Illumicrate Special Edition ‘Saints & Scars’ Unboxing
Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse trilogy is hugely popular amongst Young Adult readers. Her world building is considered to be some of the best within the YA Fantasy genre. Personally, I like the original trilogy but I wouldn’t consider myself a huge fan. I am however a fan of one particular character, Nikolai. When I heard about King of Scars I definitely wanted to read it. I was not surprised that Illumicrate wanted to create a special edition book box for it’s release. Despite arguing with myself about the Grishaverse not being one of my favourite fandoms, I couldn’t resist grabbing a box whilst they were still available. The Illumicrate special edition boxes are amazing so I knew that there would be items that I would fall in love with. Did it live up to the hype? Here is my unboxing!
Saints & Scars Grishaverse Box
The Saints and Scars box felt a bit like Mary Poppins’ handbag as I pulled new items out with so many different things included. Every item is very high quality, which I have come to expect from Illumicrate special editions. The artwork for the box, as shown in my title image, was created by the very talented Aeentee.
I’ve never received a blanket in a book box before and I was thrilled to find one included. I had hoped there would be a blanket after one of the clues Illumicrate gave on social media. I love the fox design, which was illustrated by Yoshi Yoshitani. It is really cute yet doesn’t scream ‘fandom’ so it can be appreciated by everyone. It is SO soft that I wish I could have spent all day curled up under it. My partner immediately attempted to steal it but he isn’t the cunning fox he thinks he is!
Nikolai themed items were a given but I didn’t expect a plush of him. He is cute, cuddly and I’m sure will be featuring in many Instagram posts. The Illumicrate team designed him in house so the plush is completely exclusive. How cool is that?
Ravkan Myths Candle
Layered candles are my favourite as they look so pretty on my shelves. The candle was designed by Flickerink and was inspired by the ‘magnificent creatures of Ravkan Myths’. It is seaweed and juniper scented, which is unusual. I can’t pinpoint what the scent reminds me of but it is not one of my favourite fragrances. Scents are very much down to personal taste and I am sure a lot of people will love it!
Fable and Black Items
Fable & Black are one of my favourite bookish shops so I am really pleased that they have designed multiple items for the Saints and Scars box. Firstly, there is a set of three enamel pins and they are all lovely. I honestly don’t think I could even pick a favourite. It is nice that they are all very different and I look forward to putting them on my pin banner.
Secondly, Fable and Black designed a pair of socks as ‘the finishing touch to your privateer disguise’. Although socks don’t seem like a very exciting item, I really like them! The socks from the Starfall box are some of my favourites and these are the same high quality. I love that they used the colours from the book’s design and kept the design on the socks simple.
My favourite item by Fable & Black in the box has to be the mug. Mugs are fairly common place is book boxes but this is the prettiest one I have ever received! The glossiness and gilding is perfect, as is the quote they decided to use “One could plot violent espionage and still hope for dessert”.
Lastly, they designed a small case to use for coins or small items like earphones. It is inspired by Genya’s sunburst eyepatch and will be handy to have around.
When Illumicrate announced that Monolime was designing several pieces of art for the box I thought that it would be another set of tarot cards as they are very popular in book boxes right now. Tarot cards don’t really do anything for me. Luckily, I was wrong and instead received a set of bookmarks. One can never have to many bookmarks! The art is lovely and really captures some of the characters. The bookmarks feature: Alina, Baghra, Genya, Nina, Tamar, Zoya and Leoni.
I love the idea behind this item! On of my favourite bookish designers is Stella Bookish Art, who designed the fan. This will come in really handy in summer and if I finally make it to YALC, I suspect I will not be the only one carrying this around. I love the originality of the item, it is a very good inclusion.
Another item you can never have too many of are book sleeves. They are so useful to have when travelling! This one is designed by Chatty Nora, featuring the quote “Hope was the wind that came from nowhere to fill your sails and carry you home”. It is a beautiful quote and the design is simple so the typography is the main focus. Unlike any other book sleeves I own, this one has a pop button that goes over the top to keep your book securely inside, which is a really nice feature! The fabric is lined and very thick for maximum book protection and durability. I love that Illumicrate packed King of Scars inside the book sleeve to protect it whilst in transit. They have done it with previous boxes and I think it is a really nice touch.
If you love Nikolai then this is the calendar for you! It showcases multiple artists and their interpretations of my favourite Grishaverse character. There is a really nice mix of designs.
King of Scars
The most important part of a book box is probably the book itself. The reveal of the special edition of King of Scars is the reason I bought the box in the end. The reversed colours of black on gold under the cover is really nice but my favourite part is that there is a quote on the spine! A lovely touch is the letter included from Leigh Bardugo. I am really looking forward to a long reading session.
Having received the Starfall box last year I didn’t think that Illumicrate could top it. I was wrong! The item selection is so well balanced in the Saints and Scars box that it has now taken top spot. My favourite item overall is the blanket but there are so many items that I love in this box. The box was not cheap at £62 but was it worth the money? 100%. It is a testament to them that I bought this box when I am not a huge fan of the original series. It is clear that a lot of thought, planning and care goes into their special edition boxes and I don’t hesitate to recommend them. In my opinion, they are currently the best one-off boxes on the market and I always look forward to seeing what they have in store for us next.
Did you receive the Saints and Scars box? What did you think? Let me know below. If you are not familiar with the the Grishaverse and would like to learn more my review of Shadow and Bone is here.