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Molly Majumder

Matriarchy and Gender Magic in The Tamir Triad by Lynn Flewelling

The first time I picked up The Bone Doll’s Twin, the first book in the Tamir Triad, I was in a dusty library in Calcutta. I’d recently discovered a room off the main building, lined with ceiling to floor bookshelves, dedicated entirely to science fiction and fantasy. I was probably around 12, and I didn’t know I was about to fall in love.

The Tamir Triad is a trilogy about a kingdom called Skala, in which according to prophecy, the matrilineal line of the King Thelatimos reigns. However, King Erius has seized power and has started to kill off the female heirs who can be contenders to the throne. The latest target is his beloved sister, who’s about to give birth to twins. A pair of wizards, guided by Illior, work with a hill witch to change the girl child’s gender so she’s brought up as a boy until she’s old enough to rule. The series follows the trials and tribulations of this motley group and the other court players as Tamir, raised as Tobin, navigates a world where she doesn’t even know the truth about herself.

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