Bookshops & Bonedust, by Travis Baldree (audiobook review)

May 9, 2024 Book Reviews 3 ★★★★★

Bookshops & Bonedust, by Travis Baldree (audiobook review)Bookshops & Bonedust Published by Tor on 11/07/2023
Genres: Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Source: the library
Purchase: Amazon | Bookshop | Barnes & Noble | Audible | Chirp
Add to Goodreads


When an injury throws a young, battle-hungry orc off her chosen path, she may find that what we need isn't always what we seek.

In Bookshops & Bonedust, a prequel to Legends & Lattes, author Travis Baldree takes us on a journey of high fantasy, first loves, and second-hand books.

Viv's career with the notorious mercenary company Rackam's Ravens isn't going as planned.

Wounded during the hunt for a powerful necromancer, she's packed off against her will to recuperate in the sleepy beach town of Murk—so far from the action that she worries she'll never be able to return to it.

What's a thwarted soldier of fortune to do?

Spending her hours at a beleaguered bookshop in the company of its foul-mouthed proprietor is the last thing Viv would have predicted, but it may be both exactly what she needs and the seed of changes she couldn't possibly imagine.

Still, adventure isn't all that far away. A suspicious traveler in gray, a gnome with a chip on her shoulder, a summer fling, and an improbable number of skeletons prove Murk to be more eventful than Viv could have ever expected.

Warm, delightful cozy fantasy

A worthy prequel to Legends & Lattes! I absolutely loved getting to know young Viv and hearing about the early experiences that helped form the person she becomes in L&L. And there are some wonderful new (and old) friends to meet in this book, especially Fern, the ratkin bookseller; Maylee, the dwarf baker; and Gallina, the gnome mercenary who shows up occasionally as a secondary character in L&L. Every character is vivid and interesting and individual, and I wish I could meet them in person. (Well, not the villains, obviously. But literally everyone else.)

Bookshops & Bonedust brims with warmth and coziness, despite the opening battle scene and Viv’s sense of lurking danger throughout. And if you loved the mouthwatering descriptions of food in Legends and Lattes, you’ll certainly enjoy the baked goods in B&B. I have already started researching recipes for lassy buns.* The novel is also a delightful homage to the magic of books and the importance of booksellers, complete with excerpts of the books Viv reads during her stay in Murk.

I loved every minute I spent listening to Bookshops & Bonedust, from the humor to the characters to the poignant summer love story. Thank you, Travis Baldree, for letting me spend time with Viv in her world again. Like Legends & Lattes, this is going on my list of re-readable comfort books.

Oh, by the way — all those fictional books you excerpted in B&B, the ones Viv reads? I would totally read any or all of them. In a heartbeat. (Just in case you were wondering what to write next.)

Audiobook narration: The author, Travis Baldree, is also a professional audiobook narrator, so I was unsurprised to discover that the narration is excellent. The voices and accents he uses for specific characters are just right, without being over the top.

*Lassy Buns: I haven’t tried them yet, but this heritage recipe looks good. So does this one, if you prefer less spice and no raisins.

Challenges: Audiobook Challenge 2024; COYER Unwind, Chapter 2 (Spring 2024); Library Love 2024


Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Audiobook Challenge 2024
  • COYER Unwind (2024) – Chapter 2
  • Library Love Challenge 2024

3 Responses to “Bookshops & Bonedust, by Travis Baldree (audiobook review)”

  1. Katherine

    Oh I’m glad you enjoyed the prequel! I’m on the waitlist for the audio of book 1 and am really looking forward to it. This genre has been working for me lately.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.