A LITTLE HATRED (The Age Of Madness #1)
Written by Joe Abercrombie
Published by Orbit, September 17, 2019
My star rating – 3 stars
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 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… Find it on Goodreads
As a fantasy lover, I feel totally guilty for rating a Joe Abercrombie book 3 stars – this is going to take some explaining. I have yet to read a Joe Abercrombie book before this – GASP! I know! I’m disappointed in myself. So when I saw this as a review copy, and the first book in a series, I jumped at the chance! I was so excited! Yes, this is the first book in a new series, but NO, you shouldn’t read this if you haven’t read the previous series The First Law. This is a continuation of that world and those characters – so if you read this one first, you’ll be as lost and confused as I was.
As a first time reader of his, and picking up this book first, it felt like I was walking into the middle of a 10 part movie series on movie number 10. I never truly felt like I was up to speed. I took extensive notes as to who was who, where was where and what was what. I figured it out in the long run, but I knew that I wasn’t getting as much out of this book as I could have.
Speaking of characters – holy hell there were a lot of them! If memory serves me right, there were 7 points of view in total. That’s a ton of introductions! But dang I loved these characters! There was everything from socialites, warriors, politicians, and so much more. There was this crazy balance of so many people from so many walks of life. It made it easy to differentiate between them and switch perspectives on a dime. The way these characters were written was gold! I loved all of their personalities for different reasons. And some of them had me snort laughing the whole way through!
I’ve had multiple people scream at me to read this author – and now I know why. This was candy to my fantasy loving soul! There was so much darkness and brutality! But here’s the thing – the balance of this book was perfection! Though it was dark and brutal (what did you expect from a grim dark novel?), it was balanced with humour, emotion, world building, character development, adventure, politics…… so good! I felt like my emotions could never settle in one spot. As soon as I would feel strongly in one way, something else would happen, or a new perspective came in, that took me somewhere else. It was a wild ride!
Even though this book was a struggle for me, I think it helped me find a new author I need to read more from! I wasn’t the right person to read this book. And I know that my 3 star rating is harsh. So here’s my plan: I’m going to start his books from the beginning of The First Law series so I can start right from the beginning. It’s backwards, but it’s necessary. Then, once I’m done that, I plan to revisit this one and I have a feeling that this will turn into a 4-5 star rating! Even though I was confused almost from start to finish, I have a new found love for Joe Abercrombie!
Thank you so much to Hachette Canada and Orbit books for the chance to read this in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and are uninfluenced.
Until next time, happy reading!