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Review: No Country for Old Gnomes by Delilah S Dawson and Kevin Hearne

Hey all, Dani here.

The pun-filled world of Pell returns in this second Tales of Pell novel, and I was definitely pleased as punch to be approved for this one on NetGalley, so thank you so much Del Ray for allowing me to read this humor filled adventure early. It was a blast. I will say, once again, that receiving a digital copy of this early did not influence my rating or review in any way. And I already picked up my own physical copy of this book as well, because I’ve had it on my to-buy list for a year now.

Okie dokie. Let’s just get started with the review.

No Country for Old Gnomes


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.
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.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

Pell is a punny place, and I do so enjoy reading about the adventures here. The characters are fun and weird. Come on, Offi the gnome is a goth gnome, and that’s just amusing. Gern the gryphon is amusing, and allows the authors to use and abuse weird spellings and an overabundance of umlats.

I still really enjoyed the story, but it had lost a little of the novelty that I found with the first book.

Honestly though, the chapter title alone make this a story worth reading.

Oh, and fun fact…you don’t have to read Kill the Farm Boy in order to read this one. There are a few characters from that first one who make brief appearances in this one, but nothing that happens is really a big spoiler or anything. While yes, I recommend reading Farm Boy before Old Gnomes, it isn’t necessary.

I don’t know if The Princess Beard will be the final Tale of Pell, or if there is the possibility for more, but I do know that these light-hearted but at the same time heart-warming stories are definitely worth the read.

Where to Buy

You can pick up your own copy of this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local independent bookstore.

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