Book Review: “Legends & Lattes” by Travis Baldree

Cover of Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree
Cover of Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree.

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing “Legends & Lattes” by Travis Baldree! This book has been recommended to me several times in the past year, especially since it’s marketed as being a cozy fantasy novel. I’ve read plenty of fantasy novels, but most if not all of them leaned on being very action-packed. Finding a novel that was more “cozy” sounded interesting, so I thought I’d finally read and review it! Here’s a quick summary so we know what it’s about:

“After a lifetime of bounties and bloodshed, Viv is hanging up her sword for the last time.

The battle-weary orc aims to start fresh, opening the first ever coffee shop in the city of Thune. But old and new rivals stand in the way of success — not to mention the fact that no one has the faintest idea what coffee actually is.

If Viv wants to put the blade behind her and make her plans a reality, she won’t be able to go it alone.

But the true rewards of the uncharted path are the travelers you meet along the way. And whether drawn together by ancient magic, flaky pastry, or a freshly brewed cup, they may become partners, family, and something deeper than she ever could have dreamed.”

Plot Development: 4 out of 5 stars

The plot was a little slow-paced, but it made sense. This is because it took time for all the interweaving, smaller plotlines to band together and fuse with the main story. Usually I’d complain about this, but the writing style of the story made it feel organic enough that I actually don’t mind it as a reader.

The epilogue fascinated me at the end—and also brought up many questions. What exactly is Amity? What makes the stone that the characters discuss throughout the book so important? I assume those questions will be answered in a future book.

Worldbuilding Development: 4 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading the world of the story. As a reader, I would recommend that you’re at least familiar with the fantasy genre before stepping into reading this one. Concepts such as magical stones, adventurers, taverns (kind-of), and other discussion of magic will be easier to grasp in the book if you’ve read a couple of fantasy books beforehand or played some Dungeons & Dragons (or similar games).

However, if you’re familiar with cozy games like Stardew Valley and other cozy simulator games, there are some familiar story beats. Viv isn’t running a farm, granted, but a coffee shop—but her slowly building up her business, hiring workers, and getting to know the locals is pretty fun to read.

Character Development: 5 out of 5 stars

All the characters were fun to read—not just Viv and Tandri, but also the other allies and foes they interacted with throughout the story. I also enjoyed reading some of Viv’s previous companions and how they stayed friendly and fairly supportive of Viv despite her lifestyle change (going from adventuring and fighting to running a coffee shop).

Another thing I found interesting was how all the side characters developed over time, and not just the main characters. You had a a bard struggling to make a living, a succubus becoming a barista, and even the local gang or equivalent of modern-day mafia becoming sort-of allies with Viv and her staff. It was really fun to see those developing bonds between the characters, and glimpse their individual growth.

I also enjoyed Viv and Tandri’s romance. It’s not quite a slow-burn, but not exactly fast either. That was a good thing for this book, since it matched the easy pace of the main story. I won’t discuss it much since I’d be giving away spoilers, but I promise it’s worth the read!

Overall, I’m rating this book 4.5 out of 5 stars!

If you’re looking for a cozy read, I definitely recommend reading “Legends & Lattes!”

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