No Country for Old Gnomes (Tales of Pell Series #2)

No Country for Old Gnomes (Tales of Pell Series #2)

by Delilah S. Dawson, Kevin Hearne


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524797775
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/16/2019
Series: Tales of Pell Series , #2
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 54,894
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Delilah S. Dawson is the author of the New York Times bestseller Star Wars: Phasma, Hit, Servants of the Storm, the Blud series, the creator-owned comics Ladycastle and Sparrowhawk, and the Shadow series (written as Lila Bowen). She lives in Florida with her family and a fat mutt named Merle.

Kevin Hearne hugs trees, pets doggies, and rocks out to heavy metal. He also thinks tacos are a pretty nifty idea. He is the author of A Plague of Giants and the New York Times bestselling The Iron Druid Chronicles series.

Read an Excerpt

Beset by Naked Halfling Malice
“Never trust quotes placed at the beginning of chapters as if they were diamonds of the brain. They were probably written by a halfling expressly for the purpose of deceiving you.”
—Gnomer the Gnomerian, in the Fourth Gnomeric Cycle
In a hole in the ground there lived a family of gnomes. Not a yucky, moist, gross hole filled with worm tails and old chicken bones, nor yet a dusty, crusty, sandy hole entirely lacking modern plumbing and ergonomic seating: It was a gnomehome, and that meant tidiness and comfort.

In this particular moment, however, there was strife. There was, in fact, a Mighty Row. Onni Numminen had finally had enough of his twin brother’s ungnomeric antics.

“Offi, you can’t wear that thing to the Midsummer Shindig. It’s ridiculous.”

Offi looked down, the gaslights flashing off his glasses. “Why not? It’s a cardigan. All gnomes wear cardigans. And you must admit it’s tidy. I’m following all the rules.” He tugged his scraggly beard in a way gnomes did when they thought they were getting away with something, which only annoyed Onni more.

“But it’s black! With rabid purple bats on it!”

The very sight of the thing nearly made Onni’s brain short-circuit. Tidy sweater, never better! was one of the very first gnomeisms every gnomelet learned in gnomeschool, but it was assumed the sweaters would be in bright colors and feature embroidered ducks, pineapples, or tulips, cheerful symbols of gnomeric togetherness. It was true that Offi had knit himself a finely crafted cardigan, but it was entirely the wrong color. What kind of gnome would wear black? And then he had gone and lovingly embroidered creepy purple bats on it, their eyes made of shiny red buttons. Offi was correct: Technically, there was nothing wrong with it. But it was obvious to anyone with eyes that Offi Numminen wasn’t being . . . gnomeric.

And that was the worst thing a gnome could do, outside of steal­ing pudding or shaving off his or her beard.

“You can’t wear it to the shindig,” Onni repeated, tugging his own scruffy beard in exasperation. “I won’t allow it.”

Offi gave him a dark look, in part because that was one of only two looks Offi could give these days, the other being one that said that life was merely a slow trudge toward death and Offi’s soul was a black repository for pain.

Onni hated both looks, and gnomes weren’t supposed to hate any­thing, except an untidy sock drawer. And halflings. And anyone who called them “knee-high,” since they had their own knees and were appropriately taller than said body parts.

“I can so wear it, and I will, and you don’t get to allow me any­thing. I’ve tried to be like you, Onni, and where did it get me? No­where. Pretending to be happy never made anyone happy. Do you know what it’s like, being me, and you being you? Knowing everyone thinks my twin is the poster boy for gnomeric youth? By dinkus, they gave you a medal that straight up says paragon of gnomeric youth on it. And I have to stare at it all the time.”

He glumly glanced to where the medal hung on a plaque amidst dozens of other medals proudly proclaiming things like exemplar of togetherness and tidiest cardigan and spiffiest hat and wow, what a gnome. And then they both glanced to Offi’s identical plaque, which featured only one sad, smallish medal, reading eats pudding with minor gusto.

For once, Onni tried to see things from his brother’s point of view. Onni considered himself a foine boy, and not only because he had three foine boy medals. But he tried. He actively wanted to make his parents proud by being the most gnomeric of gnomes. He got along. He spouted the gnomeisms whenever appropriate. He did his best to be round, affable, and clean and to wear only the brightest colors.

Whereas Offi had recently slid into the darkest acceptable colors: navy blue, forest green, and a particularly virulent shade of plum just this side of a bruise. He was appropriately round and clean, but not even a curmudgeonly badger would consider him affable. He was grim. He was dour and even verging on sour. He was, in essence, Not Jolly.

Onni’s twin increasingly turned away from people and sought his quiet corner of their father’s workshop, where Offi put on his unac­ceptably greasy work cardigan and tinkered with Old Seppo’s broken or forgotten machines. Why, Offi hadn’t even gone to the Everybody Goes to This Dance dance! He was destroying Onni’s social capital, and that was one thing Onni couldn’t abide. So he tried another tactic.

“If you wear that to the Midsummer Shindig, you’ll break Mama’s heart.”

Offi glared. “Mama loves Papa, and he’s not the most gnomeric of gnomes.”

Onni snorted. “That’s different, by dinkus! He’s a war hero. They’re allowed to get peculiar. And he still wears appropriately bright cardi­gans. Besides, he’s starting to get a reputation in town—you know that. Paranoid, they call him. Just last week at the beard salon, I heard Una Uvulaa call him Crazy Old Seppo.”

That finally brought fire to Offi’s eyes, a rare third look that ap­peared to be Characteristically Ungnomeric Rage. “Did she mention he installed one of his Halflings Hate This Heat-Resistant Hatch hatches for her? Because they may talk about him behind his back, but the foine folk of Pavaasik still rely on him to keep their homes safe from halfling firebombs.” A flash of worry lit Offi’s eyes, and Onni frowned at the shadows around them. By hokum, had his batty twin lined them with soot? They were all . . . soulful.

“It’s getting worse, you know,” Offi continued. “Pooti Pinkelsen’s whole family exploded last week. The halflings’ firebombs are getting worse. I heard Papa telling Mama about it. If they’d had one of Papa’s hatch covers, they wouldn’t have had their giblets blown up. So our love of gadgetry trumps your love of . . . getting along. You can’t get along if you’re dead.”

Onni’s hands clenched into fists, and he regretted starting the row. Gnomes were proud of their round stomachs but had little stomach for fighting.

“Look, Offi, gadgetry has its place, but the heart of our strength will always be people. As Mama always says, Stick together, tough as leather!

Offi rolled his eyes, shocking Onni. For all that they were twins, identical down to their blue eyes and golden curls, distinguishable only by Offi’s black-rimmed spectacles—which were honestly mostly for show—Onni was quite sure he had never rolled his eyes in such a deliberately rebellious manner. His brother was on dangerous ground.

“Onni, how do you not get it? The halflings are dropping firebombs into our homes—seemingly just for fun, I might add—and that’s not going to stop because everyone wears a nice cardigan and holds hands while singing ‘The Get-Along Song.’ They tried that once, and everyone blew up! Everyone we know is blowing up! My cardigan is not the problem. Father is right. We need weaponry. And not the sort that hurls waistcoats at squirrels to hide their shame. Real ma­chinery, like he built during the Giant Wars.”

“Not this again!” Onni moaned.

“Just because you got a B in Trebuchets 101 in gnomeschool, you always look down on machinery!”
“And just because you got a D in Charisma and Charm—”

“The teacher had a natural prejudice against glasses!”

“You had oil on your cardigan!”

“You had . . . er, charm on yours!” Offi tried, pushing up his glasses and glaring at Onni.

“Not this again,” Onni moaned.

And that’s when they heard the BOOM!

Their eyes met.

“Firebomb!” they said in unison.

Customer Reviews

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No Country for Old Gnomes (Tales of Pell Series #2) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
BooksnKisses 10 months ago
NUMBER OF HEARTS: 4 Another excellent installment of the Tales of Pell. No Country for Old Gnomes takes us on a grand adventure that starts with the Gnomes of Pell are being attacked by a group of halflings. It will take a group of unlikely friends to set everything right. The amazingly talented Luke Daniels narrates this book for us again. Luke does an amazing job of bringing the Tales of Pell characters to life. This was a great book that introduces us to a group of new characters and we get to see some of our old friends. I really enjoyed the Gnomes, Halfings, Dwarfs and the Gryphon. There are a lot of wonderfully fun characters. Very much looking forward to The Tales of Pell book 3, The Princess Beard
Anonymous 10 months ago
cyndecat1 More than 1 year ago
This is a fun read but you have to pay attention as it is full of puns and words with multiple meanings and hilarity . The characters are wonderful, some brilliant (gnomes) some really dumb (haflings). Pell is a fascinating place as was seen and enjoyed in the first book in the series, "Kill the Farmboy" and this book is a great addition to the series.The authors are already planning the next book . This is a most enjoyable read!!!
MsArdychan More than 1 year ago
Please Note: I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way. The first book in this series, Kill The Farm Boy, was a fun romp incorporating several fairy tales. No Country for Old Gnomes continues the pun-filled collaboration of authors Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne. Although both books are set in the same universe, only a few of the characters from the first book appear in the second. I enjoyed the many fascinating characters and the quest they embarked on. Plus, as is often the case with fantasy novels, the authors cleverly wove in issues relevant to real-life such as immigration, and political corruption. But with so many different characters and story lines occurring, I got a bit lost trying to keep all everything straight in my mind. Overall, if you enjoy pun-filled humor, silly situations, with a bit of social commentary mixed in, then this is the book for you! Very fun.
SevenAcreBooks More than 1 year ago
No Country for Old Gnomes by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne Available April 16, 2019 After the halflings destroy Offi’s home and send his family off on a journey to find sanctuary amongst the humans, Offi teams up with a rag-tag crew of gnomes, halflings, ovitaurs, dwarves and a killer gryphon who loves eggs. Together they must find out who is causing the increasing tensions between the gnomes and halflings and find out the mystery behind a golden metal man. With their hilarious wit and fun twist on the old fairy tale tropes, Dawson and Hearne have written an incredibly amusing tale of friendship and found family. Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book. All opinions are my own.
TheBakersBooks More than 1 year ago
A snarky action-packed adventure! Like Kill the Farm Boy, No Country for Old Gnomes pokes gentle fun at high fantasy while indulging some of the genre's best trends. Mismatched troupe of travelers on a mission? Check! Stuck-up elves? Check! Two gnomes and an unusually lawful halfling overcoming their mutual racism to become allies and finally friends? Erm...check? Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed Dawson and Hearne's mixture of slapstick with humorous wordplay, and I highly recommend this second tale of Pell. (Note: While some of the characters from the first book make brief appearances, this book can be read as a standalone!)
TinaTome More than 1 year ago
3.75 Stars No Country for Old Gnomes is the second book in the Tales of Pell trilogy. If you haven't read the first (Kill the Farm Boy), you should, but it's not necessary to enjoy this installment. In this story we follow Gnomes, Halflings, Sheep-people, and Dwarfs on an adventure to... well, you should read it and find out. This book is a wonderfully funny satire on fairy tales, with a ton of pop culture references, puns, and good old fashioned immaturity. It took a bit of getting in to, with several chapters introducing us to each of our adventurers, but it's worth it once things really get rolling. I cannot wait for the third in the series. It's been a long while since I found a book (or series) that made me giggle as much as the Tales of Pell.
In_My_Humble_OpinionDA More than 1 year ago
A mélange of misbegotten creatures go a questing in this compilation of puns, alliterations and out right silliness that overshadows a rather serious plot. The authors draw you in and make you smile in this fabulous follow up to Kill the Farm Boy. While it’s helpful if you’ve read the first this can be read standalone. I heartily recommend.