Legends & Lattes v Shepherd Neame IPA

Book: Legends and Lattes
Author: Travis Baldree
Publisher: Tor
Published: 2022

If you’ve ever played World of Warcraft, Dungeons and Dragons, or basically any other type of fantasy roleplaying game, have you found yourself thinking ‘I wonder what that NPC’s backstory is?’. Well if you have then this is the book for you.

The protagonist of the tale is an orc barbarian called Viv who has spent the majority of her life so far adventuring, sword in hand. Now though she has finally gathered enough coin to leave that life behind and open a coffee shop. Yes, you read that right. We quickly learn that she has put a lot of thought and research into the idea. The best city to set up, how to source the machinery and ingredients needed, and what help she will need to get everything operational.

This is described as low-stakes fantasy, which is an accurate summation of the plot. That does not mean there are no stakes though, and it does not mean that this is by any stretch of the imagination a boring book. What it does mean though is that if you want a perfect palate cleanser after reading a doorstopper epic, but don’t want to leave the genre entirely then Legends and Lattes is perfect. It’s at the pinnacle of the new wave of Cozy fantasy.

Settle down in an armchair with a comforting drink (it doesn’t have to be a latte, I found a nice beer was just as nice) and just melt into this heartwarming tale.

Beer: India Pale Ale
Brewery: Shepherd Neame
Style: IPA
Strength: 6.1%

This tastes like an IPA stripped back to the roots. If I close my eyes while sipping it, I can fully imagine what it would have been like to drink it near the docks in Mumbai after it had travelled all the way from Kent. Full of hops. Robust taste. Highly refreshing.

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