(1949- ) US writer who gained notice with her first novel, Tea with the Black Dragon (1983), a finely wrought Contemporary Fantasy about a woman's friendship with a centuries-old Dragon masquerading in human form. As with most of RAM's novels, this is a witty tale which does not cover familiar ground. The novel mixes mystery, Tao and computers. It was followed by Twisting the Rope (1986).
The Trio For Lute trilogy – Damiano (1983), Damiano's Lute (1984) and Raphael (1984), assembled as A Trio for Lute (omni 1985) – follows Damiano Delstrego, a young Italian "witch", his familiar (a talking dog) and the Archangel Raphael through an Alternate-World Renaissance Italy. By the third volume, this changes from a Rite-of-Passage story about the at times annoyingly feckless Damiano into a much more substantial work in which Raphael takes on human form.
The Lens of the World trilogy – Lens of the World (1990), King of the Dead (1991) and Winter of the Wolf (1993; vt The Belly of the Wolf 1994) – begins with more coming-of-age material: Nazhuret has humble beginnings as an orphan, is instructed by Powl – a most unorthodox Mentor – and becomes an adviser to the king. The quality of RAM's quirky, evocative prose and her willingness to play with conventions raise the trilogy well above standard Genre Fantasy.
RAM's singletons include The Book of Kells (1985), a Time-Travel story steeped in things Celtic (> Celtic Fantasy), set in both the present and 10th-century Ireland, and The Grey Horse (1987), a fine mix of fantasy and romance. [WKS]
other works: The Third Eagle (1989), sf with Native-American elements.
Roberta Ann Macavoy