Book Review: Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree

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This book is, as the kids say, “a mood.” It is a book about an orc warrior who has decided to retire from adventuring and open a coffee shop. Along the way she will gather friends, co-workers, loyal customers, and all the other simple things that make life worth living. The story isn’t without conflict, but the stakes are more personal. The world won’t end, but this brilliant little coffee shop might.

The crazy thing is, despite the low stakes, my emotional investment remains high. I have a lot of respect for the author for going this route with his fantasy story. I think a little too often, especially in fantasy, war and violence are used as short cuts to making us care about the characters. That trick can only be pulled so many times until a reader becomes jaded and bored. One big fantasy war starts to look very much like every other big fantasy war. Legends & Lattes makes me care about things like a grand opening going well or the risky introduction of a new product that someone poured their heart and soul into.

This isn’t the type of story I normally go for. As Nate will tell you everything I read is horror and misery, but I’ve got a real soft spot for this book. Probably doesn’t hurt that I also secretly want to open a coffee shop.

I highly recommend that you go out and buy this.

5 arbitrary stars out of 5 arbitrary stars.

Ben

I co-host the Words About Books podcast with my writing partner Nate.

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