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No Man of Woman Born

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4.36  ·  Rating details ·  142 ratings  ·  72 reviews
Destiny sees what others don't.

A quiet fisher mourning the loss of xer 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 gir
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ebook, 243 pages
Published July 10th 2018 by Acacia Moon Publishing
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Brigid Keely One of the characters is gender queer and uses they pronounces on some days when they don't feel male or female; at least one secondary character uses…moreOne of the characters is gender queer and uses they pronounces on some days when they don't feel male or female; at least one secondary character uses they pronouns.(less)

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Shira Glassman
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rarely do I run across a book so needed as No Man of Woman Born by Ana Mardoll. Uplifting representation for nonbinary (and binary trans as well) characters in fairy tale and epic fantasy settings, by a nonbinary author is something I see people asking rainbow book blogs for practically daily. Plus, it has the bonus of being a collection of shorter fiction instead of one long novel, which means there are more chances for each individual reader to find something to satisfy them, as well as more c ...more
Joc
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an anthology of fantasy stories where the main characters are transgender or nonbinary people. Some of the stories use neo-pronouns (for example, xie instead of he/she and xer instead her/him) which took a few pages to get used to but I quite liked it by the end. In some ways it was easier for me than using them/they pronouns because I have a constant grammar battle in my head. I think this is an incredibly valuable book because there is nothing quite like the feeling of isolation of nev ...more
Katie.dorny
Nov 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
This book took me a while to get into.

I am trying to read more LGBTQIA books so i can see more representation of myself and my friends in the world.
This novel definitely achieved that head on in every mini story and taught me things i didn't know like neo pronouns in literature.

I loved the way they changed up the well known fairytales - usually you can tell the ending but in this novel you couldn't as they had re-written the entire theme in order to allow the transgender or non-binary character
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Xan West
This collection grabbed my by the heart and by the throat. It was an intense and emotional read for me, and I'm so grateful it exists in the world. These are stories that are very clearly written for trans and/or non-binary readers, and they made me cry in the best way.

Read my full review on my blog.

Content Warnings:
There are content warnings at the beginning of the book, listed by story. Some general ones here: (view spoiler)
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Brigid Keely
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I should note that I received this as a review copy, with no compensation for my review.

This is an anthology of reworked short fairy tales/fantasy stories about dragons and swords stuck wantonly into stones and prophecies, most of which are gender based. Mardoll is bisexual, on the ace-spectrum, transgender, and autistic and these stories very much reflect xer lived experience, assuming that their lived experience also had dragons and prophecies and polyamorous warrior clans, etc. Xie is also a
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Alex
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
*I Received this book by NetGalley for an honest Review*

Before we even start can we all take a second to swoon over this cover, seriously it drew me in right away. After reading the synopsis I was very interested. I can honestly say I had never read a book anything like it, and I'm trying very hard to expand my reading horizons with new books, genres and important topics. That being said I definitely only read this book for the cover and the fact it was LGBT, I'm still new to this world and know
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Alexa
(Note: I bought this book with my own money, and then downloaded it from NetGalley too because why not.)

review queued on blog for tomorrow, will post it here after.
Alex
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*I Received this book by NetGalley for an honest Review*

Before we even start can we all take a second to swoon over this cover, seriously it drew me in right away. After reading the synopsis I was very interested. I can honestly say I had never read a book anything like it, and I'm trying very hard to expand my reading horizons with new books, genres and important topics. That being said I definitely only read this book for the cover and the fact it was LGBT, I'm still new to this world and know
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Elle Maruska
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh this was such a wonderful collection of fairy tales!! Each story deals with prophecy--a common trope in fantasy--but in new and wonderful ways that play with genre conventions. There is so much love and respect for the characters in each story; no one suffers unnecessarily, there's no hurt just for the sake of hurting, and while each story does address issues of violence, death, and cruelty it's never gratuitous. Characters are given the space to complete their arcs without the unfortunately ...more
Devann
I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley

I know posting excerpts from the author's notes is not generally the 'done thing', but it seems to be something I've been doing more and more lately. After all, who can explain a book better than the author in their own words:

"The heroes and heroines in these pages aren't special because they are trans; they are special and they are trans."

This book features seven stories featuring trans, genderfluid, or intersex protagonists in the staring roles
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Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

This was an absolute joy. If you like fantasy at all, especially if you like twists on fantasy tropes, you need to read this. Despite most of the stories all being based on the idea "prophecy seems to foretell that evil ruler/dragon/monster will never be killed, turns out it was actually talking about a trans person who would do it," they never get old. Each one has a different cliché prophecy and subverts it in a new way. It's cre
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A.R. Hellbender
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a collection of stories that all feature trans, nonbinary or gender fluid characters in a fantasy world where we don’t usually find them.
What was particularly great about it is that these stories take place in the typical medieval setting, devoid of hormone therapy or anything that would help someone pass, yet there is never anyone purposely misgendering anyone else.

As with any short story collection, I liked some of the stories more than others, but my favorites are the ones that featur
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Cori Samuel
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cori-recommends
Disclaimer: I recorded the audiobook. But, if you don't already know, that takes a LONG time with all the editing required -- so I really wouldn't have done it unless I genuinely enjoyed the stories. My rating is both biased and honest. :)

These fantasy stories feature transgender and nonbinary characters dealing with gendered (and therefore potentially subvertible) prophecies. Includes individual trigger warnings, so you can listen to / read each one at a time that's right for you.

Ana is a marve
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ren
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
this was delightful little book. all stories are good, but my favorite was the one that give the book its title, "no man of woman born". the last one also had me grinning at my kindle. 4.5 stars.
Nicole Field
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is So Important. I feel that it should be required reading in primary- and high schools.

The stories themselves aren't at all complex. At heart, every single one of them are a fantasy story involving a prophesy that has something to do with a character who is a gender outside of what they were assigned at birth. They were so obviously written with a trans audience in mind rather than a cis one that my heart sang.

Although every single book in this collection was a standout success, I h
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Shriya Uday
The concept of this book held incredible promise it did not deliver as much as i wanted it to. The use of neopronouns and having these characters in the spotlight was great but their arcs and stories were too predictable for me to properly enjoy it. The writing was simple and reinforced the tone of the story. These stories would do well with a middle grade audience as these are essentially classic stories with a twist in characters rather than plot. For older audiences who have already read simi ...more
Cassandra
Beautiful, thoughtful, timely, and so very necessary. It is impossible to overstate how powerful it is, seeing oneself represented in fiction for the first time—not as the butt of a joke or a tragic subplot, but as the hero, overcoming dragons and tyrants and evil spells through courage and cunning.
Includes notes on neopronouns and how to avoid misgendering, for the sake of readers for whom this is new territory; but this is not another book explaining queer identities to the curious cishet cro
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Tuex
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
I am in love with this collection of short stories.
I can see myself in them because for once non-binary and trans people are represented in such a way that it is not a trope or some major plot point for the rest of the characters.
Them being trans is aid to the story rather than the story!
I also like the way content warnings and neo pronouns are used. Authors, take notes and do it that way!

I am grateful for this book and i cannot recommend it enough! Everyone, especially trans people, go read it!
Camille
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
7 short stories who deal with the prophecies' limits when it comes to gender in fantasy.
It was a delightful read who explores gender identity, we need more stories about genderqueer people in fantasy.
Jypsy
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I just skimmed through this one. I don't care for the content. It's not for me. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Rowan MacBean
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
I. Love. This. Book. Give me all the trans/enby characters beating the bad guys because they aren’t what the bad guy expected. I already loved the trope of gender-specific prophecies being beaten by loopholes; now I love it even more.
J.D. DeHart
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful and engaging fantasy fromm Ana Mardoll. This is a book that does credit to the genre and I especially enjoyed getting the context of the author's thoughtful introduction.
Jaime
“If Halwen’s prophecy were true, Wren could do this because xie was neither man nor woman. Xie was human and whole, but different from others. Wren was xerself.”


I first heard of this book through unconventional means, to say the least. I was in a weird mood so I was scrolling through the blog of someone who, to my knowledge, seemed to hate women, POC, LGBTQ+ people, disabled people, non-Christian people, and the list goes on. Again, I was in a weird mood where I wanted to get angry. Anyway, this
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Jennifer Linsky
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quite delightful, and filling a much-needed-to-be-filled niche. I would love to see any and all of these tales expanded upon, enlarged to become books in their own right; particularly those which left me saying, "Yes? And then what happened?"

A bit more explanation than just how to pronounce the neopronouns, however, would have been welcome. What do they designate? How am I to understand what the people using them are saying about their selves, their identities?
Andria Potter
No Man of Woman Born. The title is what caught my eye, it was catchy and interesting and sounded like the kind of thing I would read. Then I realized it was a collection of short stories, and while I’m not normally one for Anthologies, I definitely had to read this. It was exactly what I hoped for; true love, heroes, girls turned boys, boys turned girls, dragons, magic, witches…it was an amazingly, awesome experience reading this book.

I wish to thank the publisher for letting me have a copy of
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Sally
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh my. I have no words. Having finished No Man of Woman Born I fear I may be hopelessly infatuated with Ana Mardoll's voice and vision. This was such a beautiful, powerful, and necessary collection. I am envious, jealous even, of a generation that gets to grow up reading empowering, inclusive stories like this alongside their mass-market fantasies.

What Mardoll offers here are familiar fantasy tales of sacrifice, vengeance, justice, and love. They are simple stories, a mix of fairy tale, fable, a
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Jessie
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This felt so incredibly kind to me. It's not that all the stories take place in societies/cultures that widely understand and accept trans and nonbinary folks, but more that the narration always affirms them. It uses correct pronouns and names for trans and nonbinary protagonists all the time (even when other characters don't know these), and in the case when another character comes out to the protagonist, the protagonist asks and promptly changes pronouns and titles for the character in questio ...more
Jay
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received this book for free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Having seen this book talked about by a few people, I jumped at the chance to get to read & review it. Some of the stories were a little too short or simple for my tastes (which is usually my main problem with short story anthologies and the reason I don't often read them) and had they all been quite similar I probably would've dropped a star or two, but while they all follow the same basic theme (gender-based p
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Cristie
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
The hubs and I had a conversation the other day about Sigourney Weaver's role in Alien. It was my position that Ripley was written in such a way that the gender of the actor wouldn't have mattered. The character and the story were strong enough on their own that acknowledging gender would have been unnecessary and would likely have been a distraction. He disagreed and pointed to the scenes with the kid as evidence that a female would be better to perform those scenes.

o.0 seriously?

This book is
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amber
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
i want to be careful in my review of this book, because i know it wasn't meant for me, and that's alright. that's wonderful, actually. this book is lovingly crafted for trans readers, and that's incredibly important. it's one of those books that's deeply needed, and i can only hope it finds it's way into the hands on someone who's been longing for just this: an anthology of fantasy stories with wonderful writing, interesting characters, and most importantly, one that's centered around trans folk ...more
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