Abercrombie

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…

What did I think? – Opinion

It’s great! Joe Abercrombie is one of my favourite authors. I thoroughly enjoyed the First Law trilogy and The Shattered Sea trilogy when I read them a couple of years ago. And reading A Little Hatred made me feel sorry for not having read the three standalone books set in the same world of the First Law. But either way, I really liked this first entry of the new trilogy.

Joe Abercrombie has a very ‘easy to read’ way of putting together the story. It’s not simple (imagine a huge chessboard spanning multiple territories/countries, populated with many different characters each with their own way of moving, and many, if not all, moving at the same time), but you don’t feel overwhelmed or exhausted at any point. What’s more, I personally had a hard time putting down the book at any given moment because I just needed to know what was happening next!

The characters are unique, witty, ruthless, flawed. And while this trilogy introduces a whole new cast (Savine dan Glokta, Orso dan Luther, Leo dan Brock, Rikke, Clover and a few others), characters from the original trilogy such as Logan Ninefingers, Dogman, Black Dow, The Feared, Jezal dan Luther and Sand dan Glokta are still talked about and revered, and after 30 years, some are still alive. And while every character is unique, they do connect and interact with each other in ways that are easily relatable, which makes it very easy to either fall in love or hate them, and change your mind as the story unfolds. I personally can’t stand Rikke at the beginning with all her whining and complaining, or Leo dan Brock for being such a mama’s boy, but my opinion shifted a little as the story progressed. On the other hand, I loved Savine at the beginning but by the end thought she needed a good slap to get her back on her feet.

Apart form the characters, there’s other big new changes happening which affect the world, like the modernisation of the industry, with factories taking over manufacturing and putting people out of work. This generates a lot of hate and creates a crack in society causing different dissident groups to appear and cause trouble. I personally like this inclusion of a more modern society and the way it shows that evolution is natural. It happened in the real world, so why shouldn’t it happen in fiction?

And yes, it might be weird having this modernisation happening, while big battles are being fought in the north with swords and axes. It creates a weird contrast and makes it look like the north is more savage, but I love it. One of the things that I like the most about Joe Abercrombies books are the battles, the savagery. Who cares about fine dresses or fine dining when you can be hacking and slashing on a battlefield?

All in all this book is setting the scene for what’s to come in the following books. It’ll get worse, which means it’ll get better for us readers. We’ll see more battles, more despair, more sorrow. It’ll get grim and dark, just like we like it from Joe.

If you haven’t read anything by Joe Abercrombie, you’re definitely missing out.


A Little Hatred (The Age of Madness #1), by Joe Abercrombie

Book Title: A Little Hatred (The Age of Madness #1)

Book Description: A Little Hatred is the first entry in the Age of Madness trilogy, by Joe Abercrombie. It takes place in the same world as the First Law Trilogy and follows the interweaving stories of seven characters, with the action taking place for the most part in The North and Midderland.

Book Author: Joe Abercrombie

Book Format: Paperback

Publisher Logo:

Date published: 17 September, 2019

ISBN: 031618716X

Number Of Pages: 480

  • Story
  • Characters
  • Narration
  • Entertainment
  • Recommendability