This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About OwlCrate YA
The Subscription Box: OwlCrate YA
The Cost: $29.99 + shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.
The Products: A new YA book and 3-5 book-related goodies. Recommended for ages 14+.
Ships to: The US for $7.99, Canada for $9.99, and worldwide for $19.99
OwlCrate YA "Tales of Trickery" December 2019 Review
Each box comes with a card detailing the theme and the items included. This month’s theme is “Tales of Trickery.”
They also included this booklet featuring an interview with the author, a word search, and an interview with a vendor. They also included some information about their monthly photo challenge and a link to a "Medieval Magic" playlist to go along with this month's theme.
Our book this month is signed by the author and features foil stamping on this dark, intriguing cover!
In Camelot, magic has been banished and so have all those who practice it, such as the wizard Merlin, but as there is a threat to King Arthur that worries him, Merlin sends his daughter, posing as Guinevere, to marry him and keep watch over him. The story begins with "Guinevere" navigating a new and unfamiliar world while pretending to be someone she is not and doing her best to hide her ties to magic while also using it to protect her new husband.
I enjoyed the light banter between "Guinevere" and the other characters including her maid Brangien, Knight Mordred, and of course her husband, King Arthur. The way these characters interact helps to lighten the sense of impending doom that looms over them. This sense of doom is heightened as we get a glimpse into the Dark Queen's thoughts as she finds her way into the castle despite the safeguards "Guinevere" has set in place. One such thought seems to be quite fearful of this changeling girl, and I can only imagine why she would be afraid of such a seemingly innocent girl.
I haven't finished this one yet but I know Megan also received this as her YA Book of the Month pick and while I agree the action is pretty slow to start, her review has me excited for all of the action that will take place at the end of the book!
"A new fantasy series set in the world of Camelot that bestselling author Christina Lauren calls "brilliant," reimagining the Arthurian legend . . . where nothing is as magical and terrifying as a girl.
Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a stranger: the charismatic King Arthur. With magic clawing at the kingdom's borders, the great wizard Merlin conjured a solution--send in Guinevere to be Arthur's wife . . . and his protector from those who want to see the young king's idyllic city fail. The catch? Guinevere's real name--and her true identity--is a secret. She is a changeling, a girl who has given up everything to protect Camelot.
To keep Arthur safe, Guinevere must navigate a court in which the old--including Arthur's own family--demand things continue as they have been, and the new--those drawn by the dream of Camelot--fight for a better way to live. And always, in the green hearts of forests and the black depths of lakes, magic lies in wait to reclaim the land.
Deadly jousts, duplicitous knights, and forbidden romances are nothing compared to the greatest threat of all: the girl with the long black hair, riding on horseback through the dark woods toward Arthur. Because when your whole existence is a lie, how can you trust even yourself?"
We received a letter from the author which is always such a nice, personal touch!
OwlCrate Exclusive! Book Sleeve
Our first item is inspired by our June book, Sorcery of Thorns, which I loved, so I was pleased to see this design that implies the books can hear you in beautiful text across both sides. The design is perfect for a book sleeve and was created by Chatty Nora. I love the colors and the vines weaving about, and I am pleased with the size which is larger than our book and actually holds almost all of the goodies we received this month inside.
Here it is with our book inside. It is nice and thick and will definitely protect our books well!
OwlCrate Exclusive! Ear Muffs
This next item is so pretty and perfect for winter! The beautiful roses were inspired by the Caraval series and they are accented nicely by sparkly silver piping around the edges. They fold up compactly and the faux fur inside is so soft!
Of course, I tried to wear them the traditional way first before realizing they were meant to fit around the back of your head instead. While they fit much better this way, I actually think I would prefer them to be traditional over-the-top ear muffs because these kept sliding down on me. I do have a rather large noggin though, so it could just be that these run a little small!
OwlCrate Exclusive! Wood Wick Candle
To keep with our snug and cozy theme, we received this candle from Novelly Yours which is fire + cinnamon chai scented and inspired by the volcano in Grace and Fury. I love the berry color of this all-natural soy candle, and I actually have never owned a candle with a wood wick before! This scent is spicy and warm and perfect for settling down next to with a good book!
OwlCrate Exclusive! Hand Warmer
If you're not feeling the warm and cozy vibes yet, this hand warmer can help! This is the coolest and most unique item! The pouch seems like just a basic gel substance inside but when you bend that little coin you see, it starts a reaction and the gel hardens and warms to keep your hands nice and toasty. They also included this little knit sleeve to keep it in to keep your hands for getting too warm. This was inspired by Sky in the Deep and designed by Kit Cronk Studio.
Here is what it looks like when it hardens and warms. Once the warmth is gone you can put it in boiling water to get it back to its original composition and reuse it again the next time you need it! So cool!
OwlCrate Exclusive! Coloring Book
This coloring book features pages with images of all the pins we have received over the year. This is such a fun idea and a great way to put our own creative spin on the beautifully designed enamel pins we have received over the course of our subscription!
OwlCrate Exclusive! Planner Stickers
They also included this unique set of colored pencils which feature some perfectly bookish hashtags on the ends such as "TreatYoShelf" and "OnceUponATime." These will be great for coloring in our book!
OwlCrate Exclusive! Monthly Enamel Pin
Every month we receive an enamel pin inspired by our story. This month's design has some pretty sparkles to it that I love and was designed by Read and Wonder.
At the back of our sticker book was a little checklist for all of the pins with this pin being our final one for the year!
Verdict: This month's OwlCrate box was another fantastic curation that I thoroughly enjoyed! I was excited about the book sleeve because, with three kiddos at home, I always seem to be missing my books or the covers to them when I happen to set them down for a second. The candle and earmuffs are really nice and I love the unique hand warmer! The enamel pin coloring book and set of fun colored pencils were a nice way to finish out the year of OwlCrate boxes. While this box didn't blow me away like last month's (I never expected it to since it was so good!), this was still a solid box and a great value for a $37.98 ($29.99 + $7.99 US shipping) box!
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, but join the waitlist today for the January box.
Value Breakdown: This box costs $29.99 + $7.99 shipping, which means that each of the 8 items in the box has an average cost of $4.75.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of OwlCrate this month?