Page & Wick #1: January 2024

I have the annoying habit where whenever I learn about a new type of book box subscription, I immediately sign up for their waiting list (because there is almost always one).
But then there will of course come a time when my place on the waiting list has progressed so far that I will receive an invitation to actually take out the subscription. And yes, my curiosity and major FOMO ensure with almost 100% certainty that I cannot say no to that.

This also happened with Page & Wick, again a service from the UK.
It is a small-scale company, started by four friends who have a great passion for books and candles. They translated this passion into Page & Wick, where they focus on fantasy books by self-published authors. The subscription is bi-monthly and each box contains a special hardcover edition of a fantasy book, combined with a hand-poured soy candle, the scent of which is inspired by the book in question.

I received my invitation in early December, so my first box was going to be the January 2024 one, themed Binds of Fate.

The candle is called Casantri, after a location from the accompanying book.
The scent of the candle is quite penetrating. Not bad smelling, but very present. Unfortunately, it is not described anywhere exactly what it is and I cannot immediately point it out.
Honestly, I’m not a big fan of scented candles. Too many scents easily give me a headache, so I rarely light it. Anyway, with this box it wasn’t actually about the candle at all, but about the book 😉

And this is The Fangs of War by E.J. Doble

After the brutal execution of Provenci’s King by the roving forces of Tarraz, a new military government vaults into power with the nefarious Alvarez at the helm. Hell-bent on bloodshed and the glory of an imperial past, he amasses the largest army seen in a generation and plunges the two nations into a bloody war, against the will of the god-like being known as the All-Mother.

Cavara, a general of the army at odds with her superiors over the war, is ground under the heel of the scheming Commander Revek and betrayed by her own people, left for dead on a distant shoreline. Saved by a passing ship and taken to the other end of the world, she is plagued by visions of a white void and a figure known as the Shadow Woman, who begins to unravel the true nature of the war – a conflict not only of men, but also of gods alike.

In a story of hope, power, greed and hatred, all are driven mad by the enemy within – none are safe from the Fangs of War.

This sounds like a fairly grim and dark story, which gives me some pauze, but the extra information about the gods does increase my interest. The Page & Wick edition takes it one step further!

The cover is completely different from the original book. Personally, I find the drawing less attractive than the original with the snake. But no doubt that it is very nicely made and the cover itself is of superior quality with gold foil. I especially love the spine.

But what completely blew me away, is what’s underneath that cover! Absolutely gorgeous!
An emerald green fabric hardcover with a beautiful line figure in gold foil. The linen-like fabric is not that easy to photograph, as my camera automatically creates lines, so the photos definitely don’t do it justice. Trust me, I’ve seen plenty of special editions along the way, and the quality here is top notch!
The book block at the front also has a beautiful motif sprayed in multiple colours, the quality of which is also of the best I have ever seen!
And then there is also a beautiful illustration as the front and back endpaper.
Finally, the book is signed by the author!

Yes, I am really impressed with this book box. I had read several times that Page & Wick produced book editions of the very best quality, but they still managed to surprise me!

And in retrospect, this is very fortunate, because what happened when the package arrived at Belgian customs? Yes, the shop is not registered as IOSS, which means I still had to pay quite high import costs and taxes before the package was released.
Completely my fault, I should have checked it more carefully of course. I had only seen on their website that they shipped to Belgium, with the same shipping costs as what I already pay for other boxes from the UK. So I had assumed that it would be the same as with, say, Illumicrate or Fairyloot, but unfortunately I had not noticed that there was no mention of the VAT paid on the invoice.
So yes, for the time being this is my first and last box from Page & Wick, since the extra charges at customs are ridiculously expensive even for me. Apparently Page & Wick are planning to obtain their IOSS registration this year, so for the time being I have only paused my subscription and not canceled it completely. We’ll see how it goes!


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