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Home > Books & Reviews > Decks > Mah Jongg Search

Tarot-Like Deck Review:
The Fortune Teller's Mah Jongg

Developer/Editor: Derek Walters
Artist: Amanda Barlow
Book and Cards Set
Publisher: Viking Press
Publication date: May 1994
ISBN: 0670856401
Price & More Info: Click Here


This is an interesting set. The book goes into considerable detail about the meaning of each of the Mah Jongg tiles, including Oriental symbolism most Westerners will be unfamiliar with. It also details several spreads to use with the deck, most of which could be adapted for Tarot. Further, if you're the type who may be in situations where you don't want to be caught with Tarot cards in your possession, you can always claim you're studying how to play Mah-Jongg instead! (While the set comes with cards, they carry the same designs you'll find on Mah-Jongg tiles, albeit in most cases with more detailed art than on the tiles.) The cards included with this set have some exceptionally nice artwork on them - probably nicer than that of most of the cheaper Mah-Jongg tile sets I've seen. In general, the symbolism of the artwork matches what Oriental symbolism I know. For example, the card representing fidelity and partnership show two ducks. The Oriental belief is that ducks mate for life, and if one of a pair dies or is killed, its mate will grieve itself to death.

I wish the cards were printed on heavier stock. They're so thin they bend far too easily, damaging the artwork. There's always the alternative of buying a set of Mah-Jongg tiles to use for readings, and tucking these cards away somewhere safe, of course! The set is in a red cardboard box. Again, I wish the box were sturdier, as the cover art is very nice and I don't want to damage it. There are at least two other "Fortune Tellers' Mah Jongg" sets that I've seen, but this one has the nicest art - so far, anyway. I'd recommend this set to others -- not only for the exceptionally nice art, but because the book of the set is very informative.

Reviewed by Symitar

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