Special thanks to Travis Baldree for sending an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Goodreads: Legends & Lattes
Published: 22 February 2022
Genre: Cosy Fantasy
High Fantasy with a double-shot of self-reinvention
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.
TL;DR: If you’re looking for a feel-good fantasy that’s full of cosy emotion and a heartwarming message, and immersive writing that will make you feel like you’re right there at this cafe with its wonderful found family of characters, then I would immediately recommend getting your hands on a copy of this book! Trust me when I say you won’t regret it. Also, snacks. Bring snacks!
Have you ever looked at a book cover then read the synopsis and thought “I’m gonna love the f*ck out of this book!”? Well, that’s what it was like for me the moment I saw Travis post about Legends & Lattes over on Twitter and I jumped at the chance to read it asap. Guess what? I wasn’t wrong at all! There’s literally nothing that I didn’t love about this book except for the fact that it actually ended and that it wasn’t longer? But I’m greedy like that, anyway… I’m going to do my best to write a review that’s not just nonsensical gushing about how much I loved this but I make no promises. 😂
From the moment I picked up this book and read the first chapter, it felt like I was curled up under a blanket in a cosy chair next to a warm fire with a hot brew in hand. The writing flowed effortlessly and made this an incredibly easy book to devour in one sitting. This story about reinventing oneself, fresh beginnings, unexpected allies and found family friendships simply exudes comfort. Viv was such a wonderful MC and it was no hardship following her POV. I admired the courage it took for her to leave her previous life behind and to start a new venture that you can feel she’s incredibly passionate about, and you can’t help but get swept up with her as she slowly figures out how to make her dream a reality.
“It means… a destined cadre, I suppose. Individuals brought together, like to like. Which can be fortunate, of course. Sometimes, nothing’s more fortunate than that!”
I loved all the characters we meet along the way, from Cal the builder to Tandri the partner, to Thimble the most adorable baker ever and Pendry the adorkably awkward lutist, to Hem the Ackers student and even Lark and his fellow henchmen and the powerful Madrigal. All of these characters came together as a community and with Cal, Tandri and Thimble especially, they became the family of friends that Viv didn’t know she needed. I loved how Viv learned to accept that she deserves good things and to be surrounded by good people despite having a past that she’s not particularly proud of, and it was extremely heartwarming to see her embrace the community and have them wholeheartedly embrace her back. The warmth that infused my whole body as I was reading made me feel like I was floating on a cloud of good feelings, and I’m not ashamed to admit that it brought a couple of very overwhelmed happy tears to my eyes! 🥲
Also, prepare to get hungry for pastries and to crave a cup of coffee because I certainly did! It probably wasn’t my best idea to read this in the middle of the night as the moment Thimble baked up a storm and dished out cinnamon rolls, biscotti and pain au chocolat to be devoured with an iced latte, it made me want to start baking and brewing immediately at 2 am (the timing was truly inconvenient lol)! Overall, this was a gorgeous cosy fantasy that has quickly become one of my favourites and I can definitely see myself returning to it when I’m looking for a comfort read. I can’t wait to see what Travis Baldree comes out with next because if this is any indication of what can come, to say I’m beyond excited would be an understatement.
Have you read Legends & Lattes or is it on your TBR?