Cover for Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree

Worn out after decades of packing steel and raising hell, Viv the orc barbarian cashes out of the warrior’s life with one final score. A forgotten legend, a fabled artifact, and an unreasonable amount of hope lead her to the streets of Thune, where she plans to open the first coffee shop the city has ever seen.

However, her dreams of a fresh start pulling shots instead of swinging swords are hardly a sure bet. Old frenemies and Thune’s shady underbelly may just upset her plans. To finally build something that will last, Viv will need some new partners and a different kind of resolve.

A hot cup of fantasy slice-of-life with a dollop of romantic froth.

Anyone who knows my wife knows she’s, well, calling her a ravenous reader is doing a disservice to her book consumption habit. Books being such a central passion in her life, I’m always asking her what she’s reading, what she’s read, what she liked, and what she didn’t, and so it was that at some point she told me about this book she loved by an audiobook narrator that she really likes: Legends & Lattes.

So, I will absolute profess to some initial skepticism. I’ve long been a fantasy reader, having initially cut my teeth on pulp horror from the likes of Stephen King and Dean Koontz before taking a hard turn to David Eddings and Robert Jordon. So I’m far from unfamiliar with the genre. But I’ll freely admit that a fantasy book about an Orc opening a coffee shop seemed… a bit far fetched?

In hindsight this was, honestly, a pretty dumb assumption on my part. Terry Pratchett made an entire career out of building a fantasy world (Discworld) in which books are centered around the invention of modern contrivances (paper money, movies, the telegraph, etc). Why not a coffee shop?

Well, as the year was winding down I ran across a book recommendations post on Hacker News and decided to poke around, and I’ll be damned if Legends & Lattes didn’t earn a mention! I relayed my surprise to my wife, and she offered to re-listen to the book with me on our anniversary vacation, and you know what? It was great!

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