Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel

Hey y'all! Welcome to the tour for Keeper of the Bees, which is Meg Kassel's second published book. You'll recall that I LOVED Black Bird of the Gallows, and that book ended up being a year-end favorite. I'm pleased to say that I adored Keeper of the Bees!

About the Book:

Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel
Book two of the Black Bird of the Gallows series
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: September 4, 2018

Official Summary:

KEEPER OF THE BEES is a tale of two teens who are both beautiful and beastly, and whose pasts are entangled in surprising and heartbreaking ways.

Dresden is cursed. His chest houses a hive of bees that he can’t stop from stinging people with psychosis-inducing venom. His face is a shifting montage of all the people who have died because of those stings. And he has been this way for centuries—since he was eighteen and magic flowed through his homeland, corrupting its people.

He follows harbingers of death, so at least his curse only affects those about to die anyway. But when he arrives in a Midwest town marked for death, he encounters Essie, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from debilitating delusions and hallucinations. His bees want to sting her on sight. But Essie doesn’t see a monster when she looks at Dresden.

Essie is fascinated and delighted by his changing features. Risking his own life, he holds back his bees and spares her. What starts out as a simple act of mercy ends up unraveling Dresden’s solitary life and Essie’s tormented one. Their impossible romance might even be powerful enough to unravel a centuries-old curse.

About the Author:

Meg Kassel is an author of fantasy and speculative books for young adults. A graduate of Parson's School of Design, she’s been creating stories, whether with visuals or words, since childhood. Meg is a New Jersey native who lives in a log house in the Maine woods with her husband and daughter. As a fan of ’80s cartoons, Netflix series, and ancient mythology, she has always been fascinated and inspired by the fantastic, the creepy, and the futuristic. She is the 2016 RWA Golden Heart® winner in YA and a double 2018 RITA® finalist for her debut novel, Black Bird of the Gallows.

My Thoughts:

I actually read this book a while ago and am now putting my thoughts together, so bear with me. I won't do a full review because this is a tour post, and I also can't remember some of the very specific details of the book. Probably for the better, because I don't want to give away too many details and spoil the magic.

I loved Black Bird of the Gallows, and was super excited to see that there would be a second book. This is actually a COMPANION sequel and not a direct sequel, though you will see how the books connect, once you read this one. I like how Kassel connected the stories!

I liked this book a lot. I liked the first book more - that book was so perfect - but I really liked this follow-up. It's different compared to the first book, and in good ways.

Dresden is such a sweetheart! He is cursed with having bees in his chest, always carrying the burden of the bees. He has no constant face, and no constant companions, as his venom kills. Dresden harbors guilt, secrets, and a long history. He is very cool in my opinion, very badass, and very selfless. I liked him from the start.

Essie is a tough girl, who has been through a lot and goes through a lot in this story. She suffers from delusions and hallucinations, and isn't "normal". Little does she know that her history is tied to Dresden's. Essie doesn't see Dresden as a monster, despite his monstrous being. Essie is a good person with a kind heart and was dealt a seriously bad hand in the game of life.

I loved watching these two slowly but surely fall for each other. This is a Beauty & the Beast retelling with a hint of forbidden romance, almost Romeo & Juliet/Shakespeare style. I loved the romance. It was slow-burn and forbidden and sweet.

The ending had me a little nervous, given this type of story and Dresden's history, but the book actually ended really well! Such a great ending! Thank you, Meg Kassel, for giving readers a positive, sweet conclusion to the story.

Check out Black Bird of the Gallows:

(Click on the cover for more information!)

The Excerpt:

“Will I see you again, Dresden?”

My throat goes dry and raw and aching. “Do you want to?”

However she answers will be excruciating. There will be no recovering from this encounter. From the memory of her touch and her wide, trusting eyes. Good gods, from her embrace.

She nods.

I am doomed. “I’ll find you later. I’ll…” What? Knock on her door and ask her aunt if I can invite her to the movies? Not in this universe. “I will see you again, Essie. I’m not sure when.”

“I’ll look for you,” she says, finally releasing her hold on my T-shirt. “Be careful.” And she’s gone, disappearing into the woods, back toward the trail.

The Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I just read Black Birds of the Gallow last week and I really want to get my hands on a copy of this one!! :)

  2. YAY :D So glad you liked this book so very much love. <3 Stunning review. I'm curious about it, eee :D YAY for a good ending, despite you being worried a bit, haha. <3 And yesss for boy being awesome. Sigh.


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