In their impressive THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES, R. B. Lemberg’s poetic mastery evokes Ursula K. LeGuin at her finest
R. B. Lemberg’s intriguing THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES continues to elicit amazing responses.
For SYFY WIRE, S. E. Fleenor praises the novella.
Magic, polyamory, trans solidarity, epic journeys, political intrigue, fear, loss, love, healing, and even Aunt Death all somehow fit — and more impressively come together in a powerful way — in R.B. Lemberg’s new novella THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES.
It is a supremely balanced book, focusing only on the most necessary details to get the story across. In that sense, the book is both ethereal and ephemeral: graceful, delicately wrought, and fleeting. That said, THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES has an incredibly layered plot where we find that nearly every new character is someone our protagonists have met before. To me, though, what really distinguishes this work is how it embraces trans elders as leaders, changemakers, rabble-rousers, and magic users.
THE BORROWED BOOKSHELF agrees.
THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES is a short book, probably more around novella length. I’m impressed with how much culture and worldbuilding Lemberg managed to fit in, but it never feels too much. As you follow Uiziya and nen-sasair, you get more understanding into the different cultures they’re from and their own relationships with gender. Among Uiziya’s people, transformation is not shameful and she chose to make her transformation at a young age. Among nen-sasair’s people, transformation is not commonly done publically, and he struggles with his new roles the cloistered world of men after having lived as a trader, wife, mother, and grandmother for so long.
Recommended for: People who love prose, interesting magic, slow stories, and weaving
DER FEUERVOGEL AUFERSTEHT also recommends the tale.
Lemberg’s writing style is poetic without being impenetrably dense, and it reminds me of Ursula Le Guin’s prose at its finest. (I’m sure RB would be pleased with that comparison! I know that “Stone Telling” is meaningful to them.)
I highly recommend this book. You can find it at all the usual suspects.
Marlene Harris at READING REALITY enjoys the book.
THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES has the feel and the sense of a myth in the making, or perhaps a fairy tale. Reading it has filled my head with a weave of more thoughts – profound or otherwise – than one would think that a book this slim would hold between its pages.
It’s the kind of story that, although I’ve finished reading it, I feel like it hasn’t finished with me yet. Perhaps its that the lesson of the fairy tale is still being absorbed.
Escape Rating A-: I’m all over the map about this one. In the end, I loved it, but the beginning was slow. I think that part of that was because this was my first trip to Birdverse, and it took me a while to get my bearings in it.
Also, the story begins slowly because it feels like it is meant to. Both of the protagonists have spent 40 years not living their truths. That’s a long time to wait for anything, let alone wait to fulfill their dreams. But they’ve been holding themselves back, so it seems natural that it would take them a while to get moving toward a future that they’ve been inching towards at a snail’s pace for so many years.