Don’t even act like you didn’t just come here for the pictures.
Now, THIS REVIEW WILL BE SPOILERY. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
This deck has literally leapt from the pages of Maggie Stiefvater’s book series: The Raven Cycle. If that turned you off of this deck, from the very bottom of my heart, fuck you. This deck is absolutely full little pieces of the books, placed neatly into the cards’ meanings. Can you use it without reading the books? Sure. But why the fuck would you?
It comes with a guidebook, BUT THERE ARE STILL FOUR OTHERS OUT THERE TOO.
Okay, so, I’m about to say some weird shit: this guidebook is absolutely perfect for the beginning tarot reader. It’s clear, it’s witty, and it’s memorable.
That being said, I would not recommend the actual deck itself to a complete beginner. Especially a beginner who has never read The Raven Cycle books. The only reason being that the artwork on the cards is…sparse.
There just isn’t too much to remind a novice reader (or any reader for that matter) of the card’s meaning.
There’s an easy fix for this, though. READ THE FUCKING BOOKS.
Arguably, most striking thing about the deck is Maggie’s use of hands throughout it. These hands, marked with the suits of the tarot, belong to a young man who has sacrificed his freedom to become the eyes, ears, and hands of a rather fussy ley line in order to save his friends.
His hand first appears as The Magician, clenches with Strength, and protectively cups the little glow of The Sun. His hands dominate the Swords suit and grace several of the Wands cards. The power comes from the simplicity of these cards.
The energy I get from this deck is decidedly masculine while simultaneously feeling very inward-focused. A perfect example of this is The Sun card. Rather than a big beaming Sun brightening an entire city, this is a private little light, cradled in the hands.
Also, there is no shortage of Ravens, flames, and other strange, quiet things. I, personally, find this deck great for shadow work.
There are some cards that are very pointedly referring to a certain character from the books. Here are a couple of Richard Gansey III.
There are also some fascinating cards whose artwork kind of goes together. Check out the Four and Five of Wands.
And look at this bullshit progression.
Additionally, I normally fucking hate court cards, but these are beautiful.
This deck is gorgeous, insightful, and has one hell of a guide with it.
WHERE CAN I GET THIS DECK?
I got mine on Amazon.