The Four Profound Weaves (Paperback)

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R.B. Lemberg’s debut is a sweeping saga set in the Great Burri Desert, a world where Goddess is real, and she comes in the shape of a Bird. The souls of the dead are lifted into the sky in the form of a bird, appearing in various states and as different species. These sibling gods oversee the people of the desert and govern the magic power that exists in every corner and every grain of sand. The four great powers of the universe, Hope, Death, Change and Wanderlust, can be imbued into an object using the craft of weaving.

Lemberg’s work is a love-letter to their Eastern European roots, woven into the fabric of the deadly beautiful Great Burri Desert. The usual protagonist’s path is challenged by beginning nearer to the end of Uiziya’s and Nen-sasaïr’s lives. The Four Profound Weaves brings poetry to the nature of transition. Gender is tied to the magic and spirituality of the world, yet still the characters face discrimination not unfamiliar to queer individuals in the real world. Lemberg illustrates the beauty and evil of their world, not so unlike our own, in vibrant colors. This is a must-read debut novella from the next up-and-coming voice in inclusive fantasy.

— Nik


Otherwise Award Honor List
World Fantasy Award Finalist
Nebula, Locus, and Ignyte Awards Finalist

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 for the Nebula, Hugo, Tiptree award, and Rhysling awards. The Four Profound Weaves is the first full-length work set in the Birdverse.

About the Author

R. B. Lemberg is a queer, bigender immigrant from Eastern Europe and Israel. Their stories and poems have appeared in Lightspeed Magazine's Queers Destroy Science Fiction!, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Uncanny Magazine, Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology, and many other venues. R.B.'s work has been a finalist for the Nebula, Crawford, and other awards. You can find more of their work on their Patreon ( and a full bio at

Product Details
ISBN: 9781616963347
ISBN-10: 1616963344
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Publication Date: September 1st, 2020
Pages: 192
Language: English