After doing lots of research for my ‘Are Book Crates Worth It?‘ I decided to give Fairyloot a try for my birthday! It’s really nice to have a UK company so I can give the expensive US shipping attached to other popular book boxes a miss and I loved the look of all of Fairyloot’s previous boxes. This is the first book box I’ve ever received and it was a nice birthday surprise from my partner ❤ Slightly annoyingly, the box ended up shipping about 2 weeks late due to one of the items being sent significantly late so it wasn’t the best start but I was super excited when my box finally arrived!
The theme for the April box was ‘Whimsical Journeys’ – “perfect for people that love epic and whimsical journeys filled with magic, mythology, action, and romance!” which would be filled with exclusive items inspired by Narnia, Fantastic Beasts, The Hobbit, The Darkest Minds and Percy Jackson. I really loved the sound of the box theme and adored the look of the April theme art. It was one of the things that convinced me to actually consider getting my first book box!
Part of the reason I had never bothered with a book crate before was that the concerns over whether I would even like what was included in the box outweighed my curiosity of buying a box. At £26 + shipping I wanted to try and be certain that it was going to be something I would like so I put on my Detective Hat to try and guess what the book would be. When I read that the book was going to be a “fantastic stand-alone story filled with Norse and Celtic mythology – we hope you’re ready for some Vikings and magic!” I was already pretty much sold, especially when I realized that April was the release month for the much coveted Sky in the Deep. This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year so I was ON THAT BOX. So, what was included in this mystery box?
Lots of pretty cute goodies as it turns out! I LOVED uncovering the Hobbit-themed tote bag by Stella’s Bookish Arts I’m a big LOTR/Hobbit fan and have a t-shirt with the same quote on it. The bag design is also super Spring/Summery so it is a nice little bag that I can carry around my books!
I also really loved the Narnia cup by Ink and Wonder. I’m not the biggest fan of the Chronicles of Narnia but this cup is so pretty that I don’t really mind? The level of detail and amount of color outweighs my lack of interest in the series, and it’s reusable so I can take my tea to work in it ❤
The other item which I was really excited by was the BlackJack enamel pin by Taratjah. Again, I have no interest in the Percy Jackson books and no idea who BlackJack even is, but the pin looks enough like Pegasus that I’m happy to display it on my rucksack with all my other pins.
Also pictured is a ‘Leif’s Ship Candle’ by Flick the Wick which is pretty cute, a lovely Magical Beasts Luggage Tag by Lovely Owls Books, plus a little Ace of Shades Badge and The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark 2) promotional bookmark.
The one item that I really didn’t appreciate very much was this ‘Carpe Diem’ notepad by Little Inkling Designs which is supposed to be a quote from The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. I have never heard of the book and didn’t really like the design for this at all. It has a much more Halloweeny feel to it and I don’t think it really fit with the other items in the box.
I did really like the pieces of artwork included though, especially the Fictional Places art print by Fictiontea Designs. The art print of the left is inspired by the book included in April’s box.
All that was left to unbox was the book! One thing I did really appreciate is that the book is tucked away at the bottom of the box so you have to dig through all of the goodies first and the book is also tucked into a little black Fairyloot branded drawstring bag, to keep the book safe and draw out the suspension just a little bit longer! Sadly though rather than the ecstatic joy I was expecting to feel, major disappointment awaited me…
April’s Whimsical Journey’s book was ‘Beyond a Darkened Shore‘ by Jessica Leake. Also included in the box was a signed bookplate, sticker, and letter from the author.
Obviously, this was not what I was expecting at all. Some of the anticipation was definitely my fault as I’d let myself get really excited for the book when it was always just a guess of what it would be, but also the box was advertised as Vikings and Magic during the release period for Sky in the Deep. Now that other bloggers have received their book boxes, I’ve noticed that other companies had Sky in the Deep as their monthly book so I’m quite confused about the inclusion of Beyond a Darkened Shore. I’ve never heard of the book or the writer… I don’t want that to come off sounding as too harsh because I’m sure the book will still be enjoyable, but it didn’t live up to my expectations and if I had personally paid the £27-£30 out of my own pocket for this box I think I might have cried!
A few other things to note with the Beyond a Darkened Shore themed goodies is that the letter was almost illegible for me to read due to the authors curly writing and the ‘bookplate’ is also just a signed sticker? I’ve never received a bookplate before so I don’t know what I was expecting but I thought it would be something more durable than a sticker!
I don’t want to sound super ungrateful because there were aspects of this box that I adored. The sheer excitement of actually receiving the box was really fun, I’m definitely going to be using some of the goodies included, and proudly displaying some of my artwork on my bookshelf. If the box had contained a release I was really looking forward to or even just one of the big name releases for April, I think I wouldn’t have been as disappointed but obviously, I have the book I have and I’m sure I will still enjoy it!
As to whether I will purchase another Fairyloot box? I’m pretty undecided on that at the moment, mostly due to our current finances. It’s not possible for us to get a 3 or 6-monthly subscription and this month is my partner’s birthday so I couldn’t justify getting the ‘Save the Kingdom‘ themed May box and I’m not too interested in June’s ‘Rebels in Ballgowns’ one. If it’s a theme I really like I would potentially get another box again as it was really fun but just not get my hopes up too much next time!