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  • Writer's pictureKori

Bookshops & Bonedust Book Review

Welcome to our first book review of 2024! If you saw our 2023 wrap-up post, you probably know that Bookshops & Bonedust was one of my top reads of the year. I've been dying to gush to you about it.

Bookshops & Bonedust Review Coffee, Book, and Candle

Genre: Fantasy

Category: Cozy Read

Want to know more about how we categorize books? See our Lexicon for details.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Plot: 5/5 stars

Characters: 5/5 stars

World: 5/5 stars


Psst. If you haven't seen my review of Legends & Lattes, check it out!


Travis Baldree does it again with another cozy high fantasy about passion and how chance encounters can change our lives. While Legends & Lattes was about Viv's love of coffee and her journey to open a coffee shop in a city that knew nothing of the caffeine elixir, this prequel follows Viv as she falls in love with something (and someone) else.

After suffering a serious injury, Viv must recover in a sleepy seaside town while the rest of her crew finishes the mission. Viv's worst fear is that she'll die––not from her injuries, but from boredom. That is, until a local bookshop owner introduces her to the adventure of reading.

Bookshops & Bonedust is about how stories consume us and how we find pieces of ourselves within them. It's about taking time to slow down and listen to your body. It's also about blessings in disguise and timing: how good things can come at the wrong time, and certain stories feel like they were made specifically for us at key points in our lives.

Yes, the ending made me cry, and YES it gave me an unreasonable need for another volume.

Many of the things we loved about Legends & Lattes can be found in this story: friendship, community, coming together to make dreams reality, small comforts and beauty, and adorable characters. And it was fun to find little Easter eggs.


Meeting new characters and learning more about familiar faces gives readers a deeper connection and appreciation for Viv and her friends. Each character is distinct and relatable, which makes them all the more lovable.

The friendships and connections in this story are adorable and full of love, understanding, support...and mild pestering. Their interactions made me smile, laugh, and cry.

My personal favorite character is the rattkin I affectionately call "Fern the F-bomber"—the foul-mouthed book sniffer with a knack for knowing what kind of story you need.


As mentioned, Murk is smaller than Thune. In a way, it made the atmosphere of this story cozier than its predecessor, if that's even possible. But there's also a darker edge at times. Here you'll find a dusty old bookshop, a popular bakery, an author's country manor, dark woods, necromancy, alley brawls, dilapidated buildings, and more.


All in all, Bookshops & Bonedust is a stunning, satisfying, and adorable prequel that lives up to and enhances its predecessor. I loved everything about it. It was one of my top reads of 2023 and has become one of my favorite comfort reads. I highly recommend it if you love fantasy, stories featuring books (magical and mundane alike), endearing friendships, take-no-shit characters, and generally wholesome, cozy, and comforting vibes.

Thanks for checking out my first review of 2024! There's much more to come, so stay tuned by following our newsletter, bookstagram, or Twitter!

Bookshops and Bonedust review Coffee, Book, and Candle

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