So, I have discovered that I have a superpower. This has been a long time in the making. I’ve gotten tarot books and decks for review before, and I even write reviews for muggle books in my spare time. I have developed relationships with a few publishers, and am very careful to be respectful of those relationships.
Then I saw this deck – the Bonefire Tarot – and I swear to all the gods my brain was taken up by the GimmeGimmeGimme’s! Gimme that deck! I took a deep breath, and respectfully reached out to Schiffer Publishing and asked if I could have a copy for review. THEY SAID YES.
NOW, I promise not to abuse this super power. I will faithfully review every deck that comes my way. That said, this one is pretty great.
Here is the review, broken down on attributes based on my kid's suggestion. She's a pretty smart kid.
Artwork - My daughter, Monkey (13) said that it looked like a weird version of Lisa Frank. Her Auntie brought it on home by saying, "You mean it's like Lisa Frank on acid - but you don't have that frame of reference". So, yes. Lisa Frank on acid.
That said, these are lush, beautiful cards. They're made for the weirdos (you know who you are) and they reach in and make you wake up a bit. The iconography within the cards, and the cool as hell tattoos are fantastic.
The Suits - The Wands are represented by pinecones, and they're lovely, but I first thought that they were Flaming Pineapples, so there we are. I love the Flaming Pineapples suit. I love the layers of meaning in even the Minor cards. Generally, Minors are basic and all of the intrigue is handled in Majors. Coins, Cups and Swords join the Flaming Pineapples in the Minors.
The Majors are intense. Some of the cards made me uncomfortable, which was great. I love decks that make you squirm.
Representation - There are both queer folks and people of color! Hot damn.
Cardstock - Garbage. I mean, standard mass-produced tarot card stock. Regrettably, a lot of decks (like 90% of them) have this thinner cardstock that ensures that I'll have to replace my deck in five years. It especially sucks for black decks, becauses the foxing makes the edges look like crap. Honestly, my only disappointment with this deck.
If you are not a professional reader, this won't be a big deal. I use my decks EVERY DAY, and I let other folks shuffle my cards, so you know. It might just be me.
The Book! - There is a book and it's not just the standard Little White Book. It's detailed and the artist explains some of her choices, which adds depth to the readings. There is even a glossary, which is excellent. Thumbs up for the book!
Shufflability (fuck off, it's a word)- These are big cards. My poor friend with her tiny, stubby, Irish fingers (we call her Knuckles). She and the kid had shuffle them on the table. They're wide. Now, I don't have a problem with it, because I don't have tiny hands, and I find that larger cards make the shuffling more deliberate.
Should you buy this deck? Yes. And get another one for later.