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Peek Inside Keeper of the Bees

What starts out as an act of mercy ends up unraveling Dresden’s solitary life and Essie’s tormented one. Their impossible romance might be powerful enough to unravel a centuries-old curse.

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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.

Each book in the Black Bird of the Gallows series is STANDALONE:
* Black Bird of the Gallows
* Keeper of the Bees


Beauty and the Beast like you’ve never imagined!” —New York Times bestselling author Pintip Dunn

"A delectably creepy tale with a love story that's a sting to the heart!" — New York Times bestselling author Brenda Drake

Dark, haunting, unique, beautiful, sweet YA paranormal romance.” — New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins

Keeper of Bees is a complex story and difficult to explain so I have tried my best to give an insight without giving anything away…It's unique, strange and mesmerizing. Another great installment to this series.” — D.M. Duncan, Goodreads review

“This was hauntingly beautiful, surprisingly creepy, weirdly humorous. And totally addicting. What a read. Color me impressed.” — Annika, Goodreads review

“I ADORE this book, there is something so atmospheric and unique in it…” — A Book. A Thought.

Keeper of the Bees was an intriguing and pretty entertaining read!” — Jessica, a GREAT read

Keeper of the Bees is an excellent companion story to Black Bird of the GallowsBoth books are worth investing time in.” — Dreamer J Book Reviews

“It is a wonderful balance of cute romance and paranormal drama that leaves you on the edge of your seat cheering on the characters to make it through.” — Micheala, Goodreads review

“Meg Kassel has an extraordinary way of encapsulating her readers with her vivid worldbuilding and beautiful characters.” — Laura Hernandez, YA/NA Book Divas

“A wonderfully crafted world of Beekeepers, and Harbingers, destructive magic and curses, as well as the mysterious and ominous Straw Man made this book a real pleasure to read.” — Annette Jordan, Goodreads review

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781640634060
Series: Black Bird of the Gallows, Book 2
Release Date: Sep 4, 2018
Page Count: 304
Imprint: teen
Genre: fantasy, paranormal
Tropes: coming of age/family/social issues, forbidden love/off limits, redemption, unrequited love

Select Featured Reviews

See All Reviews on
By C.G. September 01, 2018

I didn't expect to absolutely utterly fall in love with this book, bUT LOOK WHERE WE ARE. This is the kind of book for those of us who fall in love with villains. It's about mental illness and how people perceive it. It's about monsters and murder. It's about the sweetest and softest love of people ...more

By destiny ♡⚔♡ September 06, 2018

Last year, I was given the chance to review Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There was a character in it who belonged to a group called the “beekeepers”, and I was so fascinated by that character’s entire design that, when I heard this book was being released ...more

By Carrie August 29, 2018

Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel is a young adult fantasy read that is part of the Black Birds of the Gallows series. Now this book is more of a companion novel than second of the series and can be read as a standalone if choosing to do so. The characters and story are different than the first book ...more

By Schizanthus September 02, 2018

I need all of the stars for this one but it feels more appropriate to say it like this: 💛🐝🖤🐝💛

I was initially denied early access to this book and I completely understood why. This is the type of book I’m supposed to want to avoid. The love between this girl and (sort of) boy is insta and as sweet as ...more

Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

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 ...more

By Danielle's August 06, 2018

The Black Birds of the gallows have arrived in your town. You should be scared. Legend has it, if the birds have landed, death will follow. The Beekeeper is attracted to the destruction and the Strawman only turns up if evil plays a hand. Leave town while you still have time!

Essie is seventeen year ...more

By Annika July 16, 2018


That was... wow. I don't even know where to begin to describe this book.
It was so different, unlike anything I've ever read.

A Young Adult paranormal romance revolving around a faceless, cursed boy whose body contains a bee hive, who is forever condemned to feed off people's misery, the evil his bees ...more

By Sophie "Beware Of The Reader" August 31, 2018

“This book is for everyone who falls in love with the villain. This book is for everyone who doesn’t fit a mold—on the outside, or the inside, or both.”

5 “I did not expect to root for this “villain” “ stars.

I wondered how Meg Kassel would make me fall ...more

By Jen ♥Star-Crossed Book Blog♥ September 06, 2018

Black Birds of the Gallows was one of my favorite books from last year! So I couldn't wait to read this since we were going to see the world from the beekeepers view. Those creatures terrified me, so I took a deep breath and dove right in. I happily found myself pulled in and I finished this book in ...more

By Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.) August 14, 2018

*I want to thank Entangled Teen and NetGalley for providing me with this copy in exchange for an honest review*

First I must mention how beautiful both covers are, they look amazing together, I just love them. Going to the important thing, I ADORE this book, there is something so atmospheric and uniq ...more

By Misty September 13, 2018

Keeper of the Bees has one of the more intriguing (and by intriguing I mean, potentially really, really odd) premises of any book synopsis I’d read this year, which in Misty-world basically translates to, ‘I need to read this and see.’ I needed to know if its oddness would be carried off, or would o ...more

By Alexandra September 25, 2018

Review can be found on *Milky Way of Books*

Ahh how I missed Meg Kassel's writing! "Black Bird of Gallows" was a very interesting, scary and emotional read and learning that there was another book tied into this larger world I decided to read it.

And I concluded that Dresden's curse was far worse tha ...more

By ✨ Kaira ✨ September 24, 2018

The tale revolves around a boy who was cursed to murder people with bees that livea inside him for centuries, and a beautiful young girl whose insanity runs in the family.

The very instant I read the synopsis of this book, I was intrigued and so I read it. Despite how short it is, I can tell the eve ...more

By mylibraryofdreams January 23, 2019

Persönliche Meinung
Black Bird of the Gallows war damals ja ein totaler Coverkauf und hatte mich sehr positiv überrascht. Als ich dann erfuhr, dass im selben Universum eine weitere Geschichte erscheinen würde und dazu noch von einem Beekeeper- ich musste es einfach haben. Zuerst war ich nicht so fan ...more

By Lisa September 03, 2018

Well, I haven't read the first book in this series, so was a little leery of reading this one, but my worries were all for nothing. This is more of a companion novel I guess, so I wasn't missing any knowledge that would keep me from enjoying this one.

For me, the story started out a little weird. I w ...more

By Kristen September 09, 2018

3.5 Stars

*I received an ecopy of this book via YA Bound Book Tours. This has not influenced my review.*

It was actually the premise for this book that got me interested in this series. Supernatural beings with faces that constantly change to that of their many victims and chests full of bees t ...more

By Courtney September 06, 2018

Meg Kassel has another smashing hit on her hands!!

This is a companion novel to Black Bird of the Gallows. They can be read separately and not in order and I loved each of these book equally as they very unique in their stories.

Keeper of the Bees is a YA fantasy novel about Dresden who is cursed as a ...more

By Wendy F September 22, 2018

First of all, how stunning is that cover?! I didn’t read Black Bird of the Gallows -yet. Still, I couldn’t resist requesting Keeper of the Bees on just the cover art alone. I’m not usually someone in love with watercolor, but in this case it resonates with me. There’s a dreamy quality about the cove ...more

By Meigan September 04, 2018

Black Bird of the Gallows was one of my favorite books of 2017, and I absolutely loved the various mythologies used and the curses involved. The harbingers were so creative and interesting, but the Beekeeper was hands-down my absolutely favorite. Creepy, yet tortured, Rafette the Beekeeper in BBotG ...more

By Kayla July 16, 2018

I got sent this book in exchange for a honest review, all my opinions are my own and thank you so much to the publishers for sending me this book!

Previous books in the series:

Black Bird of the Gallows - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Note: The books in this series are companion to eachother. So you can read them individua ...more

By Jessica (a GREAT read) August 27, 2018

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Meg Kassel returns to her previously visited world but with new characters in Keeper of the Bees. This time, we actually follow the story of one of the beekeepers; the ...more

By Sophia September 11, 2018

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I enjoyed Black Bird of the Gallows, but if I had to choose between the first and the second, I loved the second so much better than the firs ...more

By Christina August 25, 2018

I wouldn't have realised that this is the second book in a series if I hadn't added it on Goodreads. However, it is perfectly possible to read this as a stand-alone. Characters from Black Bird of the Gallows make a cameo appearance which might please fans of the first book.
I had no idea what to expe ...more

By Michelle July 17, 2018

I’m not a big horror fan, but I love the macabre and delightfully creepy. So this book hit all the right notes for me. I didn’t read the first book, but this story is about a different set of characters. So I didn’t have trouble following along.

This is a nice YA love story about looking beyond someo ...more

By Megan January 30, 2019

This book kept getting better the farther along I read. It feels very YA at the start (which it is), but getting deeper into the beekeepers, harbingers, and good ol’ Stitches made it so quirky and dark and interesting. The acknowledgments say this book is for those who fall in love with the villain ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
4.22 avg rating
Meg Kassel

About the author

Meg Kassel

Meg Kassel is an author of paranormal and speculative books for young adults. A New Jersey native, Meg graduated from Parson's School of Design and worked as a graphic designer before embracing her true passion, writing. She now lives in a log house in the Maine woods with her family, and is busy at work on her next novel. A fan of ’80s cartoons, original Netflix series, daydreaming, and ancient mythology, Meg has always been fascinated and inspired by the fantastic, the creepy, and the futuristic. When she’s not writing, Meg is reading, hanging out with her husband and daughter, hiding her peanut butter cups, or walking her rescue mutt, Luna.

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