by Robert M. Place
Beautiful deck, very glossy card stock. The cards are slightly oversized but still easy to shuffle. The glossy finish of the cards makes the shuffle a little slower, but it’s not disruptive to using it for a draw. The back of the cards have a stylized, sort of classic vampire image.
The cards and suits are all rooted in the history & lore or vampires — specifically Dracula — as well as Bram Stoker’s personal life & the circumstances under which Dracula was written. The guidebook is more than a tarot guidebook; it’s also a critical work examining the structure of tarot divination, Bram Stoker, Victorian social & sexual mores, vampirism symbiology in art, film & literature, the mythology of Dracula, & how the work transformed literature.
Each subject is treated with academic attention, so a literature student and a tarot student alike will find much to learn & enjoy from the book, which clocks in at around 225 pages with a solid bibliography for further reading.
There are a few substitutions for the major arcana, like The Madman, Van Helsing, Fate & Jonathan (The Fool). The minor suits are knives (swords), holy water (cups), stakes (wands), & garlic flowers (pentacles).
The deck & book are sort of hard to come by, by well worth the hunt.