A Little Hatred (The Age of Madness #1)


What can I say about A Little Hatred – read it.  Goodbye.

Okay, I suppose that isn’t really a review is it?

This is a series that is very appropriately named – The Age of Madness.  Here is a world on the brink of industrial revolution with all the resultant chaos that comes in it’s wake.  Still a time of myth and magic but a time when people are turning instead to science and industry and relying less and less on mages. Tumultuous times, bloody times and times that reflect the course of history in many respects.  This was a bloody good read that I thoroughly enjoyed.  The writing is just so easy.  Easy to digest, easy on the eye, easy to keep reading into the early hours.  It’s got great characters, it’s amusing, it’s grimy and sweaty and brutal and it’s exactly what I hoped for and then some.

To be clear, I haven’t read The First Law Trilogy – I know, you can break out the pitchforks about now (there is a story behind it which involves me owning the set at least three times but I’m not going to go into that here) – the point I’m getting at is that I have no idea how this compares (and perhaps that is a good thing) and also I have no way of knowing whether or not the characters I may mention are old friends – so beware that this review may unwittingly contain spoilers.

The heroes of yesterday still remain strong for some who long for derring do and songs written about their exploits, the Lion and the Wolf stand on opposing sides.  The North is once again trying its strength against the Union, determined to rule the whole of the North.  At the same time as the battles break out unrest is also on the rise in the capital.  The poor and downtrodden have had their fill of poverty, dirt and starvation, maybe they want a little cake, they’re about to revolt and it’s going to get messy.  In fact this book shows us more of the down and dirty fighting in the capital rather than focusing on the battlefield, although there is one particular fight scene – which I won’t elaborate on – other than to say it’s so well written that I was practically holding my breath for the entire thing – and it was just spectacular, the tension, the fear, the blood, the sweat and the absolutely convincing exhaustion.  That’s what I want when I’m reading a fight scene – is that wrong?

Funnily enough, this is a difficult story to pin down a plot, and in fact kudos to the great writing in that respect because I was so swept up with the characters and the trials they were facing that I didn’t really think about the bigger picture until I sat down to write this review.  There is no shortage of action here plus great pace, witty dialogue and a wonderful balancing act that takes you through the depths of death and drudgery but then lifts you back out with some amazing human interactions and laugh out loud banter.  It really is an emotional roller coaster.  I think on the whole this is going to be just one piece of a much bigger picture and I confess that at the moment I’m a bit clueless as to what that will be – but it certainly makes me anxious and excited to keep on reading.

For me, the characters are the real winners here.  There are no shortage of people for you to get behind and I’m sure everyone will have their own particular favourites.  Savine dan Glokta – a ruthless business woman.  It takes four people to simply get her ready to face the day each morning – she has a ‘face maid’ no less.  What can I say – she’s a brilliant character and I loved her and couldn’t get enough of her page time.  She’s one tough cookie but she has a soft inner just waiting to be exposed and her vulnerability and fear help to make her that much more relatable.  Leo dan Brock and Stour Nightfall – two young men with an apparent deathwish who can’t wait to meet on the battlefield.  Rikke – daughter of the Dogman.  Rikke has the long eye, the gift (or curse) of foreseeing the future – of course, the real trick is being able to decipher the clues in a meaningful way.  Look, there are a lot of characters here and to be frank I never had a dull moment with any of them but I’m trying to be careful because surely the majority of these are the next generation and if I go too much into detail about how they interact readers who are already familiar with this world might just figure out some of the teasers.  Although, I simply have to give a shout out to Prince Orso.  Brilliantly foppish and droll – he could be straight out of the Scarlet Pimpernell and he certainly made me smile.

A Little Hatred is probably one of the most highly anticipated fantasy books of 2019 and whether you’re already acquainted with this world of not there’s a good reason for that.  Strong writing, characters that jump off the page, great pace and an ending that leaves you wanting more.  What more can I say.  Well, I opened with – read it.  You could have stopped right there and taken my advice I suppose.  I hope I’ve convinced you.  If you love fantasy, grimdark, history, battles, death, twists and turns then do yourself a favour and pick this up soon and be part of the conversation.  If you’re already familiar with the world then you’ll have the advantage of reading some familiar characters, if you’re like me, and new to the world, you can rest assured that this is a great starting point to jump on board.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

Rating 5 of 5 stars







July : My Month in Covers

Hi everyone, hope you’ve all had a lovely July and the weather has treated you gently.  I’ve had a slow sort of month in some respects.   Not many books this month as I’ve been too busy with other things.  Anyhow, feast your eyes on this months covers.  I’ve also included my SPFBO covers and my update is here for the first month of the competition.

And here are my SPFBO covers.  I’ve read at least the first 30% of all of these and chosen one book to read completely:

Can’t Wait Wednesday : A Little Hatred (The Age of Madness #1) by Joe Abercrombie

Can't Wait Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : A Little Hatred (The Age of Madness #1) by Joe Abercrombie.

LittleHatred.jpgThe 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…

Due for Publication July 2019