The thematic concept this deck is intended to evoke is the ancient idea that when kings died, they left behind a legacy through which they lived on. Life is about creating memories and footprints, and these remain when we ourselves are no longer here. These playing cards are imagined to be the legacy of a departed king, and by opening the doors of this box we feel his presence even though he himself is absent.
The tuck box is presented in a low key white matt cardboard, which features delicate lettering and patterns in metallic gold inks, with embossed concentric circles helping make a strong first impression. The back of the box features the same design as the card backs, which we'll see in a moment, while a custom seal completes the overall presentation. Upon opening, the flap greets us with some Latin, Certum est quia impossibile est, which means "It is certain because it is impossible."
The card backs have an ornate and classy design that incorporates all kinds of icons and symbols into the design, and the more you look the more you will see, like music notes, eyes, flowers, and fish, in an overall pattern that looks like a labyrinth. I especially love the Aces, each of which has a single Giant pip inscribed with a labyrinth design that picks up some of the feel of the card backs. The Ace of Spades is particularly lush, with a rich metallic stripe of gold decorating the outskirts of the over-sized pip, along with a banner that reads "King & Legacy".
In fact all the faces are heavily customized, especially the court cards, and that immediately moves this deck in a different direction from a standard deck and makes it feel unique and special. The court cards are either all red (hearts/diamonds) or all black (spades/clubs), and the minimalist colours helps accentuate the styish artwork. The pips are also very stylized without being over-the-top, to ensure that the deck doesn't abandon all practicality. The matching Jokers pick up the legacy of the king concept with gold metallic ink depicting a regal sword gripped firmly by two hands.
USPCC printing ensures a quality look, feel, and handling, and completes the package of a wonderful package that the discerning magician looking for an elegant and stylish marked deck will really appreciate.
So where does the secret come in? Well, this is a marked deck, and that will make magicians immediately sit up and pay attention, since they'll realize that this can be a very useful weapon in the right situation. The secret markings are easy to read, and don't require learning a system. Their style and implementation reminds me somewhat of the Dapper Deck from Vanishing Inc Magic, and they are well integrated into the pattern on opposite corners of the card backs, with a cursive font style assisting in their disguise. An additional card provided with the deck provides a complete key to the marking system, and it will literally take you less than 30 seconds to learn and master.