Unboxing | Illumicrate Magic & Mayhem

Today I bring you a rare but anticipated unboxing that I am delighted to share. I love a good book box, but I’m often hesitant to subscribe to them – I tend to opt for the ones that offer single purchase options so that I can make sure I’m likely to enjoy the theme and featured book before I buy. So I like some surprises but I also like to be reasonably confident that I’m not going to hate said surprises!

When Illumicrate announced their upcoming special box was themed around none other than V.E. Schwab and her work, I knew I had to have it because there was, frankly, no way in hell that I wouldn’t enjoy the box. I have to say, even though I was confident in Illumicrate’s curation and pretty damn sure that nothing attached to celebrating the fictional worlds of V.E. Schwab could possibly be disappointing, I was astounded by the quality of this particular box. It was well worth the anticipation, the price tag, and the wait. But let’s not tease any more, shall we? Let’s get to the unboxing of the Illumicrate: Magic & Mayhem: The V.E. Edition.

First up we have this fantastic double-sided tote bag by Rowa Tree. One side features Kell and Lila and the four different Londons from A Darker Shade of Magic and the other proudly depicts Vicious’ Victor and Eli. I’m very impressed by how sturdy and substantial this tote bag is and the greg, red, black, and white colour scheme is very much my jam.

Next we have another London themed item – this beautiful scarf by Fable and BlackAs the autumn winds roll in, I’ll be very happy to have this scarf in reserve for when the winds get super chilly.

The last item in this section is a pouch/bag by Stella Bookish Art which would function as an incredible make-up bag and I think I’ll use it for just that purpose. The text is very apt and says “she bent most of the rules, she broke the rest”. Great sentiment, I think we can all agree? (…says the goodie two shoes nerd who always stuck by the rules, haha. )

Next up we have an ‘As Tascen’ water flask with lettering by Crini which is spooky because I was just thinking I needed a better flask and here it is. I like how simplistic the design is, it doesn’t hit you over the head with the reference but if you know, you know… if you see what I mean?

Speaking of drinkware, we also have an enamel mug with a design saying ‘Captain of the Night Spire’ made by Temporary Places. I have far too many mugs already but I always welcome more, especially because I can’t be blamed for buying more mugs because I didn’t, Illumicrate gave it to me!

Another thing I definitely don’t need more of but always delight in receiving – candles! This is a ‘A Darker Shade of London’ candle by Amelia’s Kitchen Candles which is gorgeous and smells of bergamot, vanilla, and cinnamon. It also has a really cool graduation in the wax of the four different colours for the four different Londons which is a really cool touch.

Some of my favourite little goodies are these next two items – a Vicious pin and a ‘As Travars’ keyring, both designed by Fable and Black. I must admit, the keyring is one of my favourite things and even though I’m not a huge enamel pin collector, this one will definitely make a nice addition to the V.E. Schwab section of my bookcase.

I’m a proverbial sucker for any print or illustrated goodie so this next lot of items are right up my street. First up we have a print of Lila and Kell at the Essen Tasch by Victoria Ying. The artwork is absolutely beautiful and they themselves are gorgeous so I’ll be sure to frame this appropriately and add it my wall of bookish stuff.

Next, something all readers need – bookmarks! These feature exclusive character artwork by Merwild and featured characters from A Darker Shade of Magic. We have Kell, Lila, Rhy and Alucard all looking dramatic and fabulous.

Speaking of them, Lorena Lammer has designed some incredibly tarot-style cards, featuring Kell, Lila, Rhy, Alucard, Holland, and the Dane twins. A picture doesn’t get anywhere close to doing these cards justice so you’ll just have to trust me when I saw they’re intricately designed and awesome!

And, lastly in this section, and possibly my favourites for some inexplicable reason, we have these postcards which represent the four different Londons from A Darker Shade of Magic, as designed by Moledro Craft Co. I just adore the concept of these and I already have my eye on a collage photo frame that I can frame these in and show them off on my bedroom wall. They’re sure to make me smile every time I see them then.

We’re working up to the main event here, folks, but first we have this gorgeous book sleeve by Illumicrate themselves which features quotes from Vicious. I just love the concept of this, it’s designed to look like how Victor blacks out the words in his parents’ self-help books in order to make new messages, and it fits perfectly with the newly designed covers for the UK editions of Vicious and Vengeful.

Speaking of Vengeful, here is the beauty itself, complete with a special lovely letter written by V herself for all her readers. This is the Illumicrate exclusive edition of V’s latest book, the second in the Villains series (duology?). Having recently read Vicious and enjoyed it, I’m very much looking forward to seeing what V has done in this highly anticipated sequel. I have to say, when I read Vicious I enjoyed it, but I didn’t have quite the same spark with it as I did when reading the Shades of Magic series or the Monsters of Verity duology. I think some of that is due to it being an earlier one of her novels and I feel like I’ve seen her writing grow and mature since this original novel – all of this means I’m super excited to see what awaits in Vengeful because I feel it’s going to take all the good in Vicious and completely blow it out of the water. This is the perfect book to base a box around and I’m so happy that the stars aligned and Illumicrate decided to take the opportunity of its release to theme a box around all things Schwab.


Well folks, that was an unboxing of the Illumicrate Magic & Mayhem book box. Did you get the box too – if so, which items were your favourites? And if you didn’t, but like the look of any of the items here, please go check out all the links to all the super talented artists responsible for the items in the box because they’re definitely worth checking out.

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