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Saturday, March 27, 2021

 Are You In the Mood For. . .

If so, here's my review:

A Little Hatred

In A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie, we take a trip back to the Angland we first met twenty to thirty years ago in the First Law Trilogy: The Blade Itself; Before They Are Hanged; Last Argument of Kings. Though, as you will find out, things have changed.

This is what you can expect:


The 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 . . .


As you will note from the blurb, some of the characters we first met in the previous adventure are still here, so it certainly helps with the continuity. As does the introduction of their offspring. So even though we’re looking at a gap of several decades, we can get right back into the feel of the story ark as if slipping on a familiar pair of old gloves.

And familiar it is. The Union still struggles to maintain stability in a land where potential invasion is an ever-present threat. This time, from the North, where new leaders want to test themselves against oppressors of old. Additionally, conquered enemies test the limits of Angland’s patience by sending a never-ending flow of refugees into Union territory. And as the population rises and the wheels of industry put increasing numbers of laborers and farm workers out of work, tensions spiral out of control. Revolution threatens!

How do the powers-that-be handle it?

Joe Abercrombie style! That’s how.

It was great fun revisiting Adua, as Abercrombie expanded on the history of his creation to give us an engaging new set of circumstances to enjoy. And as so often happens in the real world, so much trouble on a grand scale can be fomented by the smallest amount of misunderstanding, and just a little hatred.

An apt title, therefore, to a story that is as rich with emotion and cutting-edge commentary as it is as sparing with mercy. It’s brutal, in-your-face fun, and wonderfully entertaining. I’d love to reveal more, but never spoil things with untimely reveals.

Content to say, Abercrombie weaves a complex set of circumstances and a grand cast of characters together with skillful dexterity and considerable panache. You’d be a fool to miss it, and I, for one, can’t wait for the series to continue.

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