In February 2016 two authors, Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne, were stuck in an airport and decided it was time to kill the proverbial farm boy. Specifically, it was time to make fun of white male power fantasies that typically involve a boy being destined for greater than his humble beginnings because he is somehow special, and all the tropes that often accompany those stories. And so they wrote Kill the Farm Boy. The elements are all familiar; there is a chosen one, a talking animal companion, a warrior, a wizard, a rogue, and a bard. They go on a quest together, there are fantastic meals, romance blossoms between two characters, enemies become allies, and there is even a chainmail bikini.
Delilah and Kevin took those pieces shook them up, added fun twists, POC, LBGTQ, puns and side splitting humor. There are also astute observations on consent and how to deal with trolls. To Kill the Farmboy is full of clever word play and inspired descriptions, it lampoons so many things that part of the fun is recognizing the references. My husband read it first and would laugh so hard on occasion tears came to his eyes. As I was reading it, we would giggle together when I shared funny bits.
I’ve been using post-it tabs to mark passages in books that I want to remember when writing my review later. This book has the most tabs I’ve used yet as there were so many things that tickled my fancy. I could fill this whole review with quotes but that would spoil your reading them for yourself. These are but a small sampling.
Her hat, although very wide and chic, held the telltale point that let anyone know she was a witch, and a very wealthy one indeed. Unlike wizards, who boasted of the height and sturdiness of their towers, witches prided themselves on exhibiting only the perkiest cones.
She started with a winter acorn and hand-rubbed arugula toss, followed with a naive kimchi medley, then graduated to a frightened farfalle swimming in tormented eggplant liqueur and surprised truffle drippings.
A silence fell about them, cold and damp like a used bath towel, bereft of joy or fluffiness or contentment or anything good. It was the grim silence of the self-aware adult, contemplating mortality and the mathematical certainty that things would get worse before they get better, if at all, and even if they did get better in the short term, there was still the dismal prospect of arthritis and incontinence ahead.
“I don’t think he’s bready to forgive you,” Poltro all but sang. “But I do admire his magic! And his snacks!” Fia grinned. “So you’re saying you’re his biggest flan?” “Enough!” Toby shouted. “You’re all nuts!” A beat passed before Gustave whispered, “Don’t be so crudite.”
This book is an absolute delight. If you’re a long time fantasy fan, you will find this hysterical. If you roll your eyes at sword and sorcery epics, give this a chance as it turns the genre on its head. If you are just looking for a lighthearted read to lift your spirits in this disheartening time we are living in, add this to your TBR.
Why is cheese so prominent? Because the book is so “cheesy”!