What I read: Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree

What I read: Legends & Lattes by Travis BaldreeAbout this book

(Blurb from Exclusive Books)

High fantasy, low stakes – with a double-shot of coffee. After decades of adventuring, Viv the orc barbarian is finally hanging up her sword for good. Now she sets her sights on a new dream – for she plans to open the first coffee shop in the city of Thune.

Even though no one there knows what coffee actually is. If Viv wants to put the past behind her, she can’t go it alone. And help might arrive from unexpected quarters. Yet old rivals and new stand in the way of success. And Thune’s shady underbelly could make it all too easy for Viv to take up the blade once more.

But the true reward of the uncharted path is the travellers you meet along the way. Whether bound by ancient magic, delicious pastries or a freshly brewed cup, they may become something deeper than Viv ever could have imagined. Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree is a cosy, heartwarming slice-of-life fantasy about found families and fresh starts – perfect for fans of TJ Klune, Katherine Addison and T. Kingfisher.

What I read: Legends & Lattes by Travis BaldreeMy Thoughts

Let’s admit it, sometimes the fantasy genre can be a bit overwhelming.  It often features a massive cast of complex characters, tribes, and nations, with intricate worlds and epic realms.  Whilst there absolutely is a place for books like that, I can fully understand why readers fall in love with the pure joy and simplicity of “Legends & Lattes”.   It is a light-hearted, hopeful and relaxing read.  Pure escapism when I needed it most.  And looking at the outpouring of endearment and response this book was met with, I wasn’t the only one.

It is often described as “cosy” and this is exactly how I experienced it as well.  A warm hug, fluffy blankets, a steaming cup of hot cocoa, with a decadent pastry to nibble on.

“The combined aromas of hot cinnamon, ground coffee, and sweet cardamom intoxicated her, and as she brewed and smiled and served and chatted, a deep contentment welled up. It was a glowing warmth she’d never experienced before, and she liked it. She liked it a great deal.”

What I read: Legends & Lattes by Travis BaldreeIt tells the story of what happens when you open yourself up to fresh experiences, and what happens when a group of eccentric misfits unite as found family.

“After twenty-two years of adventuring, Viv had reached her limit of blood and mud and bullshit. An orc’s life was strength and violence and a sudden, sharp end—but she’d be damned if she’d let hers finish that way. It was time for something new.”

I adored (and giggled out loud) at the parts where Viv originally introduced coffee, an unfamiliar beverage in the little town where she decided to open her coffee shop, to the town folk.

“Well, shit. Milky bean water. I’ll be damned.”

And I also can’t count the number of times I got up to fix myself a cup of “milky bean water” while reading this book!  I would have to use the word “cute” in a book review, but it is what it is!

“People just sat around drinking it from these little ceramic cups, and I had to try it, and… it was like drinking the feeling of being peaceful. Being peaceful in your mind. Well, not if you have too much, then it’s something else.”

What I read: Legends & Lattes by Travis BaldreeIt was wonderful to see how the menu expands and develop, and how it is noted in the book.  Thimble, with his flair for baking and creating delicious treats (with recipes included in the book), was probably my favourite character.

There are bits of action and mystery as well and featuring some sly villains who are not ready to welcome Viv to their town.  A bit of drama and deceit adds an additional element to the story.  Add a bit of sapphic romance, a big cat, and a shy baker to the mix, and voila!  Cosiness in a book!

“What flames could not consume, never shall be extinguished”.

This is a throughly gentle, wholesome, charming, and endearing read.  It is the perfect palate cleanser or “get out of a reading slump” recommendation.  It is slow-paced, comfy, with no intricate plot twists or convoluted story lines.  It shows that it is never too late to reinvent yourself, and to not be ashamed of your past, because that is what shaped you.  It also shows how valuable it is to have people in your life who understands and wholeheartedly supports your vision.

What I read: Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree“She was smiling, and for the first time, the building, the city, this place… felt like hers. A place she’d still be tomorrow, the week after, next season, next year…. Home.”

I seriously hope that we will read more about Viv and her crew.  Judging by the last couple of additional chapters in “Legends & Lattes” it seems to be in the making, as that read very much like a prequel.

With thanks to Exclusive Books for the opportunity to read this book!

The Details

PUBLISHED BY:  Pan Macmillan
EAN:  9781035007318
DATE PUBLISHED:  10 November 2022
PAGES:  320
GENRE:  Fantasy

About the Author