King Billy and the Royal Road
Author: RC Ajuonuma
SilverWood Books, 2017
Description: 81 page book
"King Billy and the Royal Road" is a story of a boy who wakes up one morning and begins a journey through the Major Arcana cards of the Tarot.
The story is formatted in three line poetry verses, with some rhyming. The flow of the story is of a sing-song melody. The black and white images, provided by Beverley Young, are delightful and compliment the story perfectly.
"He opened the bag,
which he wiggled and wagged,
and pulled from inside an old sword."
The book is divided into three parts which coincide with a three part break down of the Major Arcana stages of progression: Part 1 - The Way to Your Heart (Consciousness), Part 2 - Be Brave, Be True (Subconscious), Part 3 - What Was Lost Can Be Found (Superconscious).
Young Billy wakes up one morning to an empty refrigerator and is unable to wake his mother, so he decides to go find some food. What he finds is much more. He discovers a whole new world, as he's never ventured beyond his own backyard.
With a sack and a stick, young Billy (The Fool) skirts past his growling dog and sets off on his journey. His first encounter is with a man in a hat with a cape and a tan (The Magician). And the journey continues with Billy moving through the characters and the lessons of the Major Arcana of the Tarot.
The book is presented as a children's book, but I do suggest scanning through the book before you begin the story with your child. There is one section I found a little unsettling, but this may just be me. In Chapter 8, the king (not Billy) has been slain, beheaded. This one part made me feel the book may be more suitable for young teenagers. Again, this is only my opinion.
"With hands glowing red
round the king's severed head,
she lifted it up like a crown."
It was a pleasure to have the chance to read this book by RC Ajuonuma. Young adults will enjoy this introduction to the world of Tarot. It would also be an enjoyable read for adults and experienced tarot enthusiast.
Grab your copy from SilverWood Books or Amazon.
(Review Product supplied by RC Ajuonuma)