It's tempting to take one look at the cover picture for The Tarot of Vampyres and think it's just for teenage goths but please don't pass this deck by without taking a second look.
As it's the darker half of the year, Halloween, Samhain and dia de los Muertos, I wanted to find a darker deck and The Tarot of Vampyres fits the bill. It has all the creepy creatures that you'd expect in there, demons, dark knights and of course the blood-sucking undead. It also has a fantastic guide book called Phantasmagoria. One thing I like to know from a creator is what they're showing on the card and why. It's not always as easy as just looking at the image because there are so many subtle little details that you might miss. I often find creators say a deck is RWS based so a guidebook is unnecessary but what I want to know is what they've chosen a creature on a cross spewing blood instead of the traditional hanged man happily dangling from his ankle. This guidebook has an "Analysis & Symbolism" section for each card which gives a lot of those details. I will say, the writing does tend toward woo but overall it is a great book.
Although there are some men this is a female-heavy deck. Some are scantily clad but there's no nudity. It's not a diverse deck as I suppose the undead do tend to be a bit on the thin, pale side.
Bearing in mind there's a lot of black and darker tones in this deck, the overall colour palette in the cards is good, unfortunately as the deck was initially published 10 years ago, it is a gloss finish so not so easy to photograph. The cards are bordered but this doesn't adversely affect the images. The backs are not reversible. The titles of the suits have been changed. They all makes sense but for me I'd prefer the traditional suit titles. I just don't want to have to translate in my head. It's too much work.
This is a Llewelyn deck so expect their usual card size, stock and book-style box with magnetic closure. You can pick it up from Amazon for under twenty-five quid so it's a reasonable price if you are looking for a deck to use on those dark and stormy nights.