[L]ast year I was quite taken by the book Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree […]
I’ll be up front, this book owes a lot to L&L, which the author freely admits in her afterword. Which was nice because, yes, I was looking for something similar to…
Reyna moves to a remote village on the frontier with her girlfriend Kianthe to pursue their dream of opening a tea room and bookshop. Did I mention that Reyna used to be the bodyguard for Queen Tilaine, a ruler with just the tiniest tendency towards sadism, before she ran off? Or that Kianthe is the Arcandor, Mage of Ages, keeper of the Stone of Seeing? Yeah, that’s kind of important, really.
Can’t Spell Treason is the inverse of L&L in a lot of ways. This is the book with high adventure rearing its head on occasion. There’s tea, yes, there’s romance from the very beginning, but there are dragons, raiders, a mad queen and a deep secret in the town that must be unraveled.
And it works! There’s more action, but it’s metered out. The main characters are powerful, but not superheroes ready to fight at a moment’s notice. They’re people I’d like to know, really, and a place I could imagine visiting.
This is the first book of a series, but it ties up enough of the ends to feel satisfying while obviously leaving room for events yet to come. While it’s not something I’m going to return to as often as L&L (*ahem*), I’m definitely going to reread it again.
–Chris Blakeley, Seattle, WA
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