The Dragon’s Hoard Box – July 2016: Wild Wild West!

The Dragon’s Hoard Box is a new Australian-based book subscription box that ships worldwide. Subscribers receive a Fantasy/Sci-fi (occasionally with a dash of YA) paperback book along with 3 – 5 goodies relating to the book and the monthly theme.

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The Dragon’s Hoard Box
Cost: $30 AUD monthly.
Shipping Costs: $9.50 within Australia or $25 international shipping.
Mailed Out: around the 15th  of each month.
Payment Method: Credit Card

**Note: the first box from June can still be purchased at their shop**

It’s super exciting that Australia’s seeing new book subscription boxes starting up! This is only the second box from The Dragon’s Hoard Box and I was lucky enough to be sent a complimentary box in exchange for an honest review.

I was pleasantly surprised at how fast this arrived, despite a delay in shipping. I want to note that although the boxes weren’t dispatched on the usual date, there were updates on social media so that everyone knew where things were at – this is such a blessing, because I’m currently waiting on a few boxes that are running weeks late and have to keep requesting updates… It’s so nice to be kept up-to-date and even better when the box arrives the DAY AFTER shipping! 😀

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As soon as I opened up the box, it was super bright and cheerful! I won’t judge a box by its packaging, but I do appreciate when there’s obviously extra effort put into the presentation to make the unboxing even more appealing. ^_^

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The info card with details on the items included this month. I like the motif for this box being a dragon guarding its book hoard, that’s such a cool design!

OVERVIEW OF CONTENTS

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Poster designed by Create Explore Read ($4.50): this was designed specially for this box! Exclusives aren’t a make-or-break for me, but I always think it’s neat when a box has something created specifically for its subscribers. ^_^

This poster looks great – the ‘Wanted’ poster is a staple of Westerns, and I liked the book twist to it. Definitely suits any bibliophile that ordered this box!

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Candle by Novelly Yours ($15.12 AUD): the candle was also created for this box – and it took my eagle-eyed colleague to note that its name (Mon Cherie)  is the same as the ‘hotel’ mentioned in the book blurb…

I’m sure I would’ve noticed eventually, I was just more preoccupied with seeing what scent I received. 😉 This one is ‘Meadow, Bread, Campfire‘.

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It was a bit of a hilarious sight at lunch-time with Brad and I passing this candle back and forth, breathing in vigorously like scent connoisseurs (‘honest, boss, we’re not huffing chemicals back here’). It’s quite a range of scents combined in one, but honestly, I don’t know that I smell bread there nor campfire? It smells more sweet to me, so I guess that’s the meadow in the foreground.

Anyway, the scent is lovely and I will be adding that to my collection of candles and melts to burn in the office. 😀

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Charm Bracelet by Life Is Full Of Charm (between $11 – $13).

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How so cute?! These little charms are adorable and so appropriate! It’s the perfect bracelet for this box, it just embodies the theme completely. No self-respecting character in a Western would be caught dead without their trusty revolver, cowboy boots and hat and faithful equine companion.

Incidentally, this is my first charm bracelet at the ripe old age of 28  (better late than never!) and I love it. ❤ The charms clink together so musically, I’ve been flicking my wrist around emphatically just to hear them, lol.

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Here’s a closer look – such great detail on these charms!

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Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear (discounted at Book Depository from $19.34 to $15.13)

Synopsis from Goodreads:

“You ain’t gonna like what I have to tell you, but I’m gonna tell you anyway. See, my name is Karen Memery, like memory only spelt with an e, and I’m one of the girls what works in the Hôtel Mon Cherie on Amity Street. Hôtel has a little hat over the o like that. It’s French, so Beatrice tells me.”

Set in the late 19th century—when the city we now call Seattle Underground was the whole town (and still on the surface), when airships plied the trade routes, would-be gold miners were heading to the gold fields of Alaska, and steam-powered mechanicals stalked the waterfront, Karen is a young woman on her own, is making the best of her orphaned state by working in Madame Damnable’s high-quality bordello. Through Karen’s eyes we get to know the other girls in the house—a resourceful group—and the poor and the powerful of the town. Trouble erupts one night when a badly injured girl arrives at their door, begging sanctuary, followed by the man who holds her indenture, and who has a machine that can take over anyone’s mind and control their actions. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the next night brings a body dumped in their rubbish heap—a streetwalker who has been brutally murdered.

Bear brings alive this Jack-the-Ripper yarn of the old west with a light touch in Karen’s own memorable voice, and a mesmerizing evocation of classic steam-powered science.

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First of all, that is a damn gorgeous cover, love the steampunk look!

Second, excuse me while I faint – when I went to find the Goodreads page for this book, I happened to scroll down and read a comment that this book features several LGBT characters, including a lesbian protagonist! *incoherent dolphin noises*

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I was already pleased to see a book by this author (I read some of her work back when I haunted the high school library, but then lost track of her afterwards), but the fact that this is one of the niche books that straddles the LGBT/Fantasy genres… ❤ I am so utterly thrilled! YA coming-out stories are becoming more prevalent and they are definitely important, but speaking for me personally, as a fantasy/sci-fi buff, it’s wonderful to read about gay characters in my fave genres!

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VERDICT

Quality of Curation: As the Ninth Doctor would say, ‘Fantastic!’ There’s a lot of thought put into the individual items that were selected, with two of them created just for The Dragon’s Hoard Box, and they all perfectly match the theme. I also really appreciate how Joyce specifically picks books that have flown under the radar:

…all books I choose for the boxes are underappreciated or lesser known. That’s something I’ll definitely be maintaining for future boxes. Our policy is books with less than 3k ratings on Goodreads.

A lot of us in book circles tend to have similar books on our TBR, what with Goodreads showing us what everyone else is reading or anticipating, so this is such a great policy and helps make it less likely that people will have double-ups

Worth It? I calculated a value of approximately $45.75, which exceeds the total cost for the box including local shipping! I haven’t always had the best luck with Australian boxes (sometimes you’re lucky to get equal value to the price of the box alone), so it’s great to see that this one is good value for the money invested in it. 🙂

Personal Rating: 5 out of 5 kitties approve this box!

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Find Out More: The Dragon’s Hoard Box is very active on Instagram – follow for updates and giveaways!

August’s theme is: “Be Your Best Self! We all want to be the best we can be! Our August book muses on this idea with interesting results…”

PR sample. All opinions are my own and no compensation was received.

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