This article contains plot details from the latest book.
“My registry pendant, actually. I melted down the chain after I ripped off the crystal and threw it in my father's face. Now if I ever face him again, he'll see exactly how little I miss living in his glittering prison.”
“Dude! This guy uses more hair products than I do!”
Tam Song is a Shade and a member of the Black Swan. He had been banished from the Lost Cities when he was eleven. He once had attended Exillium with his twin sister Linh Song, because he didn't want her to have to go there alone. As of Neverseen, his banishment was lifted by the Council.
In the past, his family's last name used to be Tong, but his great-great-grandmother changed it to Song in honor of her profession.
Tam and his sister Linh were once the only two elvin inhabitants of the Wildwood Colony, a gnomish territory. He and Linh resided in Ermete's former residence before moving to Alluveterre, under the care of the Black Swan in Neverseen, but after the events in Lodestar, they move to the Lost Cities, under the care of Blur, but because of some difficulty with Blur's living conditions, they have to live with Tiergan. Tam, along with Linh, attend Foxfire Academy in Nightfall.
The name "Tam" appears to be Vietnamese. It means "twin" or "excellence", along with other meanings.
Tam has black hair with jagged silver bangs—which tend to fall into his eyes, and that often causes him to toss them out of his eyes. His bangs are silver because he dipped his bangs in his melted registry pendant, for revenge against his parents. He has a tanned skin tone and his eyes are pale silvery blue, like his sister, Linh. He is described as "handsome", and "good-looking".
"I didn't want her to face this alone," he mumbled. "And I wouldn't stay with my family anyway. They'd always wished they didn't have the shame of twins. I wasn't going to let them pass me off as an only child."
The residents of the Lost Cities are judgmental towards elves like twins and triplets--especially when it comes to Tam's parents. Thus, when Linh--that time a fledgling Hydrokinetic--almost flooded the Lost City of Atlantis, she was sentenced to face banishment to Exillium, the school for banished children, which is located in the Neutral Territories. Tam, not wanting her to face banishment on her own, decided to follow her to Exillium even though he had done no wrong. Another reason why he did that was that he disliked his parents, and disapproved of their discriminating mindset about twins.
This ability lets Tam control Shadow Vaper and "read" a person by reading how much shadow vaper they have. This is because the more shadow vaper they have, the more secrets and darkness they have to hide. It lets the person see,"The darkness within us all." If a person has too much shadow vaper or won't let him take the reading, he is skeptical and a bit rude towards that person. We know this because Keefe and Alvar had both rejected the reading and Tam had been suspicious of both of them ever since.
Personality and Behavior
The silver streaks in the tips of his bangs first came around when Tam had melted the chains of his registry pendant and dipped the tips of his bangs into the silver liquid, throwing the crystal into his father's face as an act of defiance.
When it comes to his parents, Tam is very rebellious and bitter and he always speaks badly of them as he loathes them after what they had done to him and Linh, his twin sister. Because of that, he does not trust people easily and is overprotective of Linh.
Tam is wary of anyone that he has not gotten to know yet. He has strong trust issues, as it is seen when he took a long time getting to trust Sophie, her friends and the Black Swan. He takes careful steps in trusting people or telling them about something, and he always thinks that there might be a 'catch' to a bargain that sounds too good to be true, as shown when Mr. Forkle offers the twins a home to stay for nothing in return. This wariness or suspicion could be due to his rocky past with his parents, and Tam has learned to be careful not to get tricked.
Tam also tends to be a bit insecure. At one point he asks Sophie, "You already have the four friends you came with. Do you really have room for more?" This shows that Tam does not think very highly of himself as he questions if someone who already has so many friends would want him for a friend as well. This insecurity may be why he tends to remark sarcastically and hide his feelings—like his crush on Biana. It is possible that he doesn't think himself good enough for her and that's why he doesn't admit that he likes her. This insecurity may be a result of his parent's harshness.
However, despite Tam's bitterness--which is often mistaken for being evil--he can be very compassionate and chose to help Sophie Foster and her friends when he could have just pushed her away as he had a sense of what the right thing to do was. Tam cares a lot about his twin sister Linh, and follows her wherever she goes, in order to keep a careful eye on her and keep her safe.
- Linh Song (Twin sister)
Linh is Tam's twin sister, and he cares very deeply about her. When Linh is banished from the Lost Cities, he chose to go with her to Exillium and be banished too when he could have let her leave alone, and have a good life without discrimination against him. He is very close to Linh and has lived with her for almost fifteen years. They have been at Exillium together for twelve hundred fourteen days and he'd always made it clear that he would not be kept away from Linh. He is very protective of her and would do anything to keep her safe and sound.
In Lodestar, the two siblings are seen laughing and teasing each other in front of Sophie, Fitz, Biana, Dex, and Keefe, showing a more light-hearted side of Tam, as he has begun to let his guard down and trust Sophie and the others. He and his sister have a very intimate relationship and it is clear that they love each other very much.
- Sophie Foster (friend)
Tam first met Sophie during her first day at Exillium, and both of them had taken interest in each other. Sophie was interested in Tam as the 'boobrie dude' had warned her about him, saying that he was the worst Wayward in Exillium, while Tam was interested in Sophie as when she had almost burnt down Exillium on her first day, his sister Linh was the one to save her (a Hydrokinetic), and he found it fascinating that she had four abilities.
The two of them, while staring at each other, first communicate with each other through shadow-whispering, and transmitting. They formed a connection with each other through a series of shadow-whispering sessions during lessons in Exillium.
When Sophie stood up against the Coaches for the right choice and rescued the plague-infested gnome, also helping Linh breathe underwater by calming her down, Tam decided to tell her what he and Linh knew about the plague, and he and Linh leapt Sophie to Wildwood to tell her about them.
Tam eventually trusts Sophie, and the fact that Linh totally trusts her helps him believe that making friends with Sophie was the right decision.
Although Sophie thinks that Tam is good-looking, it is implied that neither Sophie nor Tam currently has any romantic interest in each other...unless you count all the times it's implied that they do in Lodestar. But as of Nightfall that has fizzled.
- Keefe Sencen (frenemy)
Tam and Keefe get off on the wrong foot and both dislike each other. Although it is unclear why they dislike each other, Keefe is judgmental towards Tam as Tam's ability is a Shade and there is this evident stereotype or misconception that all Shades are 'shady', evil, and not to be trusted. Keefe also calls Tam, "Bangs Boy".  After learning about Tam's past and his hatred towards his father, Keefe still chose to dislike him despite their common points pertaining to family background and personality, saying that 'someone needs to tell Shade Boy the role of Troublemaker with Daddy Issues is already filled'.
Keefe also tells Tam that he would always be the president of "Foster Fan Club" and that they were closed to new members, as he doesn't like the way Sophie and Tam secretly communicate via a combination of shadow-whispering and telepathic transmission and is thus envious or even jealous of their connection.
Tam had not trusted Keefe right from the start when Keefe had refused to let him take a Shade reading of him, as shown when he says "the only people who refuse readings are those with darkness to hide", which implies that he was suspicious that Keefe had something bad to hide. In the gnomish tunnel that led to Ravagog, he also told Sophie that he was worried about Keefe as he could tell that he was hiding something, and thus asked her how much she trusted Keefe.
In Lodestar, Linh remarks that the two boys' personalities are very similar and that was probably why they did not get along with each other.
Despite Sophie's numerous attempts to try to get Tam and Keefe to like each other, the two boys still hold an immense dislike for each other, and their distrust of each other is greater displayed in Lodestar.
In Nightfall, it's mentioned many times that Keefe and Tam would be friends due to their many similarities. But only if they got over themselves.
Tam possibly likes Biana and it is implied he thinks she is pretty. When Keefe gets jealous of Tam and told him that he was the 'president of the Foster Fan Club' and they were 'closed to new members', Tam instantly 'flushes' and assured Sophie that he had no romantic interest towards her, instead 'stealing a quick glance at Biana after he said it', possibly implying that he was not romantically interested in Sophie, but Biana.
After seeing him 'wave his hand', making the 'shadows around a clump of trees shift to reveal Linh', Biana, a little in awe, remarked how much that was like an anti vanish, and asked him how he had done that. They are good friends with each other, and care about each other, as seen in Lodestar. Linh said he likes brunettes, and Biana, is a brunette.
In Nightfall, Mrs. Song, Tam and Linh's mother, painted a portrait of both Tam and Linh, one on each side of the canvas, without the silver in their hair. Biana painted the silver back on, and after she did that Tam said he loved it.
For further details on their possible romantic relationship, check here.
- Dex Dizznee (friend)
Dex and Tam have a mutual friendship and consider each other friends.In addition, Dex offered to share his room in Alluveterre with Tam before the day they set off to their mission in Ravagog.
- Marella Redek (friend/possible love interest)
In book 5 Lodestar, Marella is caught staring at Tam and smiling in a flirty way to him.(and he blushed) In Nightfall they seem to be teasing each other. In Nightfall, Biana said that she dislikes being used to get to her brother and added that Linh probably felt like that too. Tam says she doesn't. Marella says, "Are you kidding, have you seen you?"
- Quan Song (father)
Tam dislikes his father and refers to his house as a 'glittering prison.' This is most likely because Quan seems to care about his reputation more than his own kids, even going so far as trying to convince everyone Linh and Tam were not the same age.
In Lodestar, he appears to try and reconcile with his children but is still harsh.
In Nightfall, he acts rude towards them and complains about them ruining his home as they try to find a place to hide Alvar.
- Mai Song (mother)
In Nightfall, she painted a portrait of both Tam and Linh, one on each side of the canvas. She wants to reconcile with her children but accepts that they need more time.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 page 74 of Lodestar: "Tam was just as handsome, but with more edge to his style, thanks to his jagged bangs and ultra-intense stare."
- ↑ page 470 of Neverseen: "'What’d you do, melt down the buckles on your Exillium uniform and dip your head in?' // 'My registry pendant, actually. I melted down the chain after I ripped off the crystal and threw it in my father’s face.'"
- ↑ page 157 of Lodestar: "'Tam tugged on his bangs. 'I'm sure I'll take the oath soon. I just have...' // 'Trust issues,' Mr. Forkle finished for him. 'Not something I blame you for. But keep in mind that there may also be times when something needs to be restricted to those who are officially in our order.'"
- ↑ page 472 of Neverseen: "Mr. Forkle turned to Sophie, and she explained about the arrangements the Black Swan had made with the dwarves. // 'What’s the catch?' was Tam’s first question. // Mr. Forkle’s lips curled with half a smile. 'There is none. King Enki and I have everything arranged. All he asks is that you respect his laws while you live there—which are really no different than elvin laws, except perhaps slightly less restrictive.'"
- ↑ page 452 of Neverseen: “'I’ve lived with you for almost fifteen years.'"
- ↑ page 449 of Neverseen: “'How long ago was that?”' she asked. // Linh’s hand moved to her Exillium necklace. 'Twelve hundred and fourteen days.' // A little more than three years, Sophie realized."
- ↑ page 404 of Lodestar: "'I was sick of Linh nagging me,' Tam said, earning an eye roll from his sister, and a sudden splash of water to the face. 'Oh, it is so on later.' // 'Ready any time you are,' Linh told him, tossing another sphere of water back and forth from palm to palm."
- ↑ page 474 of Neverseen: "Keefe let out a sigh that sounded more like a groan. 'And I thought secret Telepath conversations were the worst. Just so we’re clear,' he told Tam. 'I’m the president of the Foster fan club. And we’re closed to new members.' // Tam’s cheeks flushed. 'Uh . . . not sure what that’s about but . . . no worries there—no offense!' he told Sophie. // She noticed he stole a quick glance at Biana after he said it. // Sophie couldn’t decide if she should feel relieved or insulted.
- ↑ page 432 of Neverseen: “'But Shades will always be shady. It’s in the name! And they control shadowvaper, and call it ‘the darkness within us all.’"
- ↑ page 478 of Neverseen: “'Someone needs to tell Shade Boy the role of Troublemaker with Daddy Issues is already filled.'"