In an irreverent series in the tradition of Monty Python, the bestselling authors of the Iron Druid Chronicles and Star Wars: Phasma reinvent fantasy, fairy tales, and floridly written feast scenes.
“Ranks among the best of Christopher Moore and Terry Pratchett.”—Chuck Wendig
“When you put two authors of this high caliber together, expect fireworks. Or at least laughs. What a hoot!”—Terry Brooks
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.
Praise for Kill the Farm Boy
“A rollicking fantasy adventure that upends numerous genre tropes in audacious style . . . a laugh-out-loud-funny fusion of Monty Python–esque humor and whimsy à la Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Dawson and Hearne’s reimagining of a traditional fairy tale is reminiscent of William Goldman’s The Princess Bride and William Steig’s Shrek! Irreverent, funny, and full of entertaining wordplay, this will keep readers guessing until the end.”—Library Journal
“Will have you laughing out loud until strangers begin to look at you oddly.”—SyFy
“A smart comedy . . . nuanced, complicated, and human.”—Tordotcom
“[Delilah Dawson and Kevin Hearne] make fun of the typical ‘white male power fantasies,’ and in that, they succeed, with their heroes all characters of color and/or falling somewhere under the LGBTQ umbrella.”—Publishers Weekly
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The Tales of Pell trilogy by Kevin Hearne and Delilah Dawson starts here: with a fairy-tale spoof that reads like Sir Terry Pratchett rewriting The Princess Bride. A hapless farm boy learns he’s the Chosen One (à la King Arthur), then promptly dies. In a lucky coincidence, a chatty crew of mythical oddballs—including a talking goat, a warrior in a chainmail bikini, and a handsy Dark Lord—end up on a Jonathan Swiftian quest to punish the villain behind the boy’s death. Wildly imaginative and irreverent, Kill the Farm Boy is punny, funny, and sly.
In this pun-laden quest, first in a trilogy, Hearne (A Plague of Giants) and Dawson (Star Wars: Phasma) skewer the traditional tropes of epic fantasy sagas. Though the field is already rife with parodies and satires, the authors execute their own unique twist by killing off the titular farm boy on page 31 before his hero's journey can ever truly begin. Now it's up to a ragtag band of unlikely heroes including a seven-foot-tall horticulturalist in a chainmail bikini, a cursed half-rabbit bard, a bread-conjuring would-be dark lord, a clumsy rogue, and a boot-eating talking goat to save the kingdom from magical misdeeds. As they face their greatest childhood fears, contend with gourmand giants, and negotiate with arrogant elves, these improbable heroes display surprising depths and complexities. There's a Pratchettian humor at play here, manifesting in frequent pun wars, silly songs, and an underlying level of societal absurdity everyone takes cheese rather seriously, for instance. The authors claim they wanted to make fun of the typical "white male power fantasies," and in that, they succeed, with their heroes all characters of color and/or falling somewhere under the LGBTQ umbrella. Even so, there's the feeling that they're marching through familiar, previously conquered territory, putting this solidly in the middle of the field of humorous fantasy.