Kill the Farm Boy, by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne, is the tale of a Chosen One who runs away from home and promptly gets crushed to death by Fia, a seven foot vegetarian warrior who feels really sorry about it. This accidental death kicks off a quest by Fia and a ragtag crew of others for, well they don’t really agree on what they want. But they all want something and the best way to get it is to cross the lands of Pell in an epic-ish journey.
1—Meet the Adventurers
There’s Fia, of course, who just wants to settle down and grow a rose garden. There’s also Gustave the enchanted talking goat who ran away with said Chosen One farm boy to avoid being made into curry and now hangs out with Fia hoping to maintain same. And Agrabella, the only Wakeful person in a castle cursed to sleep, a bard who decides it’s time to leave said castle and follow Fia to find out what the heck happened. There’s the Crepuscular Lord Toby, who really wants some artisanal crackers and cheese, and to become a full blown Dark Lord. And lastly, there’s Lord Toby’s huntswoman Poltro, who got dropped on her head once too many times as a child but does her best as a rogue despite a crippling fear of chickens. Together they all venture forth to visit Grinda the Sand Witch.
This is a comedy, and much of it comes from the word play, from puns and allusions and plenty of innuendos. There are also the chapter titles, some of my favorites of which are: At the Scene of a Richly Deserved Punch in the Kisser; On a Beach Festooned with Sparkly Pinchy Crabs; and Under the Lone Lamppost Where Lurks the Squeaky Marmoset of Side Quests. It’s fun to play spot the reference, whether it’s a game or a fairytale or what have you. There’s also a lot of food description.
3—Playing with Tropes
So much playing with tropes. There’s the adventurers themselves, the snooty, cheese-stealing elves, pixies whose magic runs on bodily functions, a psychic vampire with a thing about umlauts—so very much to skewer, including of course, the titular Chosen One farm boy who sets out to whatever.
I greatly enjoyed Kill the Farm Boy. It was fun and funny, even when things got dark. The romance between Fia and Agrabella was also sweet. I look forward to the next book in the Tales of Pell series, No Country for Old Gnomes.