King Billy and the Royal Road is a beauty of a book for children, a tarot-inspired tale with fun illustrations. It is also very much a fable like Arkartia.
It’s a great way of introducing the family to tarot in a light-hearted way. It’s small enough to read to them with language that an older child could read alone.
It tells the story of a boy called Billy who leaves his home with nothing but an empty bag and a stick, in search of adventure. Our upbeat young Fool then meets with a Magician and the journey with the cards begins.
Billy’s hungry tummy takes him on a quest through rhyming verse meeting with Kings, Princesses, perilous beasts and mounds of cake. Each of the three parts has a theme, the first being ‘the way to your heart’, through ‘be brave, be true’ to ‘what was lost can be found’.
On his encounter with a mischievous goat-foot creature he finds the nature of Devilry and is given some good advice:
‘… And I’d suggest
it would really be best
to forget him and hurry along!’
Billy not only finds the essence of friendship but also sadness and touches the darker things in life, which are dealt with very sensitively. He learns to gather the elements as he matures and realises:
‘… “I am the world!”
Billy yelled, as he twirled
“And the world is the king I’ll be” …’
King Billy and the Royal Road is a book for parents, or aunties and uncles. It’s not for people looking for an in-depth explanation of the cards but for anyone who enjoys a light-hearted, creative, jaunt with the tarot.
Let the adventures begin, much like the Alchemical Wedding which also starts with a calling … ‘A trumpet blew loud, like a call from a cloud, and Billy awoke with a start!’
Buy it on Amazon … King Billy and the Royal Road.
Charlotte Louise, Tarot Association.
Size: A5, 80 pages. Cover: colour illustration, black and white sketches inside.
Written by RC Ajuonoma, illustrated by Beverly Young.
Publisher: SilverWood Books Ltd, 2017.