Mini Review: “The Unbalancing” by R.B. Lemberg

Release Date: September 20, 2022
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Genre: Fantasy


Beneath the waters by the islands of Gelle-Geu, a star sleeps restlessly. The celebrated new starkeeper Ranra Kekeri, who is preoccupied by the increasing tremors, confronts the problems left behind by her predecessor.

Meanwhile, the poet Erígra Lilún, who merely wants to be left alone, is repeatedly asked by their ancestor Semberi to take over the starkeeping helm. Semberi insists upon telling Lilun mysterious tales of the deliverance of the stars by the goddess Bird.

When Ranra and Lilun meet, sparks begin to fly. An unforeseen configuration of their magical deepnames illuminates the trouble under the tides. For Ranra and Lilun, their story is just beginning; for the people of Gelle-Geu, it may well be too late to save their home.

My Thoughts

I have not yet had the pleasure of reading Lemberg’s earlier Birdverse novella The Four Profound Weaves, but after The Unbalancing I’m going to make it a point to. This is an intricate, intimate novel lush with worldbuilding and character development. The nonbinary and neurodivergent rep is lovely in its nuance. It’s a contemplative novel but not a slow one; the moments of action are thoroughly engaging. I adored the way Erígra Lilún and Ranra Kekeri’s blossomed into something powerful and romantic. 

Reading The Unbalancing was in itself an act of being unbalanced, but in a good way! I could never predict what was going to happen next. Lemberg kept me on my toes. A great read.

Buy it at (affiliate link)

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