• Review of Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne

    by  • July 11, 2018 • Reviews • 0 Comments

    Cover art for Kill the Farm BoyA review by Amanda Cherry


    Kill the Farm Boy is the cure for every fantasy book that ever took itself too seriously.

    From the moment we meet Farm Boy Worstley and hear his tale of woe, and are then introduced to Gustave, Worstley’s copiously defecating goat compatriot, it’s clear that Kill the Farm Boy won’t be a run-of-the-mill hero’s journey. When a very unconventional pixie visits the two and sets them on the kind of noble quest I thought I recognized, hilarity immediately ensued. I was more than ready to follow the two unlikely heroes wherever their quest may lead.

    I was not disappointed.

    If you have ever rolled your eyes at the execution of a fantasy trope, Kill the Farm Boy will have you giggling at the same. From the Rogue who’s peculiar about chickens to the Dark Lord’s fondness for jam, the delightful trope-turned-on-its-ear moments abound. Although characters are introduced much as they would be in any epic fantasy, Kill the Farm Boy is full of delicious surprises—the kind I can usually only hope to find in a brilliantly improvised game of D&D run by one of my very best friends. In Kill the Farm Boy, no convention is safe. Nothing is sacred—especially not reader expectations!

    This book is FUN to read.

    However, it wasn’t only my amusement that kept me turning pages (make no mistake, though—I was constantly and thoroughly amused!). I found myself truly sucked in to the story and itching to see what would happen next. The characters, as quirky and magical as they are, come across as whole and complex people. I genuinely cared about their safety and happiness, which is quite a feat in a book so over the top in its over-the-top-ness. The romance in particular (no, I won’t spoil it for you!) had me all aflutter and rooting hard for its success.

    The story and the characters are engaging and delightful, and even the writing itself adds to the brilliance that makes Kill the Farm Boy stand out in my mind. At times the prose is so purple it calls itself out, and at others the language is effortless, straightforward, and conversational. What is most remarkable to me is how the authors are able to transition between the two without interrupting the reader’s experience of the story. It just works. The ebb and flow of styles within the narrative are as intrinsic to the land of Pell as magic and goat droppings.

    And the puns…! How do I even begin to describe the puns? Kill the Farm Boy is chock full of puns so masterful I didn’t always catch that they were puns (read the book and then come talk to me about Grinda’s title)! As someone who is more likely to groan at a pun than to chuckle, I found the cleverness and thoughtfulness of the puns in this book really added to the overall tone of lightheartedness and joyful absurdity.

    It all fits and flows and comes together in a seamless, joyful volume of trope-busting merriment.

    The book’s editor refers to Kill the Farm Boy as being “marvelously silly” and I would have to agree—emphasis on “marvelous”. Silliness isn’t usually my thing, but Kill the Farm Boy won me over with its wit, its uniqueness, and its gleeful commitment to bucking expectations at every turn. The ability to craft a pastiche so sophisticated and yet so approachable is a testament to the mastery both Dawson and Hearne possess as authors. I was, and am, quite impressed.

    I was excited to hear there are more adventures awaiting us in the land of Pell, and I strongly recommend you hop on this one right away! Kill the Farm Boy is available for pre-order now via Amazon or through your favorite local retailer. It releases everywhere July 17, 2018.

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