A fantasy adventure novel set in a magical universe built around tarot cards is the work of Aberystwyth-based writer, Rachel Clarke.

Beings can cross through portals between worlds and seek to understand their destiny through Tarot reading in Rachel’s debut novel, ‘Tarot - Crossing Worlds’, published on last month.

For the novel, Rachel wanted to focus on a world seen from different perspectives as well as the importance of family, and the book is described as being perfect for fans of authors such as Garth Nix, Philip Pullman and Humphrey Quinn.

On a medieval world called Wayan where wondrous beings unravel their destiny through tarot reading, a powerful sorceress commits a shocking act by abducting the queen’s young children and spiriting them away through enchanted portals. Their memories erased, the children grow up on Earth, oblivious to their heritage.

Now, after 21 years of searching, opposing magical forces are racing to lay claim to Andrew and Amy. In a race against time, the siblings must embark on a perilous journey to rediscover their past and save birth mother Queen Lillian from the grip of a malevolent star.

Rachel, originally from Nottinghamshire, holds a master’s degree in screenwriting from Aberystwyth University.

She has worked as a talent coordinator for production agencies in Canada and London, was a script reader for Tiger Aspect and a production co-ordinator for Lime Pictures.

She now runs a successful company helping screenwriters worldwide to develop film projects.

“Fifteen years ago, as a student, I visited a magic shop in Aberystwyth,” said Rachel.

“As I scanned the shelves brimming with tarot cards, I thought, what if there was a world for each Tarot deck with races of fantastical beings who could cross between the worlds and interact with one another?

“It sparked an interest in me and I ended up being secretary of the university Tarot Society!

“I like how there is never one interpretation and how I could apply that to fiction and young readers - how everyone has their own way of looking at things and how we can learn from each other.

“Over the last year-and-a-half I have had time to return to the idea I and fulfil my lifelong ambition of completing my first novel.”

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