Do you enjoy fantasy that doesn't take itself too seriously? Then you must try Dawson and Hearne's Kill the Farm Boy. As they share in the acknowledgements, "it was time to make fun of white male power fantasies, the formula for which almost always involves some kid in a rural area rising to power in the empire after he loses his parents, usually because somebody comes along and tells him not to worry, he's special." And so we have a tale that involves a farm boy named Worstley (he had an older brother named Bestley); a pixie named Staph, the Dark Lord Toby, the Dread Necromancer Steve, a female warrior in a chain mail bikini named Fia (I pictured her resembling Lucy Lawless), a bard named Argabella, a talking goat named Gustave, Grinda the Sand Witch, and other amusing characters. Our brave band encounters such fearsome obstacles as hungry giants, healers who use tentacled creatures in their cures, bejeweled crabs, an alcoholic monarch, and elves with a taste for cheese. Throughout the story there are attempts at bardic magic, several swashbuckling fights, leeches (but no shrieking eels), and quite a few leather boots are consumed.
If you are looking for epic fantasy and noble destinies, this is not the book for you. But you should come back when you feel the need for laughter, eye rolling, and poking fun at just about every fantasy trope there is. This is also the perfect book for anyone having a bad day who needs some cheering up. What could be more uplifting than a rogue who is convinced chickens are plotting against her, or a magician with a taste for artisanal crackers?
Highly recommended for YA and adult readers. I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.