If you’ve been a regular reader of The Buffet for any length of time you have no doubt heard me shout about how (insert item/person/event/other) is the most awesome thing ever. Every time I feel I’ve encountered what will surely be the coolest thing to ever cross my experience, something new comes to light. That said, today we will be looking at what is surely the coolest, most awesome, most fan-freakin’-tastic thing ever! The Doomed Queens Royal Playing Cards and the companion Ask the Queens Advice Card Deck, both by Kris Waldherr and published by US Games Systems.

What is a Doomed Queens playing card deck? I’m so glad you asked! It is a traditional 52 card playing deck, but the artwork (which is stunning and much of it done by Kris Waldherr) shows a historical tragic female character and has a small blurb of text briefly describing how this individual was “doomed”. Let’s face it, any playing card deck that comes with a “Graphics Key” card to help you figure out the doom icons on the cards, is the coolest deck you’ll ever play with. The deck includes some well known ladies, such as Ann Boleyn, Cleopatra, and Marie Antoinette. However you’ll also learn the sad tales of lesser known female royalty, such as Athalia (the daughter of Queen Jezebel who was beheaded), Alute (the consort of the Tongzhi Emperor who was assassinated), and Empress Irene (wife to Leo IV, emperor of Byzantium, who was deposed).

This deck is just screaming for a night with the girls where you do nothing but drink wine, eat chocolate, and play cards! Something to keep in mind folks, the holiday shopping season is approaching, and with the sturdy box, beautiful art, bits of trivia, and a suggested retail of $12.00, who can’t you buy this for?

But don’t go yet, we’ve got more doomed queens to discuss! Let’s look at the Ask the Queens Advice Deck. Take 40 of the choicest ladies from the Doomed Queens Royal Playing Card Deck, turn them into sturdy oversized cards (ala most “oracle” decks), keep the history, but add what you can learn from that history, and you’ve got yourself the Ask the Queens Advice Deck!

What wisdom do doomed queens impart? Queen Zenobia says, “It’s better to be alive without a crown than dead with one.” The card goes on to explain, “Queen Zenobia of Palmyra chose to lead her people into battle rather than suffer Roman dominance. Zenobia’s vision for her empire did not include Roman rule. Palmyra was captured in 275, but Zenobia was freed. The former queen decided that if you can’t beat them, join them; she married a Roman senator and spent her remaining years in luxury.”

Another fine bit of doomed advice is “If you tarry with crime, you may become a victim.” So says Queen Joan. The card explains, “Joan was the niece of Phillip VI, king of France, and the granddaughter of the king of Naples, Robert the Wise. Robert made her his heir when her father died. To keep it in the family, she was betrothed to her second cousin Andrew, a Hungarian prince. Rumor held that she arranged for his murder. Joan was deposed in 1381; a year later, she was strangled in prison.”

Looking through the deck, I can’t help but say it again; with its sturdy box, beautiful art, bits of trivia, fun advice, and a suggested retail of $15.00, this would make an excellent gift for a wide range of people this holiday season.

Both “Doomed Queen” decks are unique and so much fun! Alone or together, they would truly make gifts that keep on giving.






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