- Cards: 312 pages
- Publisher: Llewellyn Publications; Tcr Crds/P edition (September 8, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0738711918
- ISBN-13: 978-0738711911
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 2.5 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 129 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Tarot of Vampyres Cards – September 8, 2010
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About the Author
Ian Daniels (United Kingdom) is a professional painter and illustrator. He has produced artwork for gallery exhibitions, book jackets, fully illustrated books, and numerous other projects whose themes include fairy tales, dreams, ghosts, and vampyres.
129 customer reviews
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I’ve always loved Vampires so that was my initial draw rot these cards and I’m a huge fan of roses so the backs having such a lovely image of them makes me very happy. They were definitely meant to be with me.
And the book is so wonderfully detailed and easy. I think this should be a must read for any tarot lover. It’s unfortunate when you get some tarot books that leave you with more questions than answers. Not the case here. This is great for beginners and more experienced alike.
If you want a beautiful tarot set of your own and like vamps and roses, then this is the set for you. I’d also recommend these as a gift. It’s a very very nice presentation.
"The Tarot of Vampyres" comes beautifully presented in a "slick" gothic-themed foldback box displaying "The Empress" on the cover. The interior of the box is finished in an almost obligatory black and red motif with roses on the inside of the lid. The packaging is complete with space for "Phantasmagoria" and contains a special niche to hold the cards.
This brings me to the only two real criticisms I have of this set. The cards themselves are rather small (4.5 by 3.0 inches). Given the quality of the artwork and the surfeit of space inside the box they really could have been and should have been larger by at least an inch in length and width. You will want to study the set carefully for each card's inherent symbolism before making use of them, and greater size would be a doorway to greater detail.Too, the cards don't come in a small box of their own inside the larger box; instead, they are held in place by a blood-red ribbon. This is a real inconvenience and can result in damage to or the loss of some cards if you aren't exceptionally careful. If you give "event" readings or if want to make use of them without the rest of the set you will have to find another way to store them and carry them --- a serious drawback.
The set itself broadly follows the standard Rider-Waite system, with all the usual Major Arcana and Minor Arcana cards. Of note is the fact that the Majors are not numbered as in other tarot decks, but since they follow the usual tropes (The Fool, The Magician, The High Priestess, and so on) the lack of numbers is an oddity, nothing more, unless you like to store your cards in their traditional sequence when not in use. The suits of the Minors vary somewhat from the usual: Wands become Sceptres, Swords become Knives, Cups become Grails, and Pentacles become Skulls, the only suit change that won't be instantly recognizable. The Court cards vary a bit more than the suits, and a little illogically, for Kings become Lords while Queens remain Queens (why not Ladies?), Knights become Princes and Pages become Daughters (but why not Princes and Princesses or Sons and Daughters?).
The artwork of the cards is rich, heavy, and dark. On the obverses, Daniels works with deep blacks and midnight blues, sullen reds, and dark greens primarily in a pronounced Gothic motif. Thus, there are many faceless male figures in robes and hoods, and a small surfeit of busty females in bodices. None of this is a drawback as vampires are undeniably mysterious and indubitably erotic creatures. It also harks back to the old Hammer horror films of the 1950s and 1960s, particularly the "Carmilla" trilogy. While there are cards displaying blood (this is the Tarot of Vampyres, after all), Daniels shows great restraint in his work; there is no gore, and no figure is truly awash in blood. The reverses all show a dark red rose on a black background. The entire set throbs with a marked air of seduction.
This set dates back to 2010, and was published contemporaneously with Daniels' guide on How to Draw and Paint Vampires: A Complete Art Course Built Around This Legendary World (Barron's Educational Series) , Most of the images in this art course are drawn from the Tarot of the Vampyres, and will be of interest to owners of this tarot deck.
Vampires have become somewhat too familiar in the past decade or so as figures in popular culture. Although this deck was no doubt born out of that popularity you can use it to explore the mystery of these figures who are, after all, the unrecognizable shadows we see by the flickering firelight in our minds.
The card stock is very silky smooth, it fits nicely in my hands and seems well laminated. It's not one I feel I have to baby to any extreme, and it shuffled like a dream immediately.
The only downside is the box...it's very flimsy and basically fell apart when I opened the package. Since I hate throwing out the packaging on my tarot cards, I had to duct tape the box back together on the inside. The deck itself was simply wrapped in plastic in the box, it has no little box of it's own, so for the moment I'm holding it together with a black hair tie until I come up with something better for it. That aside, I'm very happy with my purchase.
I'm still loving this deck, there's so much depth to it and the companion book is my favorite among my Tarot Books with Decks sets. I try to be very discerning with the decks that I purchase, so many decks these days are "just a pretty face" with no substance. This is not one of those decks, everything has a rich meaning.
The borders (being black) don't detract from the dark artwork very much, so even someone who doesn't like bordered decks could probably get along just fine with this one. The cardstock is somewhat thin and bendable, but the cards themselves have a slight matte/velvety feel that allows them to shuffle and fan out quite smoothly (without being slippery).
The guidebook is quite in-depth, with no stone left unturned. I personally only use guidebooks when I find myself truly stumped by a particular card, but I know a good guidebook when I see one.
Bottom line: this is a gorgeous deck, perfect for darker readings. I only wish I had discovered it much sooner!