Book Review: Kill the Farm Boy

It is hard to review humor. Because humor is built on surprise, it is more important than usual to avoid spoilers. I was reflecting not so long ago how grateful I am to have discovered The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy early. I consumed the first four books of the quintessential science fiction farce by age 14. These books are pillars of nerddom. I have probably heard some reference to <pun redacted> or <pun super redacted> once a month since 2002. Would I hold those series so fondly in my heart if those key inside jokes were spoiled for me? I cannot say for certain, but probably not. 

Humor is also subjective. I laughed out loud while reading Kill The Farm Boy, but a friend told me that his friend could not finish it. So… how to recommend a book you cannot talk about, with a primary selling point known to be subjective and situational? 

Read the map at the bottom of this post.

Most fantasy books come with maps in the front. Kill The Farm Boy’s is more than a handy reference: it is a promise. The cheeky location names declare exactly the sort of ride you’re signing up for. If that makes you chuckle, this may be the book for you. 

The Basics:

Title: Kill The Farm Boy (Tales of the Pell #1)
Author: Delila S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne
Genre: Fantasy, satire, humor
Publisher: Del Rey, 2018

Spoiler-Free Summary: 

Worstley – the eponymous farm boy – and his newly enlightened talking goat embark on a journey to save the kingdom. Why? How? They aren’t sure, but gosh darnit, Worstley is the chosen one! He has a destiny! Or at least, the crude one-socked pixie who anointed him told him so. Along the way, he is joined by a fierce warrior woman who just wants to retire and garden, a musical half-rabbit, a harmless Dark Lord, a clumsy rogue with a phobia of chickens, and, of course, the Sand Witch. 

Credit goes out to @Hansivere on Twitter for this awesome Fan Art

The hapless party bounces across the kingdom from ridiculous frying pan to hilarious fire on a journey of self-discovery where they just might accidentally save the kingdom from itself. 

Why This Book Might Be For You:

Don’t read this book for the plot. Not that the plot is bad; it’s just not the headliner. This book is a series of thinly connected vignettes which deftly lampoon both the most tired fantasy tropes and our own messed-up world. If you are an avid fantasy reader (or watcher or listener or shoot, even, the irreverent, puntastic humor of Kill The Farm Boy may just be for you. 

The aforementioned map. XD

Where Can You Find More?

You can find more about Delilah S. Dawson, author of several Star Wars novels, over at Whimsy Dark. Check out more by Kevin Hearne, best-known for the Iron Druid series, here.

Happy Reading, folks.

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Photo by John-Mark Smith on

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