SFF

The Four Profound Weaves: A Birdverse Book

Tachyon. Sept. 2020. 240p. ISBN 9781616963347. pap. $14.95. FANTASY
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DEBUT Uiziya e Lali has waited 40 years for her aunt to teach her the last of the Four Profound Weaves: of wind, sand, song, and bone. But her aunt, Benesret, is a master weaver to assassins, and Surun’ weavers have exiled her. In the city of Iyar, the Khana women are traders, traveling in caravans; the Khana men are scholars, living much of their lives cloistered. A nameless man arrives, trying to find his place in a body that finally fits him after decades living as woman, wife, and mother, looking for Benesret to firm up his place in the world. As he and Uiziya search for Benesret, looking for answers to their individual questions, they must come together to deal with the Collector, the evil Iyar ruler who hoards power and death.
VERDICT Nebula-nominated Lemberg’s first novella, set in their deeply queer “Birdverse” universe, presents a beautiful, heartfelt story of change, family, identity, and courage. Centering two older transgender protagonists in the midst of emotional and physical journeys highlights the deep, meaningful prose that Lemberg always brings to their stories.

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