RogerBW's Blog

Bookshops & Bonedust, Travis Baldree 25 March 2024

2023 fantasy. Many years before the events of Legends & Lattes, a young Viv the orc is stranded for a few weeks in a seaside town as her wounded leg heals.

And like Legends, this is a fantasy about people being nice to each other, and about found-family. Viv finds a decaying bookshop with an owner who's given up, and (having been lured into the Magic of Reading by some carefully-chosen loans) helps it back into being a viable concern again. And there's a summer romance, and the necromancer is still out there.

It may be a generational thing, but to me a coffee shop is inherently less interesting than a bookshop. Coffee shops don't, as far as I know, allow people to browse for hours without buying anything. Bookshops can get close to being a non-commercial indoor space, a thing that's mostly absent both from modern society and from this fantasy world derived from it. (Obviously libraries would be better.)

The stakes are even lower than the first book in some ways, because we know where Viv will end up in many years. Here she's an odd blend of the young impetuous adventurer she's meant to be now and the grizzled old hand she'll become later. It might indeed work better to read this book before Legends. On the other hand there's a Great Big Threat to be dealt with, not just petty jealousies and greed from others.

If you liked Legends, to a large extent this is the same story with some different characters. Like that book this is an unabashed comfort read which does its job very well.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

Series: Legends & Lattes | Next in series: Legends & Lattes

  1. Posted by Harry Payne at 11:06am on 25 March 2024

    I'm glad this delightful short story continues to get an appreciative audience.

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