Updated: Apr 1, 2022
Sigh. I was so excited for this box. The book, which I read as an ARC, was amazing. I hoped the fandoms bedecked wonderful items that just made the crate as magical as the featured novel. Alas, that is not so. The items are too few, the quality is not there, and none of the items are showstoppers.
Immediately, this box has too much paper in it. Every box comes with the standard bookmark from the theme art, theme art spoiler card, art print with author letter, tarot cards with character art (the art on these was unbelievably amazing), and Fairy Scribe. This box also included, as an item, a sheet of five stickers. Sticker sheets should never be counted as an item. Ever. They cost too little for a box that is nearly $50. Not cool. As a bonus thank you to customers, I’m okay with that. But not ever as an official item.
Accompanying the sticker sheet of disappointment is another pillow cover. I think I have about 3 million of them from book boxes. While the art on this one is amazingly beautiful, I don’t find the item very useful and do not like it. If it were a canvas bag, I’d be gushing over it. I use those all the time and I like them to be pretty. I don’t have a million pillows around my house to cover, though.
Then, there’s a(nother) tea tin. Like the pillow covers, I feel this is a profusely overdone item. It’s also very cheap for boxes to include. As it is, mine won’t even open properly. Again, the art on it is marvelous and goes very well with the book, but after a while with so many of the same items coming in crates (all crates, not just FairyLoot, though it’s been in their crates before), it becomes clutter.
The wooden bookmark is a lovely addition with beautiful art on it, but it’s much too thick to use. Bookmarks, even wood ones, need to be at least 1/2 to 1/3 the thickness of this bookmark in order to keep from damaging the binding on the book.
Not included and shipping later is a deck of playing cards (another item I have many of from multiple boxes over the years), which I can’t review yet. Cards are also more paper. I don’t find them to be useful items, as the art on them is too beautiful to use when I play Gin Rummy every 20 years or so.
Now, on to the book. The highlight of the box. It is a beauty. I love the edges, though the light blue does not match the sea green color on the cover; however, I am happy with the colors FairyLoot chose for the exclusive cover on the book. It feels to me they match the aesthetic of the story I had in my mind. Dark colors that look like they’re in the depths of the ocean with vibrant tones that reflect a dark, idyllic fairy tale atmosphere, though the original cover is quite beautiful as well. I’m glad the main design was not changed for this one. I’ve had too many beautiful covers ruined lately with redesigns; I really hoped this cover would not also suffer the same fate.
To add to the beautiful cover, the end pages take the cake. I would love to have had at least one of them on the reverse of the jacket or on an art print so I could display it on my shelves. They do so match the Miyazaki vibes the novel has. They’re my absolute favorite part of the edition hands down. Aside from the gorgeous story, of course.
I also absolutely love love love the foil embossing on the wrap. The spine and the front board mimic the beauty of the story. I love the enchantment and feeling of Mina and the Water Dragon on the front board; it just makes me want to read the story all over again.
Ultimately, even if I knew how disappointing the items would be, I still would have gotten the box. I just love the book, and the author is so lovely. Overall, the ratings for the items are a bleak 1/5. The book is a hearty 5/5.