Legends & Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes
December 20, 2022 9:58 PM - Subscribe

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.
posted by Literaryhero (22 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
So this is better than it has any reason to be, kind of in the vein of Becky Chambers, big mood.
posted by Literaryhero at 9:59 PM on December 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

See also.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:15 AM on December 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

This book was very gentle and warming and Thimble is precious and pure.

There's also a sequel due
(make sure to scroll down for Potroast).
posted by Lorc at 5:04 AM on December 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

This book taught me that I can be hungry for baked goods made by a rat.

The whole "Cozy Fantasy" genre has been such a source of solace for me this past year. Low stakes stories with delightful characters brings me nothing but joy, and this is probably the best of the lot.
posted by Frayed Knot at 6:22 AM on December 21, 2022 [3 favorites]

Yeah, really liked this one. Just a delightful book that does what it says on the tin.
posted by kyrademon at 8:52 AM on December 21, 2022

The whole "Cozy Fantasy" genre has been such a source of solace for me this past year. Low stakes stories with delightful characters brings me nothing but joy, and this is probably the best of the lot.

Feel free to share any others you know! :)
posted by Literaryhero at 4:26 PM on December 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

Feel free to share any others you know!

I’ll recommend Ray and the Cat Thing by metafilter’s own Zumbador!
posted by moonmilk at 4:51 PM on December 21, 2022 [3 favorites]

I honestly can't think of too many examples of Cozy Fantasy.

The classic of the genre may be Phyllis Ann Karr's 1980's novel "At Amberleaf Fair" -- Jo Walton called it the "one actual real solid in-genre example of a book where nothing bad happens!"

Speaking of Jo Walton, her book "Tooth and Claw" might qualify. It's effectively an Anthony Trollope novel of innocent ingenues and scoundrel rakes, but all the characters are dragons.

I could also recommend the comedy fantasy "Promises, Promises", by L-J Baker, which takes the form of an epic quest except the dangers are that the dragon writes truly awful poetry and the elves are slobs.

I might also count Kirsty Logan's collection "A Portable Shelter" as part of the genre, because of the frame tale that links the stories -- "In their tiny, sea-beaten cottage on the north coast of Scotland, Liska and Ruth await the birth of their first child. They spend their time telling stories to the unborn baby, trying to pass on the lessons they've learned: tales of circuses and stargazing, selkie fishermen and domestic werewolves, child-eating witches and broken-toothed dragons."
posted by kyrademon at 5:04 AM on December 22, 2022 [3 favorites]

This was exactly what I needed to read right now. While it is "cozy," the characters are more complex than you'd expect from that description. Like everyone else, it made me crave baked goods. It also made me crave sitting in a cafe, which I have not done for a long time and won't be able to do for a while. This was a nice substitute.
posted by rednikki at 6:01 AM on December 22, 2022

There's a cozy fantasy subreddit, r/CozyFantasy with lots of recommendations. It's a genre I've just recently discovered and there are lots of books discussed there.
posted by ceejaytee at 9:36 AM on December 22, 2022 [2 favorites]

Thanks all! I clicked over to Fanfare for the first time in months, saw this on the page, it looked interesting, so I bought it and read it yesterday.

If you want some other Cozy Fantasy books, my just-previous read was Illuminations by T. Kingfisher.
posted by fings at 10:26 AM on December 22, 2022 [2 favorites]

For those seeking cozy fantasy, I'd recommend Victoria Goddard's works. Alexandra Rowland has a good post extolling their virtues over at Tor.
posted by yasaman at 11:01 AM on December 22, 2022 [3 favorites]

I absolutely loved this book. The city was giving me Anhk-Morpork vibes, and the characters were so welcoming.
posted by jeoc at 7:40 PM on December 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

Just finished the book; I've been craving pastries for the last hundred pages or so.
It really needs an appendix with the recipes.

(I'm not really a coffee person, but I assume they'll add mocha & hot chocolate to the menu in the sequel since they have all the fixings.)

Though it's been a long time since I last read the series, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon comes to mind as another cozy drinking establishment for found family.
Viv would make a divine Irish coffee (or whatever the local equivalent is called) if she were so inclined.
posted by cheshyre at 8:18 PM on December 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

Thanks so much for this rec. I truly devoured this book and will seek out more. It's a cold hard world out there and sometimes you just need comfort.
posted by teleri025 at 9:11 AM on December 28, 2022 [2 favorites]

I loved this and need to re-read it. I mentioned it to my niece today and think I will send her a copy too.
posted by paduasoy at 2:43 PM on December 29, 2022

And I didn't know there was a sequel planned - thanks for that, Lorc.

My other cosy fantasy rec is Celia Lake, also on MF and did a talk recently for the fundraiser (I haven't heard it yet). There was a cosy fantasy recommendation thread on Smart Bitches - I've linked to it here before I think, but here it is again: The Rec League: Cozy Fantasy. Legends and Lattes is its starting point.
posted by paduasoy at 2:48 PM on December 29, 2022

(I really liked Ray and the Cat Thing too, but it feels a bit too eerie to me to be in the cosy fantasy box. Would recommend it though.)
posted by paduasoy at 2:53 PM on December 29, 2022

(Sorry for the several comments.) The Tea Princess series is another good one. First book is A Coup of Tea. Author is Casey Blair. First four chapters are online.

Thanks for the pointer to the MF thread, too - the two stories there are good.
posted by paduasoy at 3:09 PM on December 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

This was delightful, thank you for the recommendation!
posted by eyeofthetiger at 10:14 AM on December 30, 2022

Have just re-read it and really need to sink my hands deeply into Amity's fur. Though I think I might lose some fingers.
posted by paduasoy at 1:02 PM on January 1

Gentle and cozy aren't my thing. I'm more a grimdark fantasy reader. But this one worked. The stakes might be low but there's sufficient drama and watching the relationships build was very satisfying. It is very tempting to name the next house panther Amity.
posted by Ber at 5:43 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]

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