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No Man of Woman Born

Rewoven Tales
Narrated by: Cori Samuel
Length: 6 hrs
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
4.5 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Destiny sees what others don’t.

A quiet fisher mourning the loss of her sister to a cruel dragon. A clever hedge-witch gathering knowledge in a hostile land. A son seeking vengeance for his father's death. A daughter claiming the legacy denied her. A princess laboring under an unbreakable curse. A young resistance fighter questioning everything he's ever known. A little girl willing to battle a dragon for the sake of a wish. These heroes and heroines emerge from adversity into triumph, recognizing they can be more than they ever imagined: chosen ones of destiny.

From the author of the Earthside series and the Rewoven Tales novels, No Man of Woman Born is a collection of seven fantasy stories in which transgender and nonbinary characters subvert and fulfill gendered prophecies. These prophecies recognize and acknowledge each character's gender, even when others do not.

Note: No trans or nonbinary characters were killed in the making of this book. Trigger warnings and neopronoun pronunciation guides are provided for each story.

©2018 Ana Mardoll (P)2018 Ana Mardoll

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not What I expected

The narrator was great. The stories we're interesting. As a result I will give it a high rating. I didn't like the book because I was expecting a fantasy romance, and this isn't one. It's epic fantasy with dragons, witches, and magic. If that's what you want then this book is for you. But for me I wanted a romance novel, not this.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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This is one of my favorite books

This is one of my favorites. It is probably one of the best books about trans people out there.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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What a great group of retellings

Clean but very emotionally fulfilling storytelling features with non binary characters having a completely different perspective of what would normally be very standard situations for the heteronormative of us. Ana makes even old, well known stories absolute page turners.

What also might be considered cut short endings are absolutely perfectly timed to the real purpose of the stories--these stories are about the inner journey of the main character(s). The standard adventurer need not apply. When that journey for this moment is complete, the story is done. And all are done beautifully well.

The content warnings are also really appreciated as there was one story I was not able to read at this time and it's very helpful for readers not wishing to retraumatize themselves for the sake of trying to enjoy things.

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    4 out of 5 stars

No man of woman born shall harm Macbeth!

In Shakespeare's play, the prophecy protecting Macbeth is thwarted by the fact that Macduff was not, strictly speaking, born. Instead his mother had a cesarean. Famously, J. R. R. Tolkien took the elements of the play Macbeth and told an entirely different story with them. Instead, the Nazgul Lord, protected by just such a prophecy, is slain by a woman, who is "no man".

Ana Mardoll taps into this centuries old writing prompt and takes them in an entirely new direction, exploring the ways prophecies could be thwarted by heroic trans and genderqueer protagonists. By queering fairytale and fantasy traditions, from the dragon slayer to the enchanted, sleeping princess, Mardoll does important work in creating a more inclusive fantasy genre while telling old stories in fun and exciting new ways.

Both the writing and narration is excellent. "No Man of Woman Born" is well worth the listen.