Posted in 2020, Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, First Read, NetGalley, Novel, R. B. Lemberg, Review Copy

#TheFourProfoundWeaves by @RB_Lemberg

Wind: To match one’s body with one’s heart

Sand: To take the bearer where they wish

Song: In praise of the goddess Bird

Bone: To move unheard in the night

The Surun’ nomads do not speak of the master weaver, Benesret, who creates the cloth of bone for assassins in the Great Burri Desert. But aged Uiziya must find her aunt in order to learn the final weave, although the price for knowledge may be far too dear to pay.

Among the Khana in the springflower city of Iyar, women travel in caravans to trade, while men remain in the inner quarter, as scholars. A nameless man struggles to embody Khana masculinity, after many years of performing the life of a woman, trader, wife, and grandmother. As his past catches up, the man must choose between the life he dreamed of and Uiziya – while Uiziya must discover how to challenge the evil Ruler of Iyar, and to weave from deaths that matter.

In this breath-taking debut set in R. B. Lemberg’s beloved Birdverse, The Four Profound Weaves hearkens to Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, and offers a timeless chronicle of claiming one’s identity in a hostile world.

About the Birdverse: The Birdverse is the creation of fantasy author R. B. Lemberg. It is a complex, culturally diverse world, with a range of LGBTQIA characters and different family configurations. Named after its deity, Bird, Birdverse works have been nominated for the Nebula award, longlisted for the Hugo award and the Tiptree award, placed in the Rhysling award, won the Strange Horizons readers’ poll, and more. The Four Profound Weaves is the first full-length work set in the Birdverse.

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I sat alone in my old goatskin tent.

UIZIYA E LALI

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(@TachyonPub, 1 September 2020, 192 pages, ebook, copy from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed)

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This was my first time reading the author. If this great book is anything to go buy, it won’t be my last. I really like the idea of The Birdverse. It has massive potential for books so I will seek out more work set in this universe. One of the characters has had a sex change and is now a man. What impressed me about the book is that is never seen as a big issue, just something the character chose. In other books this would be more of an issue and the plot might revolve around this. In The Four Profound Weaves this is just something that happened and isn’t the focus of the story. I thought this was great and got lost in the fascinating world, myth and lore of the book and the story as it bounced between two characters. I wish it had been longer.