“Please. I never asked for the situation that was handed to me. I've never claimed that I handled it well.”
—Mai, in Lodestar
Mai Song is the mother of Tam Song and Linh Song, who are twins, to her dismay. She is the wife of Quan Song. She is first seen in Book 5: Lodestar, when she attends Exillium training with Quan in the Ambi Hemisphere. Her name, Mai, means blossom of the apricot tree. In Nightfall, when Linh and Tam go home, they notice paintings of themselves done by their mother, except there is no silver in their hair, and conveniently, it is painted so that she can see them alone, one on each side of the canvas, by flipping the painting with telekinesis. She belongs to a family of elvin songmakers and creates pieces based on natural elements as her job.
Mai, as shown in Lodestar, is capable of feeling remorseful for letting the Council banish Tam and Linh from the Lost Cities. She had grabbed Tam's arm, pleading if they could talk it over, and was hurt when he rejected her. However, she still begged them, admitting that she had not handled the situation well. This suggests she is not self-righteous but she wants to correct her ways so that Tam and Linh might accept her as their mother again. She whispered that they looked so much older, showing that she still thought about her children.
She also seemed proud of Tam when she heard that he had used his ability to break Fitz and himself out of Ruy's force field so that they could take the Neverseen down and escape from Valkonian Hideout, as she asked Tam if it was true that he was a hero.
In Nightfall, when Tam visited Choralmere to help Alvar, she suspected Tam might have done something bad, but later proved that she cared for them, and wanted to show them she was sorry.
Quan is Mai's husband and the two seem to care for each other a lot. He is typically protective about her, defending her whenever necessary and shielding her from things he believes will hurt her.
Tam and Linh are Mai and Quan's children and Mai did not seem to like the idea that they were twins, trying to convince them that they had their Inception Dates wrong starting from a young age and presenting them as siblings. She left Linh in Atlantis knowing that she was a Hydrokinetic and allowed her to flood the city multiple times, eventually leading to her banishment. Mr. Forkle compares this to leaving a Guster with the wind, stating that it would be impossible not to use a special ability under those circumstances. Not wanting his parents to present him as an only child, Tam left to attend Exillium with Linh although he was not the one banished. When they first encounter each other again in Lodestar, Tam and Linh tell their parents that they have to wait until they are ready if they want to be part of their lives again, and has since repeated this many times. When Tam brings Alvar to Choralmere believing that it is a place the Neverseen would never anticipate, Mai lets them use her room.
Mai's Identity Theories Edit
Although a long shot, some fans believe that Glimmer may be Mai Song, Tam and Linh's mom. First off, both Glimmer and Mai have long, straight ebony hair, as do Tam and Linh. It is said in the short story from Tam's POV that Glimmer sounds like Linh when she speaks. She also showed that she cares about Tam during his stay with the Neverseen, often checking on him and trying to become his friend. Mai Song/Glimmer was likely recruited to the Neverseen by Lady Gisela. Lord Cassius briefly mentioned that he knew Quan Song (Mai's husband) and they sometimes met up. It would make sense for Lady Gisela and Mai Song to then hang out together, and when Lady Gisela noticed how powerful a Flasher Mai was, she may have invited her to join the order. Mai also seemed to regret letting her children get banished, so she may have been angry at the Council, and joining the Neverseen might have been her way at getting back at them. She could have been mad at them for not silencing the prejudice on multiple births, too, since she maybe felt pressure to say that her children weren't twins (not to say that what she did was right).
Additionally, this would mean that Mai Song is a Flasher, while Tam is a Shade, and the two abilities may have the same core, similar to Empaths and Enhancers. This would explain why Tam is a Shade. Glimmer is said to be an extremely powerful Flasher, and both her children are also very talented ability-wise.
Lastly, Glimmer changed sides in Legacy, helping Sophie and her friends in Loanmore. Once the Neverseen had lost the battle, she left the Neverseen, coming back to the Lost Cities with Sophie's friends. Tam thought Glimmer should come live with him and Linh, but Linh disagreed since Glimmer would not show her face, keeping her cloak's hood up. This is probably because she was afraid of the betrayal her family would feel if she revealed who she was.