After needing a bit of a break from the epic fantasy novels I figured what better way to dip my toes back in the proverbial water than with a spunky Chosen One satirical novel promising to be a mixture of The Princess Bride and Monty Python.
Did Kill the Farm Boy leave me with the warm and fuzzy fantasy feelings? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.
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Publisher: Del Rey Books (July 17, 2018)
Print Length: 384 pages
Audiobook Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins
Narrator: Luke Daniels
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.
While Kill the Farm Boy (The Tales of Pell #1) has all the makings of a humorous take on the fairy tale genre, there is only a set number of times I can read about goat droppings before I can no longer forgive an author for falling into a satirical rut.
Kill the Farm Boy is a fantastical satire following the adventures of Worstley, a farm boy, marked as the Chosen One and destined to wake the cursed princess. When things don’t go to plan, a rag tag travelling group is formed, among those including a talking goat, an assassin terrified of chickens, a Dark Lord with a taste for fine dining, a bard cursed to look like a rabbit, and a warrior in scandalously clad armour.
Both Dawson and Hearne are very good at what they do. Nowhere in the novel was I ever able to tell which author was writing what pun, or spin on a traditional trope, or what have you. More so, the authors writing style meant that book’s pacing lent itself to it being a rather quick read. The narration of the audiobook was also a win for me. Luke Daniels was absolutely brilliant, changing his voice and inflection for each of the characters, making me think that I was listening to a full cast, rather than just one person. However, the repetitive nature of some of the jokes made the unique ones fall a little flat and overall kind of made me feel like I was missing something.
The characters of Kill the Farm Boy were likewise a hit and a miss for me. Each were distinct from one another, but with a rather large cast it did make it hard to form bonds with them. Toby, the wannabe Dark Lord, was hands down my favourite character. With a particular fondness for cheese, and spells that tend to end up involving some sort of bread being flung at the enemy, he was a breath of fresh air to the villainy I was anticipating. I also rather enjoyed the romance that grew between Argabella and Fia over the course of the novel. In an over the top book such as this it was nice to see that the authors treated the relationship, in specific a f/f relationship, with as much respect as any heterosexual one is awarded in a traditional fairy tale.
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
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And those are my thoughts on Kill the Farm Boy (The Tales of Pell #1) by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne. Have any fantasy recommendation? Leave them as a comment below and help my TBR grow.