My first foray into fantasy was when I read The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander in elementary school. I ate it up and soon read all the stories that followed about Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper. And on I went to other authors in the genre, and their knights, dragons, and magic. This love of the many fantasy tropes is what brought me to read this parody: Dawson and Hearne’s Kill the Farm Boy.
I won’t say much about the plot or the characters… Only that there’s a quest and a couple curses and some cross-kingdomly conflicts. There’s a talking goat, a not-so-stealthy rogue, an agoraphobic wizard, a plastic-surgery-addicted witch, a “chosen one” and many other amusing characters filling our favorite roles. The crew traipse through a witch’s palace, a goblin market, an elf’s bedroom, a giant’s kitchen, and many other dark wooded “demesne” of creatures of the night, morning, afternoon, and all the other times of day.
Full of witch wit, ghost gags, and wizard wisecracks, the novel slays in its discussions, arguments, and light conversations debating important topics like cheese, forks in the road, and the nature of orb magic. Even though the narrative tends to the episodic, the fun word play, physical comedy, and constant allusions to the main kings and queens of the genre kept me reading.
Overall, Kill the Farm Boy is a whimsical yarn, a jesting jape… A fun read that plays homage to the best of Piers Anthony and Terry Prachett. I recommend it to those looking for a quest for some good laughs and a desire to rekindle that first love of fantasy.
4 out of 5 stars
Releases on July 17th, 2018
Thank you to NetGalley, Random House/ Ballantine, Del Rey Books, and the authors for an advanced copy for review.