Tarot – Marissa Kennerson (Advanced Reader Copy)

40490866Rating: ⭐️💫


Her fate is so much more than the cards she was dealt.

Born of a forbidden union between the Queen and the tyrannical King’s archnemesis, Anna is forced to live out her days isolated in the Tower, with only her mentors and friends the Hermit, the Fool, and the Magician to keep her company. To pass the time, Anna imagines unique worlds populated by creatives and dreamers–the exact opposite of the King’s land of fixed fates and rigid rules–and weaves them into four glorious tapestries.

But on the eve of her sixteenth birthday and her promised release from the Tower, Anna discovers her true lineage: She’s the daughter of Marco, a powerful magician, and the King is worried that his magical gifts are starting to surface in Anna. Fearing for her life, Anna flees the Tower and finds herself in Cups, a lush, tropical land full of all the adventure, free-spiritedness, and creativity she imagined while weaving.

Anna thinks she’s found paradise in this world of beachside parties, endless food and drink, and exhilarating romance. But when the fabric of Cups begins to unravel, Anna discovers that her tapestries are more than just forbidden expression. They’re the foundation for a new world that she is destined to create–as long as the terrors from the old world don’t catch up with her first.

Review (Spoiler Free):

I received this ARC of Tarot by Marissa Kennerson from Penguin Teen in exchange for my review. This ARC was a giveaway in exchange for reviewing the Four Dead Queens ARC I had received at Book Con 2018. I had not heard of Tarot so I was excited about discovering a new author.

  • My first pre-reading impressions. . .
    • I do not like the cover. The colors are vibrant and super pretty, but I despise when book covers feature real people. I feel like they can do so much better!
    • The premise sounds super interesting and unique! I’m looking forward to discovering a new world!

 I started reading Tarot and I was initially very intrigued. Anna has been imprisoned in a tower for her whole life. She was raised by three advisers. I wanted to know more about Anna, the King, and why he imprisoned her. Anna is an incredibly talented weaver. She creates beautiful tapestries of different worlds. . . Pentacles, Wands, Swords, and an unnamed Tropical land. The King is a tyrant. He believes that “People are born into their positions for a reason. Fates are a fixed thing, destiny preordained.” When a subject is born the King decides their craft and who they will marry. He dictates every aspect of his subjects lives. The King also outlawed magic. He seems to be terrified of Anna’s potential. After a series of events, the King decides that Anna needs to be executed. Anna’s three advisers (the Magician, the Fool, and the Hermit – it really bugs me that they don’t have actual names) help her escape. I really liked the Fool’s quote during this part . . . “Think of this as an adventure. Have faith in your abilities. You are moving forward, and that is never a bad thing.” It’s a good quote to live by. Anna takes scraps of her tapestries with her. While Anna is on the run she is about to be caught, but she takes out her tapestry fragments and wishes she could dive in. The next thing she knows a bridge appears and she crosses it into a new tropical jungle and beach land.

Now this is where the book lost me. The land that Anna discovers is known as “Cups” which is the dumbest name. Like why is it named that?! They literally never say!! However, I will say that the imagery in Cups is beautiful. It’s this gorgeous white villa with turquoise shutters on a stunning beach. Anna meets all these gorgeous people that she hardcore insta-loves. It’s actually ridiculous. And it’s not just romantic insta-love. It’s everything insta-love. James is Anna’s love interest. They know each other for like one week and are already in love and obsessed with each other. They literally never talk about anything . . . they just meet and are in love. At one point James says to Anna, “I don’t know how much time you need, but not talking to you is killing me.” I actually laughed out loud at this. YOU HAVE LITERALLY KNOWN THIS GIRL FOR A WEEK. Oh and Topper loves Anna after knowing her for five minutes and she feels connected to him even though she’s in love with James. Give me a break. This felt like a token love triangle. And don’t even get me started on the “villain” Ivy.  Ridiculous. She’s supposed to be the villain at the villa, but they barely interact. And then they make up and are instant besties! It was just unreal.

Back in the Anna’s home world, the King is searching for her. He eventually finds out where she is and goes after her. I am keeping this review spoiler free so I won’t go any further into what happens. I’ll just say that the big reveal about Anna and her powers was not at all shocking.

I know I was pretty tough on Tarot in this review. I do feel bad about that, but I am so bummed with how Tarot turned out. It sounded super intriguing, but unfortunately fell flat. I only gave it an extra 1/2 star because the imagery was beautiful and the idea was good.

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