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Pamela Dean (1) (1953–)

Author of Tam Lin

For other authors named Pamela Dean, see the disambiguation page.

11+ Works 4,627 Members 130 Reviews 4 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Photo by user Dd-b / Wikimedia Commons


Works by Pamela Dean

Associated Works

Liavek 1 (1985) — Contributor — 311 copies
The Players of Luck (1986) — Contributor — 227 copies
Wizard's Row (1987) — Contributor — 199 copies
Sisters in Fantasy 2 (1996) — Contributor — 186 copies
Festival Week (1990) — Contributor — 155 copies
Spells of Binding (1988) — Contributor — 147 copies
Xanadu (1993) — Contributor — 127 copies
Her Magical Pet: Benefit F/F Story Collection (2020) — Contributor — 7 copies


Common Knowledge



I adored this book—an atmospheric college saga about adolescence, literature, and enchantment, told in a confident literary voice reminiscent of Dorothy L. Sayers. It would be the perfect book to curl up with on a stormy autumn evening, but it was quite compelling enough in late August.

Tam Lin tells its story with a lot of negative space—often the supernatural elements and emotional content are just beyond Janet's apprehension. You spend a lot of time dancing across the surfaces of her life, which I found incredibly effective, although it might bore some readers. I prefer my supernatural fiction shadowy and subtextual, just like unspoken desire, just like the meanings of the stories that Janet surrounds herself with as an English major. This understated approach to fantasy reminds me of Alan Garner's Owl Service, even though Tam Lin is far wordier.

It's such a sprawling octopus of a book that I plan on rereading it to decide how well all the threads hold together and why Dean chose to combine the elements she did. I will say that the ending was clever but didn't blow me away, but it's not really fair—I was comparing it to Fire and Hemlock, the other Tam Lin retelling about books and concealed emotional truths.

I do have to lodge a complaint that Dean retold Tam Lin on a college campus and didn't name one of the academic buildings Carter Hall. But maybe that would have been too obvious.
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raschneid | 72 other reviews | Dec 19, 2023 |
Not much to say as the books turned out not to quite match up to the promise of the idea although I liked the characterisation. So haven't kept them and don't remember much detail.
kitsune_reader | 6 other reviews | Nov 23, 2023 |
Read this series a few years ago and don't recall it very well now. I do know that I decided not to keep the books when I'd finished as the reality didn't quite match the promise of the premis, which is potentially very intriguing - children have to act out in reality parts that they previously pretended as a game, but with dangerous consequences that have to be actually experienced. Liked the characters and it was quite a good read but somehow didn't turn out good enough to be a 'keeper'.
kitsune_reader | 7 other reviews | Nov 23, 2023 |
A series I enjoyed, with quite good characterisation, and the intriguing idea that a complex game acted out by children becomes 'real' and they then have to bluff it out and try to second guess what will happen as it doesn't always stick to the plot of their game.
kitsune_reader | 21 other reviews | Nov 23, 2023 |



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