Bookshops and Bonedust

Based on reading Legends & Lattes, I was pretty sure that I knew what to expect from the next Travis Baldree book. It would be a quick read, unchallenging, heartwarming, and likely to make you hungry. Reader, I was not surprised in any way.

Bookshops & Bonedust tells of Viv the orc’s early days in the mercenary business when she is young and headstrong, and dangerously confident of her own ability. This leads to her having to spend several weeks recuperating from a leg wound while the rest of her team continue their pursuit of the necromancer, Varine the Pale.

Viv is left to kick her heels in a small and run-down seaside town with the unprepossessing name of Murk. Oddly enough, she does not end up being menaced by frog-faced denizens of the deep. There are bad guys, eventually, but much more importantly there is a run-down bookshop in need of rescue, and great deal of delicious bakery.

Said bookshop is run by a ratkin lady called Fern who is deep in the throes of depression paralysis. She knows that her business is failing, and is long past having the tenacity to do anything about it. The relentlessly optimistic Viv is just what she needs to pull herself out of her funk.

From then on the story is all about the love of books, and selling them, plus a little love for a cute dwarf lady with a huge talent for bakery. It is all very lovely and very predictable.

Then again, lovely and predictable is sometimes what people need, especially these days when each day’s news seems to double down on the world’s descent into climate disaster and Fascism. Baldree has found his niche, and fills it very well. Maybe from there he will eventually branch out a little.

book cover
Title: Bookshops & Bonedust
By: Travis Baldree
Publisher: Tor
Purchase links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US UK
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