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Once upon a time fairy tales were written for young and old alike. It is only in the last century that they have been deemed fit only for children and stripped of much of their original complexity, sensuality, and power to frighten and delight.
“I forbid ye maidens all that wear gold in your hair to travel to Carterhaugh, for Young Tam Lin is there…” So begins the ancient Scottish folk song Tam Lin, and the fairy tale of the same name, a tale of seduction and mortal sacrifice about the headstrong young woman who defies this warning, and then must battle the Queen of Faery herself for possession of Tam Lin’s body and soul. Pamela Dean has wrought a modern enchantment on this magical coming-of-age tale, setting it among the outlandish theater majors at a small Midwestern college.