I said I'd review this deck in my previous post on Le Tarot Arthurien. I bought this deck a while back in Watkins in London on a bit of a whim and to be honest, I somewhat regretted it. Now I'm regretting saying I'd review it because in my opinion it doesn't compare favourably against the French deck on the same topic. But, not everyone will agree with me I'm sure, so let me tell you what I've found with this Arthurian Tarot and you can decide for yourself if you want to pick it up.
Starting with the most important feature of any deck, the artwork is lovely. It's not quite my cup of tea but it's very nicely done, in particular the background scenes. Some of the figures feel a bit static to me but overall it's fine. All of the images are presented as if through the arched window (anyone remember Playschool?) I think the idea is that you'll feel able to step through the portal and into the card. In terms of the environments presented, that would be interesting but the fixed postures of the inhabitants really put me off joining them.
The card stock is soft, shiny and flexible and easy to riffle shuffle but doesn't feel like it has any core strength. This is a mass market deck and as such not bordered and it feels like if you edged these cards with a marker pen they might get wet and split. If you have the Druidcraft Tarot, the card stock is the same but standard size.
The creators have changed the suit titles and they do fit quite well and wouldn't pose too much of a challenge when you're reading I don't think. You have grails instead of cups, stones instead of pentacles and spears instead of wands, swords stay swords. They fit I suppose. They've also renamed many of the majors but they are numbered so it's easy to identify which is which. The story portrayed in the images do not follow the RWS tradition and I'm not sure they really represent the Arthurian stories from the guidebook all that well either.
There is a large guidebook that comes in the box, 240 pages, all printed in lilac and purple. That includes the reproduction of the card images in lilac. There's about a page and a bit of information for the majors and half a page for each of the minors plus the lilac shaded images. The majority of the book, over half, is set aside for what is called "A Hallowquest for all Seasons" that seems to be encouraging you to get to know the deck better with guided meditation and journaling prompts. This isn't something I'm into but I've heard a few TarotTubers say they were considering following the Hallowquest so if you are interested, I'll point you in the direction of YouTube for that.
The cards come in a firm two piece matt lilac box which would be the best thing about the production if it weren't for the fact that they split the deck into two piles in the plastic insert inside. Why, oh why? Anyway, I understand that this is a new version of a previously released deck but I'm not sure what improvements they've made. This feels like an old deck shoved into a new box. Not one of my wisest purchases. If you are captured by the lovely images, drop me a line and I'll happily gift this to anyone in the UK as a late Christmas present. Seasons greetings folks!