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Bookshops & Bonedust: A Heart-warming Cosy Fantasy

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This is a book that is going on my list of books to read every year. I'm already looking forward to the next time. Still, adventure isn’t all that far away. A suspicious traveler in gray, a gnome with a chip on her shoulder, a summer fling, and an improbable number of skeletons prove Murk to be more eventful than Viv could have ever expected. The building was absolutely quiet. The only sounds came from outside—the hissing of grass, the remote grumble of waves, and the occasional call of a seabird.

Beth: I do hope she redeems herself. A character I did love though was Pitts. He’s a quiet and stoic character who I’m looking forward to seeing come out of his shell more. Finally, Gallina turned up, and I wasn’t actually expecting anyone from L&L to turn up in this, weirdly; if anything, this is the story of how these two meet. I wasn’t massively keen on Gallina for some reason in the first book, and even less so now. And I’m not even sure why. Again, I know she’s supposed to be loud and abrasive, in contrast to Viv, but I’m not a fan for some reason. Before I say anything else about the book, I need to say that I love love loved Potroast more than I have loved any other character in a long time. Potroast is a sort of cross between a pug and an owl and I love him. I was so happy to see it pop up in my Kindle yesterday, like a surprise birthday present, but your birthday isn't for six months.

That wry grin again. “Heard when you came in. We’ve met, actually, but I’m not surprised you don’t remember. Not with all the commotion.” This is the premise of Bookshops and Bonedust. And I guarantee you whether you have read Legends and Lattes or not will influence your experience of Bookshops and Bonedust, even though this is designed to be a standalone novel in the series as well. Except maybe for the epilogue that would make more sense and impact if you have read Legends and Lattes. But if you have read Legends and Lattes first, there is the possibility the stakes of the plotline will feel even lower than it should be. That is the nature of this book as a prequel. You will know Viv’s fate in Legends and Lattes already, and the dangers she faces in this novel will feel more minimal. Every reader will have a different reaction, but personally, this is a cozy fantasy. Stakes and dangers were never in my mind when I started reading Bookshops and Bonedust. If Legends and Lattes is a story about starting something new, no matter how late it is in your life, then well, Bookshops and Bonedust is about planting the seeds of hope that the change in life is possible. A heartfelt thanks to my Patrons on Patreon for their support towards my enthusiasm for reading and reviewing! If you were a fan of Baldree's LEGENDS & LATTES, then you will absolutely love this prequel BOOKSHOPS & BONEDUST! Baldree excels at creating the perfect cozy fantasy atmosphere. I felt transported to Murk to spend time with Viv and friends at the bookshop. B & B has the same vibes as LEGENDS & LATTES with added depth to Viv's character and the world around her. Beth: I was the same, in regards to the hype. I’m always very suspicious of hyped-up books, I’ve been stung too many times in the past. But actually, what made me want to read it despite the hype, was the slice-of-high-fantasy-life cosiness. I’ve been really drawn to that kind of read lately.

Beth: Please don’t hate me Nils… but I’m not a fan of Potroast. He’s supposed to be a… a gryphlet? Part dog part… owl? But he seems mostly dog and I’m definitely more a cat person. Despite how many dogs we welcome into my own bookshop, I think cats are far more suited to bookshops than dogs. The stairs opened into a long, rough-timbered dining area in an inn or tavern or whatever they called it around here. A big, stone hearth crouched cold along one wall, yawning like a disappointed mouth. An iron chandelier hung askew, entombed in candlewax. Glass floats and storm lanterns were strung or nailed up in the rafters, alongside netting and weathered oars with names carved into them. The handful of scarred tables were unoccupied. Bookshops & Bonedust will resonate with anyone who has ever conflated their worth with their productivity, who has ever worried about being left behind if they take a moment to breathe, who has ever allowed a book to save them from a bad day. Beautifully humane, it is a loving reminder that the best parts of life are what happens between the big moments."—Cassandra Khaw, USA Today bestselling author One of Travis's standout strengths lies in his ability to paint vivid, transporting scenes with his words. From the picturesque landscapes to the tantalizing descriptions of food and the evocation of Viv's deepest emotions, his literary craftsmanship shines through, immersing readers in a sensory-rich experience.Nils:Loud and abrasive are just not traits we are drawn to and that makes Gallina fairly unlikeable. I do think it’s nice to see how they met though and adds another connection to L&L. One character we haven’t mentioned though is Potroast!! I love Potroast and how he always manages to get in the way and his distrust of Viv, which I hope he overcomes by the end. Kira Muratova, reviewing the audiobook version in Booklist, notes that the "prequel ... answers several of its predecessor's burning questions, including how everyone's favorite coffee-loving orc learned to appreciate books. ... Read by the author, a talented and animated fantasy narrator who also voiced Legends, the book presents a colorful cast of new and familiar characters that is sure to ensorcell and delight listeners. [3] Beth:That’s so true Nils! We can definitely appreciate the difficulty in articulating why you like a book! Thank you Macmillan Audio for providing me with a complementary audiobook in exchange for my honest thoughts. Bookshops & Bonedust will resonate with anyone who has ever conflated their worth with their productivity, who has ever worried about being left behind if they take a moment to breathe, who has ever allowed a book to save them from a bad day. Beautifully humane, it is a loving reminder that the best parts of life are what happens between the big moments." - Cassandra Khaw

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