The Dragon’s Hoard – September 2016: Ties That Bind

The Dragon’s Hoard Box is an 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
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

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I was on leave when my box arrived, which was very bad timing on my part! I had three boxes turn up while I was away – good lord, I need to plan my holidays better, judging myself so hard right now…

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First look inside – very bright and cheerful! I get a kick out of the packing squiggles. ^_^

OVERVIEW OF CONTENTS

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An info card explaining this month’s theme and the contents within.

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‘Stir Crazy’ spoon from PajamaProductions ($5 AUD).

I’ve accumulated a few spoons from various boxes, but this one is probably the most accurate representation of my mental state, lol. (I found it ridiculously hard to photograph, apologies!)

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Magnet and Zip Pull from CreateExploreRead (~$10?).

What a lovely large magnet! This measures roughly 4.5 x 5.5 inches and dwarfs all the other magnets on my fridge. 😀 I love this message, I’ve found this to be especially true of the bookstagram community – I’ve gained a whole new appreciation of books because of the friends I’ve made through our shared love of reading (or rather, our mutual obsession with taking photos of books, haha).

The zip pull is also very practical – I’m forever breaking the zips on my various bags and using keychains as an alternative, lol, so this is perfectly suited to me!

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Spring Court candle from BurningPagesCandles ($8 for 4oz)

I never get tired of receiving candles in boxes! These are indulgences I wouldn’t buy for myself (the shipping is a killer, even if etsy wasn’t already so expensive), but I’m always happy to find one of these tins when I dig into a box. ❤

FYI, I am a heathen who has never read anything by Sarah J Maas (I’M SORRY, CAN WE STILL BE FRIENDS?) so the full significance of this candle is lost on me as I’m not aware of the character/book that inspired it. I’m sure a lot of other people would be absolutely ecstatic at receiving this if they’re invested in the source material. But despite my shameful ignorance, I must say that this is my favorite scent so far!

(My friend Brad did say it reminded him of washing detergent, lol, but I think ‘flowers and sunshine’ is just a common inspiration for a lot of products…)

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And the book this month is Strings by David Estes, which was originally published in February this year ($12.99 USD or approx $17 AUD). We also received a signed bookmark!

Synopsis from Goodreads:

“A wonderful retelling of the Pinocchio story…I simply couldn’t put this book down.”—Rysa Walker, bestselling author of TIMEBOUND

Sometimes the strings that tie us down are the same strings that set us free.

Sixteen-year-old Pia has always lived in a mysterious facility where mechanical strings control her existence. She plays apprentice to her father, Gio, in performing nanotech designs for the Company, and she soon suspects there are diabolical human forces behind the manufactured reality of her world.

Though her childhood memories and the origins of the strings remain strangely elusive, she begins to find solace with the introduction of two unlikely friends: daring, irrational Sofia, and calm, tender Marco.

As the truths of the past and present unravel together, Pia must find a way to free herself from her strings and escape the facility before facing the wrath of the unstable head of security, Mr. Davis. But to gain her freedom, she must navigate the dangers posed by Davis and by her suspicious new friends to find the real identity of the puppeteer.

If Pia can succeed in revealing the secrets of the Company, she may very well find the independence she so desperately seeks. But in her controlled world nothing is as it seems, and the closer she gets to the truth, the graver the consequences.

I love the books that Joyce selects for this box – they’re all underrated books that have flown under the radar but deserve some attention. Being an indie book, it’s less likely people would’ve come across this one (I’d never heard of it and I haunt Goodreads like it’s my job), so there’s little chance it’d already be on your bookshelf. 😉

I am super excited about ‘Strings‘. 😀 Fairytale retellings are always fun, and I’m a fan of genderswaps because it’s interesting to see how different things are if the character is of the opposite sex, plus I’m all about female protagonists and female friendships. This hits all my kinks! ❤

I think this book will appeal to a ton of subscribers – there have been countless adaptations of various fairytales (TONS of different takes on Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, etc.) so this is part of a popular trend, but it’s very original in its choice of inspiration. I’ve never heard of a revisionist take on Pinocchio, color me intrigued!

VERDICT

Quality of Curation: I do think this wasn’t quite as cohesive as the July box I received – the items in that box perfectly matched the book, whereas here, I’m not as convinced by the connection between, say, the spoon and the book. The items by CreateExploreRead were spot-on, however!

I also like that these bookish goodies are functional as well as pretty, so I’ll actually get some use out of them. Sometimes I’ll ooh and ahh over something from a box and then it sits in my cupboard gathering dust and never again sees the light of day, but I really appreciate how the contents of The Dragon’s Hoard boxes are always practical! CANDLES = ❤

Worth It? I guesstimated a couple items, but the cost of the box equaled the value of the items included, which is all I ask! I purchased this for $30 plus shipping, and its value was $30, not including the magnet and matching zip pull. Considering that the book isn’t widely available, that increases the value to me personally, since I can’t order this off Book Depository or walk into Dymocks and pick it up.

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, giveaways and theme announcements! October’s theme is ‘Worlds Apart’, featuring a YA sci-fi book by an Australian indie author.

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I purchased this box, and this review is based on my personal opinion. No compensation was received.

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