Saturday, August 29, 2020

The Four Profound Weaves

The Four Profound Weaves is a transformative fable from the Birdverse about identity, individual transition, society, and good vs. evil, Due out 4th Sept 2020 from Tachyon, it's 192 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats.

This is a weirdly beautiful fantasy novel about identity, culture, transformation, hope, and the challenges of finding/making acceptance (not least from ourselves). It's told in alternating PoV. The voices of the narrators are distinct enough that it never became problematic to see which of them was speaking (but the chapters are also labeled to keep them distinct from one another). 

The author is sublimely talented. Being directly cast into the novel and feeling completely lost because the narrative itself is unexplained and without context was confusing and uncomfortable. It took me a while to become comfortable in the story. The writing was so beautifully lyrical and sublime that I felt compelled to stick with it and was rewarded by becoming more and more enthralled as the story progressed until the transformative and uplifting ending.

The author weaves pain and anger and futility and longing interspersed with hope and a not ungentle sardonic humor into a fable which tells truth. This will certainly be touted as a queer nonbinary transformational story (and it is that), but it's so much more. The author writes eloquently for all of us who are outsiders, who don't fit easily into the molds imposed by society culture and our own expectations. It's a melancholy parable but also full of hope. The author's style reminds me of Ursula K. Le Guin and Sheri Tepper in some ways. Fans of those author's won't want to miss this one.

Five stars. This is masterfully written. I don't know when the cutoff dates are for the Hugo, but I sincerely hope this one makes the list. It deserves to win.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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