book cover of The Four Profound Weaves
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The Four Profound Weaves

(2020)
(The first book in the Birdverse series)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
2021 Locus Award for Best Novella (nominee)
2021 Nebula Award for Best Novella (nominee)
2021 World Fantasy Award for Best Novella (nominee)
2020 Otherwise Award (nominee)

Two transgender elders must learn to weave from Death in order to defeat an evil ruler—in the debut full-length work set in R. B. Lemberg’s award-winning queer fantasy Birdverse universe

The Four Profound Weaves is the anti-authoritarian, queer-mystical fairy tale we need right now.” —Annalee Newitz, author of The Future of Another Timeline

“A beautiful, heartfelt story of change, family, identity, and courage.” —Library Journal, starred review

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 nameless 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 breathtaking debut set in R. B. Lemberg’s beloved Birdverse, The Four Profound Weaves 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 shorter works have been nominated the Nebula, Hugo, Tiptree award, and Rhysling awards. The Four Profound Weaves is the first full-length work set in the Birdverse.


Genre: Fantasy

Praise for this book

"Reading the first pages of The Four Profound Weaves feels like being invited into the home of a beautiful stranger. As you sit with these characters and come to know them, you too will feel know. In reading this story about recognition and transformation, I felt recognized and transformed. It’s a fantastic alchemy on Lemberg’s part, and their love and labor shines off the page. I don’t know any writer that could so skillfully take me apart with a story, or put me back together with such care. This was a story I didn’t know I desperately needed." - Nino Cipri

"Over the years, R. B. Lemberg, in their prose and poetry alike, has built a world of serpents, deserts, stars, and bones, where transformation is omnipresent and restlessness rewarded. The Four Profound Weaves is a jewel-bright tile in their ongoing mosaic. To read it is to experience apotheosis: but instead of toward heaven, we ascend toward a more total humanity. Weaves is a patient work, at times compellingly kind, at other times merciless. Always, subtly woven. Like the Nameless One in its pages, this book does not - perhaps cannot?pretend to be anything other than what it proclaims for itself: the four profound weaves - change, wanderlust, hope, death. But these aren’t chronological; they’re a pattern, a randomized one?and death is only the middle." - C S E Cooney

"I am staggered by the richness and intricacy of R. B. Lemberg’s imagination. The Four Profound Weaves is an intense and emotional story of a journey of change, growth, and courage." - Kate Elliott

"R.B. Lemberg writes with a luminous pen, spraying light all around their words and ideas. They create a universe where carpets and cloaks bear history and the future. A perilous chase, with assassins and gods in pursuit, reveals the fluidity of life by following the threads?both bright and dark - that weave together to create a complex and mystical journey toward friendship, family, and love." - Jewelle Gomez

"R. B. Lemberg’s The Four Profound Weaves tells the journey of a pair of aged and appealing wanderers searching for magic, art, identity, and peace. Thought-challenging points-of-view weave together stark violence, intricate powers, and the musings of long and complicated lives. The Four Profound Weaves contains imagery that glows on the page." - Patricia A McKillip

"The Four Profound Weaves is a balm and a call to arms. R. B. Lemberg reassures us that there's still time to find yourself, no matter how old you are; and they stir our a revolutionary urges to defeat murderous dictators. But this novella is also a finely-drawn, realistic character study of people who love their communities but never quite feel at home in them. And the magical system is a sheer delight. Thoughtful and deeply moving, The Four Profound Weaves is the anti-authoritarian, queer-mystical fairy tale we need right now." - Annalee Newitz


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