Sit down, have a cup of tea, and let’s discuss cozy fantasy.
This genre combines a few of my favorite things – fantasy stories and books that feature food. The genre has been around for a while if you knew to look for it. But after the success of Legends and Lattes it has become more visible.
Here’s a few cozy fantasy books that I’ve read recently.
Curses and Cocktailsby S. L. Rowland
Genres: Fantasy & Magic
Published on February 2, 2023
When life gives you lemons, squeeze them into a stiff drink and stir.
After twenty years defending the frozen north against some of the most dangerous threats in the nine kingdoms, Rhoren "Bloodbane" has finally earned his retirement. While the blood mage's service to the realm may have ended, burning veins and aching joints remain, and Rhoren soon learns that a warmer climate offers relief from his chronic pain.
And a chance at a fresh start.
In the warm and relaxing atmosphere of Eastborne, the umbral elf finds a new purpose and a sense of belonging. He may have left the frozen north behind, but he brings with him the skills and strength gained from a lifetime of defending the realm. Along with his most prized possession-a book of drink recipes inherited from his father.
Spilled cocktails may not carry the same weight as spilled blood, but opening a tavern brings a unique brand of challenges. With the right friends and a little bit of luck, he might just have a recipe for success.
Getting out of a dangerous profession and trying to settle down to a quiet life seems to be a major theme in these stories. This story features an elf who had a career in the military as a magic user. The long term use of his magic led to chronic pain. He’s moved south from his posting in the north to find a milder climate to recover in.
The book deals with his realization that the people who he’s been protecting in the south lead a much more comfortable life because of his protection. They don’t have any idea what he’s seen or what he’s sacrificed for them to have their life. That’s a common issue with veterans trying to adapt back to civilian life.
He sets up a tavern featuring a book of recipes that his father collected. He hires a talented bartender to make more new recipes. They start to make a life together while he finds a way to fit into the community.
A Pirate's Life for Teaby Rebecca Thorne
Series: Tomes & Tea Cozy Fantasies #2
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / General
Published on February 20, 2023
"You asked for this, Rain. Let's go capture a pirate."
While searching for stolen dragon eggs, newly engaged couple Kianthe and Reyna find themselves smack-dab in the middle of a swashbuckling love story.
On one side is Serina, a failed farmer turned river pirate. Her booty? Wheat, grains, and the occasional jar of imported tea leaves. It's quite the embarrassment to Diarn Arlon, the powerful lord of the Nacean River, and he'll conscript anyone to bring her to justice. Especially Kianthe, the elemental mage who just crashed his party, and her somewhat-scary fiancée.
Begrudgingly, the couple joins forces with Bobbie, one of Arlon's constables--who happens to be Serina's childhood friend. Bobbie is determined to capture the pirate before anyone else, but it would be a lot easier if Serina didn't absolutely loathe her now.
As Kianthe and Reyna watch this relation-shipwreck from afar, it quickly becomes apparent that these disaster lesbians need all the help they can get. Luckily, matchmaking is Reyna's favorite past time. The dragon eggs may have to wait.
Sometimes changing your life isn’t that easy. This is the sequel to You Can’t Spell Treason Without Tea, where a royal guard and a mage run off together to start a tea shop and bookstore. Now the guard is getting antsy. She likes her new life but she misses the adventurous life she used to have. She finds a new adventure when they are called to help stop a pirate and find a woman who is just trying to help her community.
This series is cute. This particular book is a little less cozy than others because they are away from their shop. There is more action and adventure.
Sorcery & Sconesby S. R. Meadows
Genres: Fantasy & Magic
Published on February 13, 2023
“Let’s go somewhere. As long as it leads back here.”
All Neda wants is the gentle kiss of sunshine on her skin. And all Urza wants is to create beautiful sculptures instead of swords and armor.
Urza is just a stranger to Neda—a she-orc she met in prison who just happens to have a knack for knowing when Neda needs another fur swathed around her shoulders. Together they flee down south to Sunfall, a river town dotted with fragrant, blooming trees that’s far from the front lines of the Centuries’ War and the eternal winter that plagues it.
What comes next? Minding a glass shop for a centaur-turned-cat, practicing magic on moonlit nights, and spending evenings together sipping tea in the local cafe, chatting with neighbors beside a freshly kindled fire.
A missing moonstone threatens to derail their hard-won peace, but Neda’s acceptance of her new nature brings her strength and healing. And in the chaos that follows, Neda and Urza discover how much they truly mean to their adopted town.
And to each other.
Life is hard in the frozen north. Neda and Urza are outcasts from their homes. Urza is an orc who doesn’t want to fight. Neda is a tree nymph who was turned into a ghoul against her will. They head south together to escape the world that turned against them.
They find a new town to live in despite people being prejudiced against them. But when there is a terrible crime, they are the first suspects. Can they prove they are innocent and get people to accept them again or should they just move on?