Tam Lin – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★✰✰  (3.5 / 5 stars)

Tom is convinced he found the love of his life, the wonderful and talented, almost “God-like” Ariel. Yet after a lover’s quarrel leaves Tom traveling to Ireland on his own to discover his history, Tom is left wondering what his future holds. Little does he expect that his past is entwined with the Legendary Ballad of Tam Lin…and there is more to Ariel and the two tours guides who help him than meet the eye.

In a short, queer story, we go on a new twist for the classic story of Tam Lin. I’ll be frank though…I wasn’t familiar with Tam Lin until I read this story! Thankfully with the help of Wikipedia and the expose inside the story, I quickly learned what this was about. I think this was a wonderful twist, paying homage to the original tale while transporting us to modern day.

I’ve been reading a lot of books like this lately – where a legend is expanded upon in today’s world – and sometimes they are left feeling unsatisfactory. I’d say that this telling of Tam Lin falls in between. On one hand, it is well written with valid representation of a bisexual young man. On the other hand though, it was missing something. For about 50% of the book, nothing is all that “magical” or “fae-like”. We get a moment where Tom is in court, but that is rushed so much…instead focusing on the sex scenes. If you are all for the spice, then you’ll love these scenes though! For me, too much spice leaves a negative impact on a story.

But that’s just a personal take.

What intrigued me was the ending though; it ended on a bittersweet moment, and I am curious how the author will elaborate upon this in their other stories. Out of curiosity more than anything, I’ve added book 2 to my TBR!

Overall, while Tam Lin is a well written story, I think it needed just a little bit more to make it shine. But, if you’re here for the spice with a touch of retelling, then Tam Lin will be for you!

What’s it about?

Over five hundred years ago, Tam Lin betrayed the Queen of the Fae, leaving her to be with his human lover Janet. Tom, a literature professor, knew the story. Adopted, he spent his life studying the stories of others and their families, never knowing his own.

When his boyfriend, Ariel, gifted Tom an all expense paid trip to Ireland to seek out his Ulster-Scots roots, he never expected to find out how his story tied into the legendary Ballad of Tam Lin.

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