A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie || Book Review

β€œπ•Žπ•™π•–π•Ÿ π• π•Ÿπ•– π•žπ•’π•Ÿ π•œπ•Ÿπ• π•¨π•šπ•Ÿπ•˜π•π•ͺ π•œπ•šπ•π•π•€ π•’π•Ÿπ• π•₯𝕙𝕖𝕣, π•₯𝕙𝕖π•ͺ 𝕔𝕒𝕝𝕝 π•šπ•₯ π•žπ•¦π•£π••π•–π•£! π•Žπ•™π•–π•Ÿ π•€π• π•”π•šπ•–π•₯π•ͺ 𝕔𝕒𝕦𝕀𝕖𝕀 π•₯𝕙𝕖 𝕕𝕖𝕒π•₯𝕙𝕀 𝕠𝕗 π•₯π•™π• π•¦π•€π•’π•Ÿπ••π•€, π•₯𝕙𝕖π•ͺ π•€π•™π•£π•¦π•˜ π•’π•Ÿπ•• 𝕔𝕒𝕝𝕝 π•šπ•₯ 𝕒 𝕗𝕒𝕔π•₯ 𝕠𝕗 π•π•šπ•—π•–β€

Lord grimdark, ladies and gentlemen. It’s been a while since I posted a fantasy review, and boy did I decide to come back with a good one.

A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie is the latest book in his First Law series, the beginning of The Age of Madness trilogy. Let me start off by saying, even if I make this book sound as amazing as it is, you have to at least start with the original trilogy, if not all the standalone novels too (which I did skip). But I’ll try to keep this mostly spoiler free.

This book picks up 30 years after the Last Argument of Kings, and we’re seeing the next generation pick up the mantle as they deal with problems both old (war, money, power) and new (industry, class revolt). While society had β€œprogressed” with its technology, evil is still evil, the poor will still suffer, and power still corrupts.

But not once in my reading did the suffering and bloodshed seem gratuitous. That’s Abercrombie’s skill. Sure, you might disagree about the conclusion’s he’s made about the nature of humanity, but at least he’s consistent. If you have hope, it will be crushed. If a character doesn’t look out for themselves, they’ll be worse for wear.

β€œπ™΅πšžπš—πš—πš’ πš‘πš˜πš , πš πš‘πšŽπš—πšŽπšŸπšŽπš› πš–πšŽπš— πšπšŠπš•πš”πšŽπš πšŠπš‹πš˜πšžπš πšπš›πšŽπšŽπšπš˜πš–, πšπš‘πšŽπš’ πš—πšŽπšŸπšŽπš› πš›πšŽπšŠπš•πš•πš’ πš–πšŽπšŠπš—πš πšπš˜πš› πšπš‘πšŽ πš πš˜πš–πšŽπš—.”

Which brings me to the characters β€” you need a bright light to get you through a story that can at times get bleak. I feel hook line and sinker for these characters, both ones connected to the ones we are familiar with in the original books and those new. Without spoilers, I’ll just say the apples didn’t fall very far from the familial trees with these new kids. And it’s honestly refreshing to say my two favorite characters were the women, Savine and Rikke. It’s not every fantasy book where you can have female characters each with their own personalities and struggles and motivations that are completely separate from how they relate to the men in their lives. I Stan Savine so much, and can’t wait for more from her in the future books.

And it’s with these great characters (Orso and Clover included, to not neglect the fellas) that I’m able to push through this grim tale, because it’s the humor they bring to the table to that makes this fantasy (without much magic) such an enjoyable read.

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