Summary: Useful but not manditory
Comment: So you've learned the card meanings and begun doing spreads for friends, what now? Maybe this book, maybe not. I have been a professional reader for over 30 years and while I've had some great teachers, the best teacher I ever had was experience with the tarot itself. If you are stumped as to the meaning of a combination, this book can help. It can help not because it gives you an answer that will always be correct, but because it can give you a different way of looking at the situation. It can free your mind from the roadblock its caught on.
The problem with too much reliance on it is that ombinations do not always mean the same thing to diferent people. Tarot is an intuitive art. As you do more and more readings you will find that certain combinations come to mean certain things to you and that other readers may disagree with those meanings. My answer to that is that the other readers will not encounter the combinations unless the situation fits their meaning. The universe is a strange and wonderful place and to a certain extent it provides each of us with a slightly different reality. Stay with what you intuitively feel to be true and use this book as an adjunct for those "stuck" moments. Another book that I find VERY useful is the Tarot Dictionary and Compendium. Unfortunately this book is only available used. What it provides, by card, is a list of meanings for each card from most of the major sources. This gives you a chance to review many alternate meanings for each card rather than concentrating on the pair. Using multiple sources for each card is to me the best way to get unstuck. We can suffer from a very narrow viewpoint regarding certain cards that have appeared in our own lives, especially when the situation is negative. A good example might be the card that represented our ex-boyfriend with the ever roving eye. If he was a court card, say Knight of Wands, we will have a hard time seeing this card as a guardian or simply, help that arrives at the last minute. Having one or two cards with narrow interpretations isn't so bad, but as life goes on these highly personal meanings can multiply to the point where we feel confused when we see them in another context. Another good source for multiple meanings can be found in some of Banzhaf's books. He provides meanings for various areas of life, giving you insight into how a card like The High Priestess might work in Love, Profession etc.
Summary: Learn the system, not card meanings!
Comment: This book was very useful to me because I was able to learn the logic behind how to put cards together which actually is the purpose of the book! those looking for a combinations "dictionary" will be dissapointed, the goal of the book is help you understand how cards mix and combine, after that, maybe you go back to the book just once in while for reference.
This book can be used in parallel with other books by begginners which are studying card meanings and symbolism, the book offers 12 keywords for each card (6 upright and 6 reversed) might be consider very simple words, but once again the goal of the book is to teach a thinking system not card meanings.
The only part I disliked of the book was that samples seemed very redundant to me, but understand that authors must think in readers of many levels of comprehension, anyway a very useful book.
Summary: With explanations for hundreds of combinations
Comment: Tarot Card Combinations by Australian tarot expert Dorothy Kelly is an informed and informative guidebook to interpreting the mystical tarot cards, including basic tarot definitions and layouts, as well as advanced information concerning the nuances of how cards relate to and interconnect with one another in revealing the whole of their meaning. Simply illustrated and demonstrated using the Waite tarot deck, and enhanced with explanations for hundreds of combinations of 2, 3, 4, or even 5 cards, Tarot Card Combinations is a superb and strongly recommended resource for any tarot practitioner whether novice or expert.
Summary: So so, but worth the read
Comment: First off, I'm really glad that this book is in my collection, and this is not a book I'd recommend to a beginner. This book covers good ground, but does not waste time hashing over the basics. I'd recommend having a solid comfort level with interpretations of single cards before starting in on this book.
Starting with the negative side, I didn't agree with many of the card interpretations. They were generally simplistic, however it may be that the author intended it that way in order to better illustrate the concepts that she was trying to convey. Many of the combinations are also simplistic due perhaps to the same principle. The author's approach is to assign a shortlist of keywords to each card, then read them like flashcards. If 4 Staffs is "Peaceful" and 6 Cups is "Often", the two cards together mean "Peaceful Often". Although my own experience is admittedly limited, I do not personally know of anyone that reads so literally.
On the positive side, the author's oversimplification freed me up to not overcomplicate relationships between the cards. While I do feel that the specific examples are oversimplistic, I also think that was useful to break down my fear of allowing it to just be simple. I haven't found that I've directly used the lessons from this book, but it has definately had an influence on the way I link cards together.
One wonderful thing about this book is that the focus on combinations means that it can print repetitive combinations for certain sets. Such as (example is from my head, not book): Ace Wands/Two Wands, Ace Wands/Three Wands, Ace Wands/Four Wands, etc. It clearly can't cover every combination that exists, but it covers enough to allow you to exrapolate your own beyond a certain point. It also makes for easy light reading -- would be easy to read a few pages here and there when you have the time.
I feel that this book is generally most useful for those who have a good feel for what the cards mean on their own, but aren't as comfortable reading them together or in spreads.
Summary: Combinational interpretation is good, but the rest is not
Comment: I have bought numerous tarot books over the years. This one seemed to be one of the wrong decision.
For the explanation of Cards combo, i think it is pretty cool, but not very thorough. Sometimes,the groupings of the combo cards are not very organized.
For anyone who is a beginner for tarot or just begun to read reverse and combo cards, it is a relatively good reference. however, i got sick of reading it a few times later. This books doesn't give deeper insight into the combinations and does not offered not too many options.
I would advise looking for other books or try to learn combinations on your own, as individuals may vary in how they read their spread. For these reasons, i would give this a pass.