This probably isn’t my usual type of read but it was recommended by my other half – I think because I was listening to an audiobook which was a cosy crime novel featuring the WI and dragons, but that’s a different review.  

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.

I want to be quite careful as I don’t want to give away many spoilers and I feel like I could quite easily. I noticed Goodreads had this down as a Cozy Mystery in its tags and it’s definitely not that, that being said if I had to choose something it reminded me of it might well be a cross between MC Beaton & Terry Pratchett, and I don’t mean that in a disparaging way.

The idea of taking mythical characters and taking them out of the usual fantasy genre and tropes and putting somewhere else appeals to me, and I enjoyed reading about how Viv made the transition from Mercenary to coffee shop owner. The way certain modern contrivances were explained away was part of what reminded me of Terry Pratchett and it is undoubtedly funny, though not necessarily always laugh out loud.

After a busy week at work, the idea of something quite gentle was appealing and I found myself getting drawn into the family they created.

I enjoyed the jump into mythology with many different standard races from fantasy books being represented in the characters, and this is undoubtedly an affectionate spoof of the genre, at times it feels like the author has taken an old D&D campaign and mixed it up with an easy going romance book.

The various subplots work well and you start to root for Viv as she becomes part of the community.

The writing is easy going and I enjoyed the turn of phrase, and it all feels in style with the type of book, the characters were fun and again you enjoyed spending time with them, they defied some of the character stereotypes, and that’s to the strength of the book.   


I enjoyed the story and the characters, though I did feel I didn’t get to know much about any of them beyond the immediate story elements and this might get explained in subsequent books but it did feel missing in this, I also didn’t get much of a feel for the environment around them, again we got a lot about the main places the action takes place, primarily the coffee shop but I didn’t feel the world building was especially strong, but maybe the assumption is just that we all know what orcs do and look like, and I don’t think it necessarily suffered from that as much as many books, especially in this genre, because it was primarily based in a small area. Despite all of that though it is a very enjoyable and gentle book and I really enjoyed it. I look forward to reading the next one in the series.

Author Rating

  • overall
  • writing style
  • plot/information
  • enjoyment
Pros & Cons
  • Funny
  • Not much worldbuilding
  • Not enough backstory

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