Legends & Lattes, by Travis Baldree

February 12, 2024 Book Reviews 5 ★★★★★

Legends & Lattes, by Travis BaldreeLegends & Lattes Series: Legends & Lattes #1
Published by Tor on 6/07/2022 by Tor (originally self-published 2/22/2022)
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 296
Format: Kindle or ebook
Source: the publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Bookshop | Barnes & Noble | Audible | Chirp
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five-stars

After a lifetime of bounties and bloodshed, Viv is hanging up her sword for the last time.

The battle-weary orc aims to start fresh, opening the first ever coffee shop in the city of Thune. But old and new rivals stand in the way of success — not to mention the fact that no one has the faintest idea what coffee actually is.

If Viv wants to put the blade behind her and make her plans a reality, she won't be able to go it alone.

But the true rewards of the uncharted path are the travelers you meet along the way. And whether drawn together by ancient magic, flaky pastry, or a freshly brewed cup, they may become partners, family, and something deeper than she ever could have dreamed.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

Heartwarming cozy fantasy

What can I say about Legends & Lattes that hasn’t already been said? Baldree’s breakout, bestselling debut novel hits the sweet spot for me: low-stakes cozy fantasy, found family, believable (and likeable) main character, interesting secondary characters, and solid worldbuilding with a D&D feel. It’s a well-crafted novel with good pacing and just the right amount of description…enough to bring the scenes vividly to life without overwhelming the action or Viv’s emotional journey.

Speaking of Viv, I almost didn’t read the book because my concept of orcs is decidedly influenced by Tolkien, who in turn was influenced by George MacDonald’s goblins (with which I’m also familiar.) In other words, I was put off by the mere idea of an orc as a main character. (More fool me; I should know better than to judge based on stereotypes, even in fiction!) But between the internet buzz, the delightful cover art, and the seemingly unlikely premise—an orc mercenary retiring to open a… coffee shop?!—I decided to give it a try, and I’m so glad I did. I fell hard for Viv and her newfound friends, for her respect for others regardless of species, and for the warmth and welcoming atmosphere of the Legends & Lattes café.

And omg, the food p*rn! I can’t read the book without craving cinnamon rolls, chocolate croissants, biscotti, and (since I can’t drink coffee) a decaf chai latte to go with them.

I love Legends & Lattes so much, it has joined the ranks of my rereadable “comfort books.” I can’t wait to read the prequel, Bookshops & Bonedust!

Challenges: COYER Unwind (2024), Chapter 1; NetGalley & Edelweiss Challenge 2024

five-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • COYER Unwind (2024) - Chapter 1
  • NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2024

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