Review by Stephanie Lynch
The Tarot Favole is a new gothic art deck by Victoria Frances (October 25, 1982) a Spanish illustrator. Influenced by the likes of Edgar Allan Poe, Anne Rice, H. P. Lovecraft, Luis Royo and Brom, her deck reflects a decidedly gothic flavor.
For an art deck, this is a lovely deck that celebrates death but not much life. Even the Sun, normally a festive card that brings to mind the warmth and vitality of the Sun, is a dark and dreary card showing a woman in a long flowing dress turned away from the Sun. And the Sun itself is shrouded by clouds and mist making this a hard card to find joy in.
The overall design of the deck is too small for my personal preference. Anyone who dislikes the size of decks such as the Llewellyn deck will probably like this one. It is built along the scale of a normal deck of playing cards. The back of the cards includes a device I do like – a subtle indicator of which end is the bottom. You have to pay attention to see the one lighter corner but once you’ve noted it, you will always know before you turn a card if it is going to be upright or reversed.
One of my favorite cards is Death in this deck. With a figure reminiscent of the drowned Ophelia, there is a beauty to this card that is hard to ignore. For me, this captures the spirit of the gothic love of death and the ability to see beauty in even grotesque images. I was not as fond of all the vampiric images of figures with fangs or blood dripping from their mouths.
The major arcana seem to have some imagination and uniqueness with the Hanged Man being likened to renunciation. However, The LWB with this deck is useless beyond words for the minor arcana. The suits in the Tarot Favole are Crosses, Masks, Roses, and Butterflies. No where in the LWB is there any indication of which suit corresponds to the more normal suits of Wands, Swords, Cups and Coins. Also, the pip cards are in the style of the Marseille Tarot decks with only the court cards showing any individuality. I do not like pip cards that simply show me four Crosses or 2 Butterflies, etc. This deck lost a lot of points for me in this area.
Overall, the Tarot Favole will appeal to those gothic art aficionados who want a deck by an up-and-coming artist. Victoria Frances has a lyrical quality about her work that did remind me of Royo but also of Jonathan Bower. This deck speaks powerfully about the beauty that can be seen in the tragedies of life. While I myself would not read with it, I can see this deck in the hands of some of my more cutting edge friends. I predict that it will one day be a deck art collectors drool over and covet. I don’t see it becoming a very popular reading deck.
Published author and professional Tarot reader,
Stephanie Arwen Lynch loves decks. She is a past editor of
the American Tarot Association and has served as the
ATA's Board president. She reads on the ATA's Free Tarot
Network as well as mentors. Arwen also produces a
Tarotscope podcast for monthly horoscopes that read a card