Legends & Lattes (book 1) by Travis Baldree (book review).

‘Legends & Lattes’ is book one in the Legends and Lattes series.

UK cover.

Viv is your traditional orc, but she has some less than traditional plans for her future. She wants to earn enough money to set up a coffee shop in the perfect spot. She wants to have a peaceful place for people to enjoy a hot or cold coffee in a place where no one has ever heard of the beverage. Viv has plans, but none of them involve the found family she makes while creating her dream. Oh and that dream definitely did not involve fabulous baked goods, but I’m glad they appeared. This book follows Viv making her dream come true, along with some fairly substantial bumps along the way.

Oh my, this is just the most wholesome cinnamon bun of a book I think I’ve ever read. It is the very definition of a cosy fantasy book with a cast of characters you fall instantly in love with. Descriptions of how each person comes into the coffee shop and becomes a part of this wonderful found family are just perfect. I could smell the coffee and taste the delicious baked goods along with feeling the love everyone had for each other. I apologise for being overly gushy about this book but it’s just hard not to be.

US cover – oh, its inside the cover of the UK version.

I loved that each character in this book came from a different species but they were all just accepted. They all had their oddities, like not being able to talk much, having odd taste in music or being shunned by other folk. But here in this coffee shop, everyone was welcomed and their oddities just accepted. Everyone could be their best selves in this place and this acceptance helped them to become happier in their own skin. Even the baddies weren’t too bad.

In each and every chapter there will be something that will make your heart swell or melt. You will find yourself utter ‘Aw’ far more often than any other book you’ve read. Even the hardest heart will find themselves softened by these characters. Viv with her desire to stop being a hack and slash orc and set up her coffee shop; Tandri and her need to feel truly wanted for herself and not what she is; Thimble and his unusual conversation style but great ability to make himself heard. Everyone is just brilliantly drawn with depth.

With regards the actual storyline and plot, there’s not a huge amount really. This isn’t about danger and beating the bad guys, it’s simply setting up a coffee shop and getting along with everyone. We get to read about Viv and her builder Cal going to the various places to pick up materials, plus Cal creating wonderful systems in the shop. We get to see the evolving signage telling everyone what the shop sells. It’s all very day-to-day but it’s anything but dull. It was ,if anything, soothing and calming and I want more of it!

The only other books I think are similar to these are Terry Pratchett, for both the feel and the softly written plot. Both this book and the ‘Discworld’ books have a certain feeling about them that although bad things might happen they won’t be all that bad. You’ as the reader’ feel safe that nothing will come out of left field, you are in good hands that will guide you safely through the book.

Overall, this book will make you feel just cosy and happy, plus there will be an overwhelming need to drink your hot beverage of choice and practise that recipe in the back of the book. I can’t wait for more books from the different people in this series.

Sarah Bruch

January 2023

(pub: TOR-UK, 2022. 312 page hardback. Price: £16.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-03500-730-1

pub:TOR-USA, 2022 – cos of the cover. 304 page paperback. Price: about $10.00 (US). ISBN: 978-1-25088-608-8)

check out website: www.panmacmillan.com/tor

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