At first...I was sort of disappointed with the deck. I didn't like the art. I hated the colors. But then, I read the threads in this study group, I saw the deck through the eyes of the people here, and it somehow made me see the beauty of this deck.
When I took steps to get to know it better, I began to associate it with things I found sensual like Anne Rice's vampires and Bram Stoker's Dracula. Now, after being introduced to a certain 17th century Transylvanian countess named Elizabeth Bathory and becoming absolutely fascinated with her, the Gothic Tarot takes on a whole new role for me. It's my bridge to all that is sensual, romantic, dark and gothic. It's a whole world unto itself.
As a reading deck, it isn't cruel, it isn't brutal, and it isn't mean. It's actually sweet. As I have said before, whenever I read with it, it is like the Vampire Lestat is leaning close to my ear and whispering "Ma Cherie." *chuckles*