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Catherine's Pick: Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree

The much-beloved BookTok sensation from Travis Baldree, Legends & Lattes is a novel of high fantasy and low stakes.

At the heart of the role-playing game genre, whether played on a screen or by a group of friends gathered around a table, is the appeal of the adventuring party. The idea of a group of comrades going out into the world to find and conquer danger, to win riches and glory in the process, calls out to something in people who, outside of the game, live otherwise fairly mundane and usually peaceful lives. But, imagine living in such a world. After some years of adventure and suspense and fighting and bloodshed, a mundane and peaceful life may sound as appealing to people living that life as a life of adventure sounds to a typical RPG player.

Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree tells the story of Viv, an experienced orc mercenary who has been working as her party’s heavy hitter for long enough that her back is starting to act up and the idea of dying in glorious battle has lost its appeal. After taking away a fabled luck charm as her only loot from one last job, she heads to the city of Thune to open a coffee shop. One major problem: next to no one in Thune has ever heard of coffee. Viv, however has a lot of determination, a love for coffee, a fair bit of savings, and, maybe, luck on her side. She soon gathers a circle of companions, including a hob repairman named Calamity (call him Cal), Tandri, a whip-smart succubus with no interest in seducing men of any species, and Thimble, a rattkin baker with a tiny voice and a true genius for his craft. The cast of charming and colorful characters only grows from there. Good fortune, however, draws in its own kind of trouble. Can Viv keep her sword hung up and enjoy the peace she’s been longing for?

Legends & Lattes feels like a Dungeons & Dragons player group had a big group hug and the hug turned into a book. With a warm heart and an utterly engaging writing style, this is a tremendously enjoyable comfort read for fantasy fans, especially those fond of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. Also, it includes a stray dire-cat that adopts the coffee shop as a new home, and I want to pet it so badly.

- Catherine, Cataloging Associate


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