Monday, November 26, 2007

'The Tarot Café’ Vol. 4 by Sang-Sun Park

ISBN: 1595328149
Format: Paperback, 184pp
Publisher: TOKYOPOP
Pub. Date: December 2005
Price: $9.99

The Tarot Café just gets better and better as it goes along. Dragons, fairies, werewolves, water spirits, and ghosts all reveal their stories and in doing so show us bits and pieces of Pamela’s past. This tarot reading café owner is the big draw for me. As the series has gone on I’ve just gotten more involved in her story and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

In Episode 11 “A Butterfly in My Dreams” Pamela helps a brother and sister reconcile long after they have wronged each other. I really enjoy that each of the little episodes throw in a twist at the end, sometimes it’s a bit clichéd but it always somehow seems to work. This one is no exception, you have characters that are seemingly straight forward until the end. I guess I should learn to recognize this by now, since none of Pamela’s customers are never what they appear to be.

In Episode 12 the “Contract” we find out who Berial was and a bit of history about his legendary necklace. Berial was considered the prince of falsehood and deceit, a devil who held nothing sacred and his necklace was rumored to hold immense power. We once again dip into Pamela’s past, into her history and the recent death of her love Ash. When Pamela is accused of being a witch, just like her mother before her, Belus steps in to save her.

Belus, the Prince of Pandemonium, wants Berial’s necklace for himself and sees a way to get it through Pamela. Without Ash Pamela feels that life is not worth living and tries to end it several times only to learn that she cannot die. Belus however offers her a contract, in return for the complete necklace of Berial he will grant her death.

Belus also has more of a soft spot for Pamela than she might realize. Although he does claim that she isn’t his type he cares for her deeply despite the contract that has been forged between them. Something that the reincarnated or amnesia suffering, whatever it is, Ash has a problem with.

Episode 13, “Leanan Sidhe (One),” introduces us to a rock star and his muse. Sasha is a no name until he comes across a legend about a woman who can make you famous. When he finds her he realizes that there is price for fame and that he might not be willing to pay that price. But Pamela is approached not only by Sasha but also by the muse who is seeking redemption. The story for this one continues into the next volume.

Some of the artwork in this one is a little different than the first three volumes. The full page illustration depicting the tarot card at the first page of episode twelve is darker in tone, heavily shadowed instead of the delicate line work that has been showcased before. Just as lovely, only different and in the volume it is the only example of that style. There were also more full page characterizations in this one compared to volume three.

I’ve already picked up volumes five and six, I just can’t seem to stop myself and I have ear marked volume seven for purchase once it is released in 2008. The Tarot Café is a great series so far, with a little bit of everything, and I can’t wait to continue reading.


T.C. said...

You just keep whipping through 'em! I can't keep up!

Katie said...

They are really quick reads, an hour tops if you just sit down and read all the way through

T.C. said...

My kind of book. :D