Go big or go gnome. The New York Times bestselling authors of Kill the Farm Boy welcome you to the world of Pell, the irreverent fantasy universe that recalls Monty Python and Terry Pratchett.
“A complete delight, as fluffy and fun as The Lego Movie and as heartfelt as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”—Locus
War is coming, and it’s gonna be Pell.
On one side stand the gnomes: smol, cheerful, possessing tidy cardigans and no taste for cruelty.
On the other side sit the halflings, proudly astride their war alpacas, carrying bags of grenades and hungry for a fight. And pretty much anything else.
It takes only one halfling bomb and Offi Numminen’s world is turned upside down—or downside up, really, since he lives in a hole in the ground. His goth cardigans and aggressive melancholy set him apart from the other gnomes, as does his decision to fight back against their halfling oppressors. Suddenly Offi is the leader of a band of lovable misfits and outcasts—from a gryphon who would literally kill for omelets to a young dwarf herbalist who is better with bees than with his cudgel to an assertive and cheerful teen witch with a beard as long as her book of curses—all on a journey to the Toot Towers to confront the dastardly villain intent on tearing Pell asunder. These adventurers never fit in anywhere else, but as they become friends, fight mermaids, and get really angry at this one raccoon, they learn that there’s nothing more heroic than being yourself.
In No Country for Old Gnomes, Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne lovingly tweak the tropes of fantasy and fairy tales. Here you’ll find goofy jokes and whimsical puns, but you’ll also find a diverse, feminist, and lighthearted approach to fantasy that will bring a smile to your face and many fine cheeses to your plate.
In this muddled follow-up to 2017's Kill the Farm Boy, Hearne and Dawson continue to skewer epic fantasy tropes, this time focusing on the escalating conflict between cardigan-wearing, peace-loving gnomes and a rogue, warlike faction of halflings in the land of Pell. Amid the chaos and confusion, a small, unlikely band of allies from the assorted nonhuman races of Pell emerges, intent on restoring peace. Among them are Offi, a goth gnome masquerading as his more heroic brother; Gerd, a gryphon who speaks in umlauts; Agape, an ovitaur (half-human, half-sheep) charged with protecting an ancient mechanical construct; and B ggi, a dwarf eager to purge his soul of violence. On a trek across the land, the fellowship encounters everything from hostile monsters to a king who used to be a goat. Hearne and Dawson both uphold and subvert fantasy's classic elements, with some blatant Tolkien riffs (including Tommy Bombastic, a singing, self-aggrandizing demigod). The story is solid and the characters fully realized. However, the first volume's element of uplifting the marginalized is absent, and the heavy-handed humor is a series of nudges and punch lines that fail to engage. As a cute quest story, it suffices, but readers hoping for parody that upends their understanding of the genre or invokes wry fondness for it will find this novel does neither.