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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Tarot, wonderful tales, 12 Nov 2005
By 
ILONACAT (WIRRAL, ENGLAND) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fairytale Tarot (Cards)
This Tarot book and card-set were created by the same team-Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov- who created the Tarot of Prague and the Baroque Bohemian Cats Tarot to so much acclaim in the past two years. A third person, Irena Triskova,a Czech artist of some renown, collaborated with them on the project- the artwork does have an indefinably Eastern European feel to it.
However, not all the tales represented on the cards-and retold in the excellent book-are European. There ARE the classics such as "Puss-in-Boots", "Cinderella" and "Hansel and Gretel", but quite a few less well-known tales too. Ukolov's Russian background yields several Russian tales ; there is also a tale from Lithuania. The Hierophant, one of my favourite cards, depicts an Indian sage from an Indian tale. There are also tales from China and the Middle East. But no, this doesn't feel like a shapeless mish-mash. Each tale has been carefully studied and selected for its ability to match a card's more traditional Rider Waite-based interpretion. For this reason, it is possible to do a reading which utilizes both the Rider-Waite meanings and the (possibly several) meanings offered by the tale. I have found this a very effective and enjoyable way of using these cards. They have also stimulated me to go searching once again through the many excellent collections of tales available out there.
As I said, each tale is retold in the excellent book. For this reason, I really wouldn't recommend purchasing the deck on its own. In addition to the retelling, there are sections on interpretation, and a useful bibliography. The eminent Tarot scholar and writer Rachel Pollack has even written a story based on one of the cards.
Need I say that the artwork is second-to-none ? Anyone who has seen the other decks of this talented team would expect that. The colours are vivid but not gaudy.There are echoes a-plenty of Rackham, Dulac and Bilbin. And the borders really are a piece of art in their own right. If you are one of those people who hate borders on Tarot cards, do look at these ones before forming a definitive conclusion ! The cardstock is sturdy without being too thick, the cards are neither too large nor frustratingly small and the finish is matte rather than glossy. In all, the whole thing is a class act which should provide pleasure and inspiration for many years to come.
A note of warning : though many children will doubtless love looking through these cards-and there is nothing here I wouldn't let my 7-year-old daughter see- the deck-and-book are really aimed at a more mature audience than, say, the Inner Child cards which are also structured round fairy tales.
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The Fairytale Tarot
The Fairytale Tarot by Alex Ukolov (Cards - 6 Oct 2005)
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