The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature where I talk about books I got over the last week – old or new, bought or received for review. Since I hope you will find new books you’re interested in reading in these posts, I try to be as informative as possible. If I can find them, links to excerpts, author’s websites, and places where you can find more information on the book are included.

This week’s post is a short one since the only book that came in this week was the one I ordered for National Buy a Book Day.

Queen's Hunt by Beth Bernobich

Queen’s Hunt (River of Souls #2) by Beth Bernobich

Queen’s Hunt was released earlier this year in hardcover and ebook. An excerpt from the book is available on

I read and reviewed the first book in this series, Passion Play. While I had some reservations about it, I also enjoyed reading it and am looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book in the series. If you missed the first book, you can read some of the beginning on the author’s website. A related short story titled “River of Souls” is also available to read on (I thought the short story was really good.)

Four books total are listed on the author’s website. Book 3, Allegiance, is scheduled for October 2013. The Edge of the Empire, book 4, is scheduled for October 2014.

Queen’s Hunt is the second title in Beth Bernobich’s River of Souls novels, following her startling debut, Passion Play. Filled with dark magic and sensual images, this is fantasy writing at its best.

Ilse Zhalina has left to start a new life in a garrisoned fort, leagues from her estranged lover, Raul Kosenmark. The violent quarrel that ended Ilse and Raul’s relationship was quite public. And also, quite fake. They hope to mislead Kosenmark’s enemies so that he can continue to influence the politics of the kingdom in an attempt to stave off an ill-advised war, while keeping Ilse safe from royal assassins who would kill anyone Raul is close to. Ilse longs for Raul, but is set on her own quest to find one of the three fabled jewels of Lir. One of the jewels is held by King Dzavek, sworn enemy of Veraene, who has used the jewel’s power to live for centuries. Ilse seeks one of the other stones to counterbalance Dzavek’s efforts to destroy her country.

In her search, she encounters a shipwrecked prisoner from another land, a woman who has a secret of her own…and the second jewel in her keeping. The two women become allies in their quest for the third jewel, because finding and controlling these stones could mean salvation for both of their nations. And their failure the ruin of their peoples.