The Cost: $31.97/month (includes shipping)
What You Get: Every month, you will get a new contemporary adult fiction novel with a focus on literary fiction from debut writers along with a full box or tin of tea supporting small, local, organic tea makers from the US and Canada.
A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab- The author has created a new universe that contains parallel versions of the same world in the first book A Darker Shade of Magic. In this case, London. There are four versions of London and they only know about each other when the rare human is born that can travel between them. The first book was a fast paced adventure involving Kell, the main character who has the ability to travel between worlds, and his interactions between the London versions. He's been smuggling articles from one London to the other for pay. Unfortunately, that's illegal and being caught is right around the corner.
So that was the first book. Now hopefully, this second book will give me some more information about each of the main characters and play out the next dangerous scenario.
Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games-an extravagent international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries-a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.
But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again-and so to keep magic's balance, another London must fall...
That's only part of the Amazon blurb, just in case you decide you want to read the first one. I didn't want to spoil anything.
Also... SIGNED! Somehow that makes me feel very special. :)
Value: $17.77 (on Amazon)
As part of the swag in the box, I received four postcards with original art by Victoria Ying. These are four of the new characters that will be introduced in the book. Woohoo!
There's also a bookmark of the London skyline. Which one? I'm not sure. It's black so maybe it's Black London?
Mr Trombly's Tea in A Mid Winter Night's Dream- This is a huge bag of tea, I have to say. Four ounces is a lot. I'm going to say one thing, though. It's not big enough. This tea is FANTASTIC! It's black tea with chocolate, ceppermint, cacao bits and pink peppercorns! It has mini chocolate chips in it which sort of weirded me out at first. Until I tasted it. I've already had about 36oz of tea and I'm about to run down and make some more. It's that good. There are so many interesting teas in their shop I hardly know where to start.
VERDICT: I can't wait to read the book Muse Monthly sent. I didn't wait to drink the tea and I'm currently in tea heaven. This was an excellent month for me! The value of the box is $30 which is just under what I paid for it. I never expect book boxes to be a deal, though I do expect them to equal price paid so this is on target for me. Plus, the introduction to a new tea blend and tea company is always appreciated.
The other nice thing about Muse Monthly is it is not a surprise. The book and tea are spoiled on Instagram so you'll know what that month's book is. April's book is Sudden Death by Alvaro Enrique. I decided to skip next month which I did right from my account. I always, always appreciate the ability to skip! I wish all subscriptions did that!
If you would like to sign up for Muse Monthly, you can do that here. Use code INSTA10 for 10% off your first box.