Legends & Lattes

By Travis Baldree

Rating: 5 stars

I’ve heard a lot of good things, all of them, it turns out, well deserved about this cosiest of cosy fantasy stories. Viv, an Orc fighter, has had enough of the adventuring life, and decides to settle down and open a coffee shop. In a city where nobody has ever heard of coffee.

This is not a high-stakes, world-shattering story. The worst threat here is an annoying ex-colleague, and the local crime lord, who’s after protection money. It was an absolute delight to read: I loved Viv, her assistant Tandri, carpenter Cal, little ratkin baker Thimble and the rest of the found family that Viv gathers around herself. It’s a warm, comforting and, yes, cosy read.

It’s very different to the last book I read, The Kaiju Preservation Society, but I think reading them back to back was entirely appropriate. Both are immensely fun, with strong friendships at the core of them, and a very warm heart. I thoroughly enjoyed KPS, but I had to stop myself from going back and starting this one right from the start as soon as I’d finished it.

My volume also came with a bonus short story at the end, which tells the story of how Viv became obsessed with coffee in the first place, which was pretty nice, and fleshed out her previous adventuring party a bit, especially Gallina.

Personally, I’m a tea drinker and don’t get the fuss about coffee, although sometimes I sort of wish I did. Then I see the prices and feel happy about sticking with my tea (Earl Grey, hot). I’d hang around Viv’s place at the drop of a hat though, even if it’s just for Thimble’s delectable baked goods.

Book details

ISBN: 9781035007301
Publisher: Tor
Year of publication: 2022

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