Legends & Lattes

A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes , #1

Paperback, 304 pages

English language

Published Nov. 8, 2022 by Tor Books.

ISBN:
978-1-250-88608-8
Copied ISBN!
Goodreads:
60314494

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (148 reviews)

Worn out after decades of packing steel and raising hell, Viv the orc barbarian cashes out of the warrior’s life with one final score. A forgotten legend, a fabled artifact, and an unreasonable amount of hope lead her to the streets of Thune, where she plans to open the first coffee shop the city has ever seen.

However, her dreams of a fresh start pulling shots instead of swinging swords are hardly a sure bet. Old frenemies and Thune’s shady underbelly may just upset her plans. To finally build something that will last, Viv will need some new partners and a different kind of resolve.

A hot cup of fantasy slice-of-life with a dollop of romantic froth.

10 editions

reviewed Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree (Legends & Lattes, #1)

Cozy fantasy

5 stars

While I am new to cozy fantasy as a genre, I thoroughly enjoyed the my first taste with Legends and Lattes. While I was on edge waiting for action I am so used to getting in fantasy, I was not disappointed when little came. I found myself wanting to try a hand at baking the treats found in the little cafe from Thune. And I am not known for my cooking nor baking skills. I highly recommend for a relaxing read.

Needing an ‘extra shot’ to get beyond an OK–good

4 stars

I came to this book knowing that it is described as ‘cosy fantasy’ and they’d be few surprises. I didn’t know what cosy fantasy is but do now. Here, we have light-hearted, but not sexual, romance embedded in a fun slice of life story about Viv, an orc, opening a café (complete with a cook to make cinnamon buns and biscotti) perhaps, or perhaps not, with a little magical help. The other characters comprise those enlisted to help in the cafe endeavour, as well as a few rogues and the members of DnD-style adventurers’ troupe that Viv previously belonged to. The trouble is there’s just not much here world- or character-building wise, and the book itself is very short. The only person we really learn anything about is Viv, and apart from a few references to height and strength, she might as well be human. One to enjoy on a …

reviewed Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree (Legends & Lattes, #1)

-

2 stars

Maybe it's time to accept that fantasy as a whole just isn't for me. I've tried grimdark fantasy, comedic fantasy, folklore fantasy, and even eastern Wuxia fantasy. Apparently cozy coffeshop fantasy (apologies in advance) isn't my cup of tea neither.

It also feels strange to attempt a review here. I feel like I'm being asked how I liked my sandwich when I was only served a single slice of bread. There just wasn't a lot going on here. Well over half of the front end of this book felt like it could have been a montage and I routinely remember thinking to myself, "okay sis, but we're gonna need a plot at some point..." When an inciting incident threatens to occur however, it's resolved almost immediately, and then we're back to trucking along with vignettes of daily life.

Also feel like I was teased with one aspect; our protagonist, Viv, …

reviewed Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree (Legends & Lattes, #1)

Cozy, fun story

5 stars

A fun and cozy queer narrative set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe, but with a move into non-violence, solving problems through honesty/care, a love story, and so on. Takes place IN a cozy setting and leaves you feeling like you've curled up by the fire in winter. You quickly come to trust that, though there IS tension and danger, you, like the characters, will find ways through that don't toss you back into the violence of traditional D&D problem solving. A fun book, even if you aren't into D&D.

reviewed Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree (Legends & Lattes, #1)

Exceeded Expectations

4 stars

Another book I'm reading because of the Hugo nomination. This wasn't quite as much of a "nothing" novel as I was expecting. It has some real heart and a lot of great found family aspects. I did especially appreciate the way the villain was dealt with at the end. This is a very enjoyable book and I look forward to more from Baldree. Like the 4 other nominees I've read this year, this book just doesn't do anything that I feel a "Best Novel" should be doing. I need to write a longer post on that, but the review of the book isn't the place for it.

reviewed Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree (Legends & Lattes, #1)

Low Stakes Sword & Sorcery? Yes, Please

5 stars

The tagline is "A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes" and then sneakily spends the entire novel showing that when you focus on individuals (including yourself) the little things really do matter.

This was just a fun read. I loved all the main characters, the bits of backstory, the interactions, the bending of coffeehouse stereotypes, and the bits of mystery here and there that never get resolved.

I instantly pre-ordered the next book, and hope this setting spawns many more books. I think this would many an excellent multi-author world, each telling low stakes stories, and would love to see that happen.

reviewed Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree (Legends & Lattes, #1)

Fits the ever-present "cozy" label

4 stars

I liked this book, but I didn't love it like I hoped that I might.

It's definitely worth picking up if you need something that will be a good read, but I wouldn't stock this one on a shelf of "greatest books" or "books that changed my perspective on life"...and not everything needs to go on those shelves, so that's quite alright!

I think my problem coming in to this book is that I was projecting a lot of my hopes for a book that is similar to Becky Chambers' "Monk and Robot" series, which is incredibly cozy and endearing, but also profoundly deep. This one was cozy and endearing, but not particularly deep (although not completely shallow either).

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