Thursday 23 November 2023


Book review: Bookshops & Bonedust (Legends & Lattes #0.5) by Travis Baldree [blog tour]

I have to start by admitting that high fantasy isn't for me. I usually don't pick up a book if it's set on other planets, has big battle sequences, and centres on creatures with names I've never heard of before. But I met author Travis Baldree at MCM Comic Con last year – and not only was he the absolute loveliest human being, he also completely sold his first novel, Legends & Lattes, to me as it sounded so incredibly cosy. Needless to say, I picked up a copy of the book almost immediately after and I'd been anticipating the prequel, Bookshops & Bonedust, ever since I turned the final page on the first one. 

About Bookshops & Bonedust

Viv is an orc and a hired mercenary. One day she gets badly hurt and finds herself recuperating in the quiet seaside town of Murk. As Viv struggles doing nothing while she's healing, she ventures into town and stumbles across a very dusty, smelly, and overfull bookshop run by a rattkin named Fern. The two strike up an unlikely friendship in which Fern provides book recommendations and Viv helps to spruce up the place. 

Add in a resident bookshop pet who is half dog and half owl, a skeleton reluctantly serving a necromancer, a flirty bakery owner, and a gnome looking for a fight, and you've got an eclectic mix of characters waking up the sleepy Murk. But not everyone is happy about the arrival of Viv and the disruptions she brings to the town. And she soon finds herself facing a sinister force, one that endangers everyone in Murk...

My review

Bookshops & Bonedust was such a fun read! I loved it even more than Legends & Lattes and I enjoyed that one a ton already. As someone who doesn't drink coffee, the bookshop appealed to me just a tad more than the cafe did. 

And it wasn't just the setting that made my literary heart flutter with delight. The entire novel was seeped in a love for reading, both with the wonderful recommendations from Fern, hitting just the right spot for each of her customers, as well as the clever inclusion of reading-adjacent delights we know and love from our own world, such as the "blind date with a book" concept and author talks. 

The new cast of characters was also an utter delight to get to know. I was particularly fond of the bookshop pet, Potroast, and the homunculus (a creature made of bones) by the name of Satchel. Potroast is such a cheeky one and Satchel is the most wonderful (and polite) friend – it's impossible not to adore these two. But although I singled them out, I really loved all the residents of Murk. If only it was possible to wander around the town itself, so I could sample Maylee's baked goods while enjoying cosy reading time in the bookshop. 

The one thing I am sad about is that this is a prequel to Legends & Lattes. Because since none of the wonderful characters from this book are still in Viv's life in the present timeline we know from the very first page that the friendships and romances aren't going to last. I almost wish this was a sequel, set in a future where Viv is perhaps opening a second cafe in Murk and meets all these incredible characters for the first time then. 

There is a little teaser at the end of this book that does give me some hope about a character reunion, but I still feel sad about Viv's life that wasn't meant to be. It's saying something when you love a book so much that straight after turning the final page you already miss the characters and crave more time with them. Perhaps there can be another prequel in the future, one that takes place between this book and Legends & Lattes (I can dream!). 

Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree is the epitome of cosy fantasy. It's so darn cute and makes fantasy books really accessible for those readers that might not usually venture out into that genre. But there's also great world-building and a touch of danger lurking at the edges of the pages, ensuring a satisfying reading experience for fantasy-enthusiasts too. It's honestly the best of both worlds and I cannot wait to see what the author conjures up from his wonderful imagination next. 

Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree is published by Pan Macmillan and you can now buy your copy from your favourite local book shop!

Blog tour stops for Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree

This review for Bookshops & Bonedust is a part of the official blog tour for the launch of the book. Make sure to check out the other stops too!

Disclaimer: This book was gifted to me, but this has not impacted this honest review.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share Button