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Home > Books & Reviews > Decks > Quest Tarot Search

Tarot Deck Review:
The Quest Tarot

Author: Joseph Ernest Martin Book and Cards Set
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: January 2003
ISBN: 0738701955
View Sample Cards
Price & More Info: Click Here


The Quest Tarot is an excellent example of example of the wonderful work that a good artist can do with a computer as his main tool. Joseph Ernest Martin is obviously a magician with a mouse and the spectacular cards in this deck showcase his talent. Unless you simply loathe computer art, you will probably find the art alone worth the price of this deck. This even comes through on the sample card scan, despite the greatly reduced size of the cards.

The deck itself is somewhat non-standard. There is a second zero card in the Major Arcana, the Multiverse. Several Major Arcana cards are renamed: Temperance becomes Alchemy, Judgement is called Aeon, and The World is The Universe. The court cards are Mother, Father, Daughter, Son. The suit of coins has been renamed stones. There's also a blank card that is intended be used to create a card that represents yourself. Each card has a one word phrase associated with it, for example, The Hermit is "Reflection" and the Seven of Stones is "Failure." The cards are also full of special symbols and features in their borders: runes, I Ching symbols, astrological signs, gemstones, letters, and more.

While the deck has non-standard card names, card orders, and even a couple of extra cards, the meanings associated with the cards are fairly standard. An experienced reader will have no real problems giving a reading. While one might think that all the special border features would detract from the card's central artwork, they really don't. These cards are an example of good graphic design.

The 300 page book included with this set, The Compass: A Guide to the Quest Tarot, is aimed at beginners and gives a good explanation of the cards and how to read them. Each card receives two pages in the book and three spreads are given, including one designed for this deck. The first part of the book also explains how to use all those special symbols in the borders of the deck. Some symbols are intended to add additional layers of meaning to a reading, while others are designed to allow different types of readings (e.g. Yes/No, time-oriented, etc.). I suspect some of these features may cause experienced readers to raise their eyebrows a bit, but nothing says one has to use them.

It's hard to summarize The Quest Tarot except with words like "beautiful design" and "marvellous artwork." The special features and extra cards make the deck fairly unique, but not so unique that it is hard to read. The accompanying book is aimed at the beginner, but experienced readers will have few problems using the deck right out of the box in standard readings, especially if they ignore the extra cards and special border features. I recommend that everyone interested in a new tarot deck at least take a look at this lovely, modern deck.

Reviewed by Randall

Read another review of this deck.

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