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Review: Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S Dawson and Kevin Hearne

Hey all, Dani here.

I totally received the sequel/companion novel to this one from NetGalley–and it was released in stores this past week–so I have a review for that one coming, but I realized that though I raved about this one being a great book, I never actually reviewed it. Shame on me. So, my NetGalley review will be coming in about a week, but for today let’s talk about a more fun fantasy adventure, because I feel like I’ve been talking about quite a lot of heavier or more dense reads of late.

Let’s talk about Kill the Farm Boy, the first book in the Tales of Pell series. It came out in July 2018, with the second book–No Country for Old Gnomes–out in April 2019, and the third book, titled The Princess Beard, will be out in October 2019.

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Summary

In an irreverent new series in the tradition of Terry Pratchett novels and The Princess Bride, the New York Times bestselling authors of the Iron Druid Chronicles and Star Wars: Phasma reinvent fantasy, fairy tales, and floridly written feast scenes.

Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom, a hero, the Chosen One, was born . . . and so begins every fairy tale ever told.

This is not that fairy tale.

There is a Chosen One, but he is unlike any One who has ever been Chosened.

And there is a faraway kingdom, but you have never been to a magical world quite like the land of Pell.

There, a plucky farm boy will find more than he’s bargained for on his quest to awaken the sleeping princess in her cursed tower. First there’s the Dark Lord who wishes for the boy’s untimely death . . . and also very fine cheese. Then there’s a bard without a song in her heart but with a very adorable and fuzzy tail, an assassin who fears not the night but is terrified of chickens, and a mighty fighter more frightened of her sword than of her chain-mail bikini. This journey will lead to sinister umlauts, a trash-talking goat, the Dread Necromancer Steve, and a strange and wondrous journey to the most peculiar “happily ever after” that ever once-upon-a-timed.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

Reasons you need to get this book:

  1. It’s hilarious
  2. So wonderfully diverse in terms of queerness
  3. All the tropes are fantastically twisted

Basically, just get the Tales of Pell books, because they are utterly and amazingly epic. Seriously, I read the synopsis of both this one and No Country for Old Gnomes and got Damian to laugh at least a dozen times.

Oh, also, you definitely need to check out the world map for Pell…because, again, all the hilarious puns (also otters).

The characters are all such fun to follow in this tale. On the surface they may just be fantasy tropes: farm boy who ends up being the Chosen One, female warrior with armor that definitely doesn’t cover what armor should cover, dark lord, etc. But then they have other characteristics that just twist those tropes into some amusing new concept.

And Gustave the goat is totally the best. Who doesn’t like a very sarcastic talking goat in a fantasy book?

Okay, yes, there are some who may think that this tale is a little too over-the-top or heavy-handed, or who may not agree with the copious amounts of slapstick humor. But if you go into this thinking of it being a parody style story much like you would get from watching Monty Python or Spaceballs, then you’ll probably really enjoy it. There are also many, many euphemisms and innuendos, so if you’re not super fond of penis jokes, then this might not be the book for you. I understand the people who comment that this story was a bit juvenile with its humor, but I had a really good time with it.

So often I read thick epic fantasy books and series that are more serious and deep, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with them. I like a good tale that makes you think and re-evaluate and learn. But sometimes you just need a ridiculous and fun romp that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and that’s where comedies like the Tales of Pell come in.

I know I find the ridiculous story and characters to be wildly entertaining, and I’ve even thought about running a D&D campaign set in Pell. I just worry that I won’t be as pun-filled as the setting really requires. Perhaps Damian needs to read these books and then I can just play a character who just doesn’t understand when people make puns or use sarcasm around her. That could be amusing.

Where to Buy

You can pick up this delightful book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local independent bookstore.

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