Circus Tarot

(16 customer reviews)

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In the strange land of World Circus, Mary and Darrin discover they aren’t in their safe, dull life any longer, but have taken the identity of one of the cards from the Circus Tarot. After a terrorizing encounter, resulting in death, they learn the bizarre rules of the land, and discover that the denizens of the sinister World Circus want more than to entertain them.




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When Mary brings home a deck of tarot cards, the dull life she and her husband, Darrin, have lived changes. Without realizing, they become members of the strange society, leaving behind their daily rituals, and join the ranks of World Circus with carnivorous Clowns, and provocative entertainers. Though Mary is completely comfortable being a performer under the Big Top, Darrin wants out of the disturbing world. After a terrorizing encounter, resulting in death, they learn the bizarre rules of the land, and discover that the denizens of the sinister World Circus want more than to entertain them.

Mary and Darrin make a deal with the inhabitants of World Circus to save their lives. Returning to her life outside World Circus, Mary scours the streets to find replacements for the souls removed from the dark world she’d escaped, all the while wishing she could return to serenity she found in Star’s light as she performed for the Ladies and Gentlemen. Once Darrin is free of the Circus, they learn that not everything is as the inhabitants would like them to believe. After much consideration, they decide there is only one thing they can do.

4 Stars “This is not your typical walk in the park horror either! It is a creative twist with one of the most original settings I have seen in a long time!” – Kriss Morton

Additional information

Weight 12.2 oz
Dimensions 5 × .6 × 8 in
Category ,
SKU bf003

16 reviews for Circus Tarot

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kriss Morton

    I had no clue what I was in for when I started reading this novel. (I want it noted that I have a serious phobia about clowns, this novel helped make it even more so.)

    Set inside a pack of tarot, all the elements of a true fairy tale are here (the original fairy tales were not light and sweet.. there were witches eating children after all). We have the bad guys, the good guys, the crazy guys, the flesh eating guys, the magic casters, the hero, the damsel in distress and the list goes on!

    This is not your typical walk in the park horror either! It is a creative twist with one of the most original settings I have seen in a long time! PERFECT to get for anyone who wants a new take on the horrors of clowns! OH but it is more than just clowns, it has everything for everyone! I was on edge with each turn of the page!

    I have “FLIPPED” for this book! Drawn from the on the aspect of tarot cards and their meanings, each has been interwoven into the story of what happens when the suit is ‘flipped’. Anyone who reads tarot knows that the card drawn flipped means something different. However, even if you did not know this, the book will tell you what happens when the Nine of Buckets is flipped… let’s just say you may become dinner OR dessert! Obviously well researched, the author has a great grasp in how the tarot works. Putting it into a story as he did made it not only terrifying but truly delightful!

    Keep the lights on when you read it. I fell asleep reading this and had dreams I do wish I could forget!

  2. 3 out of 5

    Cassandra Curtis

    I grew up reading Poe and Lovecraft when most teens my age were deep into Judy Blume, so I enjoy a good dose of horror now and then. Circus Tarot is akin to looking through a fun house mirror and seeing through the macabre image to the scream behind it. Tight woven plot, fun and accurate tarot associations keeping it authentic and real, all with a very Alice In Wonderland feel. Except Alice is Mary and she dragged along her husband for the ride into the looking glass. There are some rather disturbing scenes in the book of grotesque torture, upping the twisted scare factor, and of course, tons of scary clowns. If you like slightly off-kilter horror, of things out of control, then this is the book for you.

  3. 3 out of 5


    well cos the reviews said dont read it before bed of course i did. Am being schooled in being able to watch scarey movies so this was just another lesson. Loved the antique use of the word ‘purchase’.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Patricia A. Guthrie

    Yes, this is a book for horror/fantasy fans. Also, as the description labels, one can see the influences of Alice in Wonderland, but also of Stephen King’s “It,” and Ray Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes.” Someone else suggested, don’t read it before bed. All of the above.

    Darrin and Mary inherit a pack of tarot cards from an old women in the shop where Mary works. They play around with it and find themselves in an alternate world, an alternate reality. They have to figure out not only how to get home, but how to survive the many characters that inhabit the tarot cards. They find that in normal circumstances, each card has a good purpose, but when “flipped” their purpose becomes bizarre, dangerous and what’s worse, they never see it coming.

    This would be a great YA novel, if it weren’t for some graphic sex and violence scenes. Exciting as the story is, I’ve found many grammatical errors and editing problems, and many instances of characters floating into scenes where they do not belong. However that may be, it’s still a scary read and well-worth the time.

  5. 4 out of 5

    D.L. Finn

    This was a clever and interesting horror story. I kind of felt like I fell down the rabbit hole, which I saw this was inspired by– that certainly described the story line. There were some very gruesome details that I didn’t linger too long in, but they fit the story. That is just something I do when I read horror (or any genre) but I am still a huge fan of it. I loved the idea of going into the cards and how all those characters interacted with each other. Of course, not being a fan of clowns, that made it even more terrifying for me. I am not sure I got to know the main couple well enough before their journey began, but over the book I saw more sides to them. “Circus Tarot” is a ‘terrifying’ read for those who love a good story-driven horror tale.

  6. 3 out of 5

    Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko

    I applaud the author’s knowledge of Tarot Cards in this story. I wish I knew enough of this card to understand and follow the story. There were just too many characters intertwining in and out of the story that I lost count.

    This story was about the images of these cards that have a life of their own, and the tricks they use in drawing people into their world. By simply touching these card, one is transported into the world of these cards. A world full of all sorts of dangers, a land of no-return.

    When Mary, first, and then Darrin her husband were inadvertently drawn into this world, they found out that the only way out was for them to send replacements for themselves, and others, to this card world. Very frightening!

    Although I did not quite understand this story, because of the many technicalities used by the author, there is a need for a more thorough editing of this book.

  7. 5 out of 5


    This begins as a familiar concept – Mr and Mrs Ordinary Folk get pulled into an alternate reality – but that by no way suggests that this is a familiar or uninteresting tale. On the contrary.

    When Mary buys an old packet of tarot cards and does a reading for her husband Darrin neither of them have any idea what the consequences will be as they find themselves inside the colourful world the cards portray. Each card in the tarot deck is one circus character or other, Queens and Kings, Knights and Pages, all of the tarot deck are represented – and there is even the clever inclusion of “flipped” cards.

    The first challenge the couple have is finding each other, then it’s finding their way out – but even escape wont end their story as there are frightening and binding rules with this deck and World Circus.

    This is a really gripping story – it was certainly a “just one more chapter” type of book for me. There are some horror type scenes but these are well written and not over the top, although depending on your tastes they may well make you wince once or twice.

    The story develops well and held my interest from the first to last page… I was pleased to see there are more books in this series and I will certainly be reading them… I need to know what happens next!

    A great read and thoroughly recommended.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Shirley Harris-Slaughter

    I like the way the author goes right to the heart of the story. It happened so fast that, at first, I didn’t know what hit me. But then it started coming to gether and I couldn’t put the book down. Next to the Ouija Board this is an out-of-this world adventure. Hold on to your seat as this is one bumpy ride from beginning to end. Don’t read this book if your heart is squeamish, as you might have nightmares. Good job handling those characters.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amazon Customer

    Creepy story! I found this novel well written and developed. I enjoyed the tarot theme and clowns are always scary. A fine book by a talented author. Great value and recommended for horror fans.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gracie Bradford, Author

    OMG! The CIRCUS is nothing like I have read before. A strong story-line! A plot derived from a deck of cards is unusually creative. At first, I started to put the book down because I did not understand the flow. Once you get beyond chapter three, the real gist of the story emerges, however, on several occasions throughout the book, there were a few character transition problems that appeared to be in a paragraph that they did not belong. Although, continuing to read was well worth the journey. The author crafted characters in ways that only a visionary writer can do. Not knowing anything about tarot cards, I was drawn to learn more. The author skillfully transforms people from their human existence into a world of evil circus characters and back to humans just with a touch of a card and a few more exciting ways. The readers will float through drama, love scenes, murder, and out of this world horror/fantasy. Who knew a deck of cards could be so mesmerizing?

  11. 4 out of 5

    Karen Ingalls

    A fascinating tale of a world of the tarot cards. Very imaginative and creative. I did have trouble keeping all the characters straight at the beginning. I must give this 4 stars because of many grammatical and spelling errors requiring some editorial expertise.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alberta Cotner

    An exciting and well written horror story by Charles W. Jones. The Tarot theme added a new twist that is unique.

    I definitely recommend this book to anyone who reads horror or fantasy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bill Ward

    Bill Ward rated it really liked it
    This was a very clever and creepy book! I don’t know much about Tarot cards but it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book. It’s kind of a scarier Alice in Wonderland type story for grownups. Mary and Darrin find themselves pulled into the world of the tarot cards and it’s a violent and dangerous place to live. An original story with a wide cast of characters, this will appeal to all lovers of horror. And yes the clowns are very scary!

  14. 5 out of 5


    Circus Tarot is an unusual yet compelling horror/fantasy read. The author did a great job of creating characters that were believable and had realistic motivations. The Tarot mythology that was the framework for the story was detailed, interesting and comprehensive. I’d recommend this to anyone who does not have a fear of clowns, unless you are in the mood to be terrified.

  15. 4 out of 5


    This book has taught me that you can not read with your eyes squeezed tightly shut. A simple deck of tarot cards turns deadly. Mary and then her husband find themselves trapped in an alternate dimension where tarot cards come alive. A tap on a card and the horror begins. Just don’t flip them or you will flip out.
    How do Mary and Darrin escape this hell of circus creatures? Alternatively, do they survive? You will have to read and find out. Make sure you keep the lights on. ​

  16. 5 out of 5

    Zane Summerfield

    This book was a ride and then some. Great writing from a well versed author who obviously knows his stuff. Though it was an usual tale it certainly kept my attention, creepy in parts, interesting aspect on the tarot card and very imaginative.

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