Check out this Kickstarter

Here’s a kickstarter for a Rook and Rose pattern deck.

This deck of cards is based on cards like tarot cards, but in this case based on cards in the world of Rook and Rose, by Marie Brennan and  Alyc Helms. The link goes to my comments about the first book, which I liked and admired.

I haven’t gone on with the second book solely because this is a high-tension story and I just couldn’t bring myself to go on with it. I think I need to wait for reviews to appear for the third book, which is coming out … ah, in a week! So, right around the corner.

What I basically want is a broad spoiler, something like this:

“It was a pleasure watching everything click into place. These three important characters all realized they were on the same side and worked together to defeat the bad guy, and then they all lived happily ever after.”

That last phrase is optional, but the first book set up two characters to be seriously at odds — three characters — and I like them all and I don’t want to see any of them get destroyed. I want them to all work together, save the city, and wind up better off than they started. Romance acceptable but not necessary, but I want everybody to be friends.

AND! Important tip! If a bad person says, “I’ll give you this thing you need or want, but you need to betray that person over there,” then the appropriate means to handle that situation is to make a chance to say to the person, “Hey, the bad guy offered me this thing to betray you, so I’m going to betray you in this way at this time and you need to be prepared. I figure if you and I work together, this ought to work out for both of us.”

All the stress aside, the reason I’m worried about the characters is because I like them a lot, so, I mean, that’s good. And the worldbuilding in this series is just spectacular. One of the spectacular elements is the two completely different systems of magic, and one of those systems involves cards like tarot cards, and thus we have this kickstarter.

The pattern deck is organized into three suits called threads. The cards of the spinning thread deal with the “inner self,” i.e. the mind and spiritual matters; the cards of the woven thread deal with the “outer self,” i.e. relationships and social institutions; the cards of the cut thread deal with the “physical self,” i.e. the body and the material world. In addition, there are seven clan cards, representing the archetypal personalities of the founding ancestors of the Vraszenian clans.

Each of the three threads consists of twenty cards, twelve regular and four pairs of Faces and Masks. The Faces and Masks represent Vraszenian deities, each of which has a benevolent side (the Face) and a malevolent one (the Mask), and which represent particularly important concepts like truth and lies, peace and war, or life and death. This duality is built into the pattern deck as a whole, such that no card is inherently negative or positive. Fear in the right circumstance is a useful warning; peace can come at the cost of willful disregard for a problem. Which interpretation applies depends on the layout used and where the card appears.

It’s all very cool. I’ve backed it. It just went live, and last I saw, it was about 40% funded.

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8 thoughts on “Check out this Kickstarter”

  1. The $1000 is-anyone-really-going-to-do-this tier is the authors co-GMing an RPG one-shot set in the world of the novels. As a long-time tabletop RPGamer, I’m definitely amused and will probably check in to see if anyone goes for it.

  2. For another novel based on not-quite-tarot, Alyssa Rasmussen’s “Labyrinth Gate.” This is Kate Elliott’s first novel, long before she chose her pen-name. And it is quite good.

  3. I preordered the last book in the series and am looking forward to it! Laurie Marks Fire Logic/Earth Logic series does a great job with kind of tarot cards and so, of course, does Zelazney!

  4. Liz Bourke’s review in Locus sounds pretty close to the spoiler you were hoping for, Rachel: “Labyrinth’s Heart ends on a very satisfying, if unlikely, note of revolution and reconcilia­tion: change and hope for a better future, both for the city and for all our protagonists. This is a novel full of tension and incident, colour and verve. It has style and a sense of humour, and as the capstone to the trilogy it more than lives up to its predecessors. I really enjoyed it, and I recommend the entire trilogy wholeheartedly.”

    I’m behind on my reading, but that means I’ll be able to read all three of them straight through! :)

  5. Sandstone, thank you so much! That’s exactly what I wanted to hear. Ha, “unlikely” is FINE with me as long as it’s “very satisfying.” I’m at least twenty times more likely to read the rest of the trilogy now.

  6. I enjoyed the last book quite a bit. There’s a lot going on, but she manages to keep hold of all of her characters, and she ends it all well.

  7. Thanks, Alison, hearing that the ending is good makes me a thousand times more likely to actually read the other two books!

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