Review by Charles F. Bryant II
This is a beautiful, highly detailed deck of 78 cards (22 Major and 56 Minor Arcana).
As the name suggests, these cards are based on the Arthurian legends. The Magician is Merlin, the High Priestess is Morgan, the Empress is Guinevere and the Emperor is Arthur, etc. I particularly like The Tower card (LWB: constructed by Vortigern) which depicts a knight approaching the forbidding tower surrounded by bare trees artfully depicted in black, browns, purple and bloody red.
The suits are Pentacles, Chalices, Wands, and Swords. The names of each card are also printed in five other languages (the deck is published by Lo Scarabeno and distributed by Llewellyn).
The style has a very detailed comic book look to it (and I do not mean this in a negative way) and the colors help evoke the right mood and always seem appropriate for the card depicted. The cards as a whole do not overwhelm you when you look at them for extended periods of time.
Contrary to most decks, the cards do not necessarily have the same number of wands, pentacles, chalices or swords on them as the pips would indicate. For example, the seven of pentacles depicts a woman lying in a boat (the LWB tells you that this is a depiction of the "sacrifice of the lady who never lied") In this instance, there are NO pentacles incorporated into the picture on the card. However, to aid the reader in quick recognition, all cards have a depiction of their symbol in the upper left hand corner and the number (Arabic) in the upper right hand corner. The Major Arcana have their Roman numeral printed in the upper left where the pip cards have their symbols.
The faces on all of the characters are detailed and individual. They all have actual expressions that evoke responses from within (not just all the same indistinct faces with different colored hair).
The LWB explains which Arthurian legend each card portrays and gives divinatory meanings.
In a reading, you will actually need to take some extra time and look at the cards carefully (which I believe is a good thing) rather than just noticing the same old Rider-Waite card and immediately plugging in a definition by rote (Don't get me wrong, the Universal Waite is the deck I use the most, and I like it; but even that deck should be LOOKED at carefully).
In this deck I found it to be easier to see what is happening in the cards than in the somewhat fuzzy "Legend the Arthurian Tarot" deck. I attribute this quality to the deft and detailed pen work of the artist, Joseph Viglioglia.
If you enjoy the legends of King Arthur, or if you just want a deck that will make you actually LOOK at the pictures to understand (or divine) their meanings (which we should always be doing anyway), and perhaps a deck that will also give you new understandings and insights into some of the cards, then you would probably enjoy owning this deck. I would rate it four stars.