I am a HUGE fan of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series which began with an original trilogy but has sprouted three additional stand alone novels and a collection of short stories. This is the first book in a new trilogy called the Age of Madness. It’s been a few years since Abercrombie visited the First Law series but that is because he spent several years writing all three books of this series at once. He wanted to be better with his continuity and ensure that they worked together seamlessly. The benefit for readers is that we know when all three will come out, roughly speaking as I don’t think there are exact release dates yet, just September of 2020 and 2021. In his own words, Abercrombie said of his writing process this time around, “My feeling with this new trilogy was that to write the best, most coherent series I could, I needed to draft all three books and get to the end of the story, know what was important and what wasn’t before really tightening up that first book and getting it ready to publish.” (source)
A Little Hatred takes place roughly 30 years after the events of the the original trilogy. It occurs during an industrial revolution of sorts within this world which is a really interesting idea. Abercrombie said in an interview that so many fantasy series begin in a medieval type world but never advance technologically and he wanted to see what that would look like. The POV characters are mostly the children of characters from the original trilogy and many characters appear in both. I was very impressed by how Abercrombie made the characters feel different from their parents and not just younger versions of them. You can tell they have traits from heir parents and certain similarities but more in the way that children do tend to reflect their parents. It was just really well done. This book, like the entire First Law series, is incredibly violent and often flat out brutal. No one is ever really safe, not even main characters. If you liked the First Law, you will like this. I think it is at least as good and maybe better than the original. I did listen to the audiobook which is narrated by the incomparable Steven Pacey, who did all of the previous First Law books. Pacey is so good that this series is one of the first I recommend to people looking to start a series on audiobook.