Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Resilient Royals Fairyloot

All about royalty surviving (?) and being around in this box. And one of the first things I noticed as I was resizing the picture is that there is a lot of paper items in it and I am not particularly fond of this. But let’s see what is what, starting from the theme card on the top left and going clockwise:

  • Theme card for Resilient Royals, the bookmark is also just underneath
  • Tarot cards.
  • A cardholder inspired by Queen’s Rising. I do like this as I love small cardholders over big purses and I am keeping it, just sad it doesn’t have more slots.
  • Shielded as the main book. I am torn betwene the green here or the original blue because both look so good!
  • A print for Bear and the Nightingale/Winternight trilogy.
  • Candle, I lit this one the other day and it is very pleasant and sweet (not sickly, just nicely sweet).
  • Crescent moon, I think SJ Maas inspired cushion cover. I am not bothered about this one, since I don’t have that many cushions and do not need that many covers.
  • A food tray (?). I would say it is more of a trinket tray but not the jewelry kind. I like this one quite a bit andit has been used a bit around the house, more than I expected!
  • Author letter with character art.

All in all, some good items, some not as good items. But the book was on my list of books I have wanted to read/order so all good. I do like that there’s new kind of items like the tray and the cardholder, but not that invested in repeats.

What are your favourite items? Is it because of the fandom or the usability/appeal of the item?

Books, Subscription Boxes

A Different Kind of Magic Fairyloot Unboxing

A bit delayed, but this was June’s Fairyloot box which had two books and a magical vibe to it with some darkness too (or at least that’s how it felt to me). Starting from the left and going to the right:

  • Print. I think something to do with Sarah J. Maas? (you can see how little I care for prints in general, sadly)
  • The main book, Forest of Souls. I am increidbly excited to read it since I heard about it, so definitely happy to have it.
  • Also included an early copy of The Gilded Ones which has also been high on my list so all good books!
  • A Shadows Between Us pin.
  • And a gorgeous Starless Sea patch. I am just sad it isn’t a sticker or something more useful than a patch because they just go in a box to be admired when I remember they exist. Why are book boxes obsessed with sending patches?
  • A teapot tea strainer. It is a bit small and doesn’t have a lot of space for the tea to swish around so as cute as it is, it feels a bit not fit for purpose.
  • A pair of socks for the Bone Season.
  • Tarot cards as per usual.
  • The theme card.
  • And an elemental set of coasters.

Sadly the biggest most exciting items for me where the books. The rest wasn’t as great or useful to me and it made me sad because it didn’t match the theme as well as I expected and also it just didn’t make me smile the way I hoped. But maybe it hit everybody else’s themes and fandoms? (I think part of the thing is that the books I love aren’t big fandoms, like for example Mexican Gothic and Gods of Jade and Shadow, or the Spellslinger series… )

Books, Subscription Boxes

Memories Fairyloot Unboxing

April’s Fairyloot arrived quitelate this time, so it felt as if it was the May box rather than the April one. Oh well, this is the oen for April, and it left me with some opinions. Let’s unbox starting from the top right and going clockwise:

  • Tote bag, this is a thick quality one which is nice but the deisgn is very much quotes and small reading so it doesn’t shine much.
  • Emoji sticky tabs which is very much NOT my thing. Starting by it being emojis and then sticky tabs.
  • Theme bookmark
  • An enamel pin for a Memory Vial.
  • Wahsi tape for Daughter of Smoke and Bone, though it could be for many thing, however it is cute and blue so I like it.
  • A Secret Book Volume 3. I like the idea but it does look quite “fake” (whereas I already have a few other secret books that look more like books), so shall compare but I like the idea.
  • Theme card.
  • Tarot cards, not been collecting them so a bit meh about them.
  • A pin banner thing, which I am not keeping but I know of some people who would love it.
  • The main book, Incendiary which I am intrigued by it and looking forward to reading.

All in all it felt a bit not cohesive, and some items felt like fillers and add ons just to pad it rather than to really want ot be in theme and with the book. But shall compare later on to the other box doing the same book and we can decide…

Books, Subscription Boxes

Break the Curse Fairyloot Unboxing

So, after a long delay due to COVID19 issues, and the parcel being sent to the wrong address despite replying of needing address changes to all book boxes *sigh*, I have the March Fairyloot.

Starting on the top right and going clockwise:

  • Postcard about bieng in tough times.
  • Break the Curse theme card
  • A hard headband (not an elastic one) with a Raven Cycle print. The print is nice, but I will never use the headband because those hurt the hell out of my head and give me an instant headache, which is a shame.
  • Passport cover, again, nice idea, but most airports don’t like passport covers and ask you to take it out and then it is one more thing to try to balance and not loose, so yeah, just not happening (plus, I don’t think a lot of people are going to be travelling soon).
  • A list notepad.
  • Zippered booksleeve. It is cushioned and has a zipper on top and it is gorgeous, so I really like it.
  • A lankyard for Caraval. The lankyard is nice, but I am fed up of Caraval everything.
  • Tarot cards. Nice art, do not collect them.
  • A Holly Black tumbler, which is nice but I don’t really use this type of tumblers so won’t be used at all.
  • Bone Crier’s Moon, with gorgeous shimmering green edges. I am excited for it.

All in all an interesting box. The items are nice but most of them I won’t use which is a bit of a waste and sad. The book is definitely gorgeous, specially the subtle shimmering on the edges. Not a bad box, just a little less useful/less to keep for myself.

Book Review, Books

Woven in Moonlight Review

Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

A book based on Bolivian history with moon magic? yes please! And that is just the short premise of it. We have Ximena who has been the Condesa’s decoy for most of her life, to the point she’d die for her. But she doesn’t have to die, only marry the enemy King who is intent on destroying the few leftover Illustrians and has taken over the country.

But King Atoc is corrupt and obsessed with a drug and using it to make money while makignthe population addicted to it and slowly destroying what he built after de-throning the Illustrians.

At first I was incredibly annoyed by Ximena and Catalina (the true Condesa), but the plot was what kept me wanting to find out. I could see bits of where the inspiration for the made up things in the story came from and it made it richer and more interesting.

I never really ended up caring too much about Ximena, though she does grow a lot through the book which helped as she realises not everything she has been told and knows is actually the full truth.

We get a lot about food, weaving and clothes but not enough about the politics, history or the magic. Moon magic, come on! I was dying to know more about it, but we only really find the weaving magic and what Catalina is meant to do via the stars. Not much more is mentioned other than some healing abilities and hiding things, but not detailed enough and it is almost as if magic is an afterthought and yet it is incredibly significant to the story, so it didn’t sit well in my head the disconnect between the importance of the magic and how easily it was brished off to the side unless it was plot important. Or got Ximena out of a pickle.

The animals were cute and having El Lobo be this kind of Robin Hood/Zorro figure was fun but it was easy to guess who was behind it and it felt a bit frustrating that his part in the story is only to prompt Ximena to do things or challenge her when she’s out doing the things. We only know of him as folk hero, and again, the book feels like it only birngs certain things in as needed without any concept, and given how Ximena is that felt not right that she wouldn’t do more about it before she’s “forced” to do something about it.

A few other choices of actions for some of the characters felt odd but otherwise it was interesting and I enjoyed the story and the ideas behind it. It was fun to read and it went by fast (it didn’t feel like a drag or a struggle to read).

Books, Subscription Boxes

Rulebreakers Fairyloot Unboxing

After the Moon & Stars box, I did my best to not keep ym hopes up for this box. The previous one was SO good I wasn’t sure how the follow up box would be. But surprisingly it wasn’t a huge difference. It isn’t as good as Moon & Stars, but it isn’t a sad box or one that made me think “oh noes, not worth it”.

So let’s unbox the contents, starting from the theme card in the middle top and going clockwise:

  • Theme card.
  • A foiled scarf based on Sorcery of Thorns. I was like “oh this is gorgeous” and it still stands. It is stunning.
  • A Serpent and Dove mug. I did not really like the book, but this mug, pure gold(en snake).
  • Tarot collectible cards (not bothered but I can appreciate the art).
  • A We Hunt the Flame print, the artwork is nice and I did recognise it despite still having the book on my TBR.
  • This one made me giggle with the Mordor luggage tag and it is absolutely going on one of our suitcases because it is pretty cool and good pun.
  • On top of the luggage tag is a sticker and there are also some foil booksmarks inspired by Nevernight series and I they fit the series well plus are a good design.
  • A print for the book and the theme bookmark.
  • The book, which is The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller. I don’t think I know much about it except that it had caught my eye and so I am looking forward to reading it.
  • Artwork of the characters from the book (I am not sure yet who they are).
  • There was also a lipbalm that is isnpired by The Wicked Saints and smells very yummy. Good tiing for winter and my husband starting to steal all of my lipbalms!

As you can see, this box had several stunning items and it still feels like a lot of care was going into it to make it so I am glad it didn’t fall flat. Looking forward to the March box!

Books, Subscription Boxes

Moon & Stars Fairyloot Unboxing

Fairyloot announced this box and I knew I needed to have it. And I have to say, I do not regret it at all. I know I’ve been complaining about the contents of book boxes recently, but this box is exactly what I want to talk about.

You can see the effort and care that was put into it to make it a stunning box. The amount of items is great (I even missed one and had to add the picture at the end of this post) and they are varied, decent or good quality. The whole thing screams “we care, we love the theme, we put effort into this”. And this is what I find lacking recently. If you can do it for this one box, if I can see how much you care by the contents of your box, then why aren’t you all doing this all the time? I wouldn’t be umming and erring about keeping the subscription if the boxes were always this good!

I mean, even this box has items I am not keeping, but I feel way less sad about it because there are a lot of items I like and because there’s so mcuh awesome useful stuff, that I am okay with it.

But now let’s do a full unboxing, starting on the bottom left corner and going clockwise:

  • Theme card.
  • A print for the book that has the author letter on the other side.
  • Stickers that are around the book. I love this, give me more fun stickers.
  • Star fairy lights. Cute, tiny and just a great thing in general.
  • Moon trinket dish. This is one of the ones I am not keeping but it is mostly because I already have two trinket dishes I prefer but I can still appreciate this one.
  • Cushion cover. On one side it has a moon and reader illustration, on the other a quote. It went straight into my favourite cushion. Cushion covers that aren’t just a quote are 100 times better than the same print on both sides and it being a quote.
  • Notebook with shiny foil and quote.
  • Theme bookmark.
  • Even the Darkest Stars keyring. First, yay because it is a look back at a previous book included, and second, it looks like Spyros and yeah, loved it.
  • Moon and star paperclips. You can’t see it in the picture but the other side of the paperclip has a crescent moon. I adore them!
  • Tarot cards. Not bothered since I am not collecting them.
  • The book which is Woven in Moonlight.
  • Also, pictured below rather than on the full picture, a moon phases neckalce that I am adoring.

As you can see, the quality and care shows. Also, to note, they had paper bags instead of plastic for most of the items (there is still some plastic, but it is minimal) so I am loving the choice on that too. I understand they will struggle to get rid of it all but the small change was something I liked too.

The only problem is that now I have high expectations for the next box and I don’t want ot ahve the hopes broken.

Books, Subscription Boxes

Defying the Odds Fairyloot Unboxing

I fell for it, because of the proof to be included in the box. And I am giving them 6 months to convince me to stay or not. I am still unsure about liking the full box. But we shall see.

Starting on the theme card on the bottom left and going clockwise, we have:

  • Theme card and theme art bookmark.
  • Magnetic bookmarks inspired by Skyward, my fave is the middle one. It’s so cute. But I am not crazy about magnetic bookmarks so they may go unused.
  • Tarot cards. Not my thing (I have a deck, it is just this set isn’t my thing).
  • A Fire Breathing Queen pin, which did for interesting reading of what it says.
  • A pair of socks, they’re soft and cosy.
  • Microfiber cloth with a quote. Now, this was abit confusing, because it is super cheap quality and basically doesn’t clean much and the printing will wash out easily. I would’ve rather liked a glasses cleaning cloth or something that can be used more.
  • Proof copy of Wicked As You Wish, really excited about it!
  • Game of Thrones pencils. I don’t need many pencils (unless they were proper drawing pencils sets, that’d be nice) so this isn’t being kept either.
  • Tea, in eco friendly packaging, which is nice.
  • A nice pouch, with a quote from Red Rising.
  • The main event book, Eight Will Fall. I hand’t heard of the book before this but I am very curious!

All in all, I am still unsure. There is the books and maybe one item I like, but the rest isn’t too great and could be better. But let’s see how January goes and the next few months…

Books, Subscription Boxes

Favourites Fairyloot Unboxing


I bit the bullet for March’s Fairyloot because I wanted both book that would be in it, and a theme of Favourites should be pretty spectacular, right? Sadly, this box confirmed that I am not that into their boxes.

But let’s see what was inside, starting from the top left corner and going clockwise:

  • Three prints. The only one I recognised was the Warcross one. Apparently the other two are from The Cruel Prince and An Ember in the Ashes. The artwork is nice, but 3 paper items aren’t really winning me over for this box.
  • A golden metal bookmark that is embossed and inspired by Strange The Dreamer. I liked it but it’s not that amazing and the design gets lost in the metal.
  • Theme postcard.
  • Alice in Wonderland socks, probably one of the best items as I do like socks. But also, nothing special about them. I can easily buy socks like this just going to Oxford for the day and visiting the Alice shop.
  • Bookworm Page Tabs. I like page tabs and have loved the potion ones they sent in a previous box, but this ones are less striking. Still not too bad, not too good, or rather, not a favourite.
  • Theme bookmark
  • Tarot cards, not collecting them  so neither here nor there for me. The artwork was very nice which at least was a bonus here.
  • Viper by Bex Hogan. That cover is gorgeous and I am so happy with this!
  • Author letter with artwork (for To Best the Boys)
  • To Best the Boys by Mary Weber, also another book I am looking forward to reading!
  • A purple Fairyloot pin. I wasn’t crazy about it, it is a bit “blurry” so not really stunning or striking.
  • And finally, underneath it all, a scarf with “favourite” books. It has spelling errors (I proof and proof my artwork if it has text, and when I “interpret” titles, I change to other words, not just omit letters), it is too translucent to actually show the books as books when you wear it, just looks like blots of colour, so not impressed. The artwork in itself has mmostly titles I don’t care about and that aren’t favourites.

All in all I was underwhelmed by the box. My favourite items were the books only, nothing else really made me think “oh yes, my favourites”, so for me the theme missed the mark. I am sure others loved it, but since I buy too many boxes and preorder too many books I have to be picky with what I get and sadly Fairyloot isn’t for me.


Books, Subscription Boxes

Dragons Fairyloot Unboxing


I broke my “no more Fairyloot” ban because who can resist dragons, right? But somehow, despite it being a nice box, I didn’t feel like it was as great as could be. Let’s have a look at the items, starting fromt he left and going towards the right:

  • Theme postcard, this one I liked, but we already knew what the artwork was going to be.
  • Fire & Heistby Sarah Beth Durst. I had this one on my list of preorders so definite win here.
  • A Reading Journal, this one is less fancy than the one in Owlcrate, so even less excited about it than I was by Owlcrate’s. I already use Goodreads and blog about what I read. And I’ve never been good at keeping journals and sticking to it.
  • The Storm Crow ARC. My favourite item of this box, because I really want to read this book and it was great to get a proof so early for it!
  • A Gringotts Escape Dragon book sleeve. The artwork is nice, but the sleeve is bulky and not as good as most of the ones I already have (I understand that mass produced sleeves can’t compare to handmade ones, but I prefer the handmade ones much more). This is one of those items I am not keeping.
  • At the top, is a hidden “pin banner”, which is literally a piece of fabric on a stick. Mine came loose from the stick so I had to reattach it and I saw it and just went “why did you include this?!” Single banners are a bit meh already, but this one doesn’t even have any print or something on it. You could’ve added a title of “my pin/badge collection” or “bookdragon treasures/shinies” and make it a lot more attractive. This felt like a cheap item just added to pad up the box.
  • First two cards of their trading cards, I think they’re tarot based. And they’re quite big and heavy.
  • Double sided print with Toothless and Manon (why do you do double sided prints? It means I have to choose one side to display and the other to damage with whatever I use to glue/stick it to whatever way I display it?).
  • Second favourite item, a glow in the dark dragon necklace (it glows in the dark, the child in me loves this part of it and has extra points). This is also the most “dragon” item of the box.

So, half of the items or more are things I didn’t like, which means I had made the right choice to not buy more Fairyloot boxes because I wasn’t happy with the items. (I know other people may like them, but because I subscribe and try so many book boxes, I am picky with the ones I stick to).

I also felt it wasn’t as full of dragons as it could’ve been. Toothless was fun but maybe it’d be great for it to not just be a print (plus an item was missing!). I just wish the box would include a lot less paper items, and focus to keep the theme really into theme. The focus on big items is also making the rest of the box pay for it, which is kind sad.