Book Review: Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree
OFFICIAL AUTHOR BIO: I love stories, and I love telling them.
I’m the author of Legends & Lattes, a low-stakes cozy fantasy novel.
I’m a narrator too, and I’ve loved the art since I first heard Frank Muller’s legendary work. I’ve lent my voice to hundreds of books (including my own).
I live with my wife, two kids, and dog in Washington State, and I get up every morning excited and grateful to do this job.
I’m also an erstwhile veteran game developer, and it’s possible you’ve played something I’ve made. Torchlight, Fate & Rebel Galaxy have sold millions of copies on desktops and consoles. I remain the co-owner and CEO of Double Damage Games.
FORMAT/INFO: Legends and Lattes was self published by the author in February 2022, and later traditionally published by Tor Books in the U.S and U.K.
OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: This book is the epic fantasy slice-of-life story I did not know I would love so much.
This is the story of an orc, Viv, who hangs up her sword after years of being a mercenary, and chooses to walk away with two legendary artifacts, put down her roots and open a cafe in a city where no one has even heard of coffee. She can’t do it alone, so she works with Cal, a hob, and Tandri, a succubus, and Thimble, a rattkin, to help her redo a livery into a coffee shop, manage it, and bake goods for it respectively. Along the way, there are many characters that walk into the scene and develop genuine a genuine connection with her and each other.
It is very evident that the author is a reader’s writer. Every time I read an interaction in the book and made a mental comment in my head, he addressed it directly in his narration a few sentences later.
This is how Viv describes coffee in the book to another character, and I have to say, that this book contains wonderful descriptions of the process of brewing coffee, and baking different types of goods. Heck, I found my mouth watering, and wanted to head out to the nearest story to pick up a cinnamon roll myself. I never thought much about it, but if I could describe coffee to someone who has never known it before, these are exactly the words I would want to use.
I will be bold enough to say that this book has something for everyone. It was extremely heartwarming to watch Viv embark on trying to make her dream come true, as well as her growing camaraderie with the other characters. The romantic relationship in this one felt like it was a great, subtle touch to the story. It was written in a manner that truly made me feel like the characters in it were each other’s person.
CONCLUSION: Top all this off with Travis’ clean prose that doesn’t waste a word, and here we have a book that warrants a regular re-read from me.