cover image The Tarot of Perfection

The Tarot of Perfection

Rachel Pollack, . . Magic Realist, $14.95 (209pp) ISBN 978-1-905572-09-0

A perfect, powerful deck of tarot cards weaves through this slightly haphazard assortment of eight fables from World Fantasy Award–winner Pollack (Unquenchable Fire ). The underwhelming title story sets the stage for tales that run the gamut from charming to disturbing and alternate rhythmically between modern magical realism and surreal high fantasy. Pollack's fairy tales are the strongest pieces: “The Fool, the Stick, and the Princess” details the virtues of eschewing skepticism for happiness, while “Carolina in the Morning” is a grim but uplifting parable of domestic abuse and the persistence of children. The powerful final story, “Master Matyas,” reveals information that ties earlier pieces together. This collection is probably most meaningful to those with a strong background in fortune telling, but enough stories stand alone to entertain an amateur tarot enthusiast. (Mar.)