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 consideration. 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.

Shattered Pillars by Elizabeth Bear

Shattered Pillars (Eternal Sky #2) by Elizabeth Bear

Shattered Pillars is easily one of my most anticipated books of 2013. First, it’s by one of my favorite authors. Second, it’s the sequel to Range of Ghosts, which was fantastic and one of my favorite books from this year (my review).

Shattered Pillars will be released in hardcover and ebook in March 2013. If you haven’t read the first book, you can read more about the series or read an excerpt from Range of Ghosts.

The Shattered Pillars is the second book of Bear’s The Eternal Sky trilogy and the sequel to Range of Ghosts. Set in a world drawn from our own great Asian Steppes, this saga of magic, politics and war sets Re-Temur, the exiled heir to the great Khagan and his friend Sarmarkar, a Wizard of Tsarepheth, against dark forces determined to conquer all the great Empires along the Celedon Road.

Elizabeth Bear is an astonishing writer, whose prose draws you into strange and wonderful worlds, and makes you care deeply about the people and the stories she tells. The world of The Eternal Sky is broadly and deeply created—her award-nominated novella, “Bone and Jewel Creatures” is also set there.

Trinity Rising by Elspeth Cooper

Trinity Rising (The Wild Hunt #2) by Elspeth Cooper

Trinity Rising will be released in hardcover and ebook in February 2013 in the US. This book is already available in the UK.

The first Wild Hunt book and Elspeth Cooper’s debut novel is titled Songs of the Earth (my review). If you haven’t read it, there is an excerpt available online.

The future holds nothing but blood and death . . . and Teia fears there is nothing she can do about it. Her clan is riding to war, but her secret, untrained gift of foretelling has shown her they are riding to their doom. If she cannot turn them from their course, her only hope of saving them will be to betray them to their sworn enemies.

Gair is mourning his past . . . but there is no time to dwell on his grief or hunger for revenge. Pursuing an artefact from the Founding Wars, he travels deep into the hostile southern deserts. As religious tensions erupt into bloody violence around him, he must make an impossible choice: save innocent lives or sacrifice them in the hope that thousands more can be saved later.

And all the while, his grip on his powers is failing.

A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz

A Conspiracy of Alchemists (The Chronicles of Light and Shadow #1) by Liesel Schwarz

This debut novel will be released in hardcover and ebook in March 2013 in the US. There will not be a long wait for books 2 and 3, which will be published at six-month intervals.

A Conspiracy of Alchemists will be published in February 2013 in the UK.

LEAVE IT TO CHANCE. Eleanor “Elle” Chance, that is—a high-flying dirigible pilot with a taste for adventure and the heroine of this edgy new series that transforms elements of urban fantasy, steampunk, and paranormal romance into pure storytelling gold.
It is 1903, and the world is divided between light and shadow. On the side of light is a wondrous science that has transformed everyday life by harnessing magical energies to ingenious new technologies. But each advance of science has come at the expense of shadow—the traditional realm of the supernatural.
Now two ancient powers are preparing to strike back. Blood-sucking immortal Nightwalkers and their spellcasting Alchemist allies have a plan to cover the whole world in shadow. All they require is the sacrifice of a certain young woman whose past conceals a dangerous secret.
But when they come after Elle, they get more than they bargained for. This enterprising young woman, the daughter of a scientific genius, has reserves of bravery and determination that even she scarcely suspects. Now she is about to meet her match in more ways than one: a handsome yet infuriating Warlock named Hugh Marsh, whose agenda is as suspect as his charms are annoyingly irresistible.

Advent by James Treadwell

Advent (Advent #1) by James Treadwell

Advent will be released in paperback in the UK on November 22. It’s already available in hardcover and ebook.

An excerpt from Advent is available online.

“A drowning, a magician’s curse, and a centuries-old secret. “1537. A man hurries through city streets in a gathering snowstorm, clutching a box in one hand. He is Johann Faust, the greatest magician of his age. The box he carries contains a mirror safeguarding a portion of his soul and a small ring containing all the magic in the world. Together, they comprise something unimaginably dangerous.

London, the present day. Fifteen-year-old Gavin Stokes is boarding a train to the countryside to live with his aunt. His school and his parents can’t cope with him and the things he sees, things they tell him don’t really exist. At Pendurra, Gavin finds people who are like him, who see things too. They all make the same strange claim: magic exists, it’s leaking back into our world, and it’s bringing something terrible with it.

First in an astonishingly imaginative fantasy trilogy, “Advent “describes how magic was lost to humanity, and how a fifteen-year-old boy discovers that its return is his inheritance. It begins in a world recognizably our own, and ends an extraordinarily long way from where it started–somewhere much bigger, stranger, and richer.

The Sum of Her Parts by Alan Dean Foster

The Sum of Her Parts (Tipping Point #3) by Alan Dean Foster

The final book in the Tipping Point trilogy will be released in trade paperback and ebook on November 27. An excerpt is available to read online.

The first two books in this science fiction series are as follows:

  1. The Human Blend (Read an Excerpt)
  2. Body, Inc. (Read an Excerpt)

In this thrilling science fiction adventure—the triumphant conclusion to the Tipping Point trilogy—New York Times bestselling author Alan Dean Foster returns to a near future in which genetic manipulation and extreme body modification have changed profoundly what it means to be human.
Dr. Ingrid Seastrom was once a respected American physician. Whispr, whose body has been transformed to preternatural thinness, was once a streetwise thief. Now, in a world on the edge of catastrophe from centuries of environmental exploitation, they are allies—thrust together by fate to unravel an impossible mystery—even as they are stalked by a relentless killer.
Ingrid and Whispr are hunted fugitives bound together by a thread: a data-storage thread made of a material that cannot exist, yet somehow does. Their quest to learn its secrets—and, in Whispr’s case, sell them to the highest bidder—has brought them to South Africa’s treacherous Namib desert. Beyond its dangers waits a heavily guarded research facility that promises answers, if they can survive long enough to get there. But that won’t be easy, not with Napun Molé on their trail. They’ve already escaped the assassin twice, and as far as Molé is concerned, finishing them off isn’t just a job anymore . . . it’s personal.

Uglies: Cutters by Scott Westerfield and Devin Grayson

Uglies: Cutters (Uglies Graphic Novel #2) written by Scott Westerfeld and Devin Grayson, illustrated by Steven Cummings

The Uglies graphic novels are related to the Uglies novels (Uglies, Pretties, Specials) by Scott Westerfeld but are focused on the character Shay. The first of these graphic novels is titled Shay’s Story.

Uglies: Cutters will be released in paperback on December 4. It is possible to browse through the early part of the book on the publisher’s website.

Experience the riveting, dystopian Uglies series seen as never before—through the eyes of Shay, Tally Youngblood’s closest and bravest friend, who refuses to take anything about society at face value.

“From the moment we are born, we are considered threats in need of ‘special’ management. We are watched and shaped and exploited by a force most of us never see. . . . All to keep us safe. . . . Do you feel safe?! Or do you feel like you’re in a cage?”—Shay

In Pretties, Tally Youngblood and her daring best friend, Shay, both underwent the operation that turned them from ordinary Uglies into stunning beauties. Now this thrilling new graphic novel reveals Shay’s perspective on living in New Pretty Town . . . and the way she sees it, there’s more to this so-called paradise than meets the eye.With the endless parties and custom-made clothes, life as a Pretty should be perfect. Yet Shay doesn’t feel quite right. She has little to no memory of her past; it’s as if something in her brain has inexplicably changed. When she reunites with Tally and the Crims—her rebellious group of friends from Uglyville—she begins to recall their last departure to the wild, and the headstrong leader she used to be. And as she remembers the truth about what doomed their escape, Shay decides to fight back—against the status quo, against the mysterious Special Circumstances, even against her own best friend.

The Eldritch Conspiracy by Cat Adams

The Eldritch Conspiracy (Blood Singer #5) by Cat Adams

The latest installment in the Blood Singer series will be released in paperback and ebook in January 2013. The previous books in the series are as follows:

  1. Blood Song (Read an Excerpt)
  2. Siren Song (Read an Excerpt)
  3. Demon Song (Read an Excerpt)
  4. The Isis Collar (Read an Excerpt)

Celia Graves was once an ordinary human, but those days are long gone. Now she strives to maintain her sanity and her soul while juggling both vampire abilities and the powers of a Siren.  

Not every bride needs a bridesmaid who can double as a bodyguard. But Celia’s cousin Adriana is no ordinary bride: she’s a Siren princess, and she’s marrying the king of a small but politically important European country. She’s getting death threats from fanatics who want to see the whole Siren race wiped out—including Celia herself, who is half Siren.

Luckily, Celia is on duty when a trip to a bridal salon is interrupted by an assassination attempt, so everyone survives. When Adriana returns to the Siren homeland to try to prevent a coup, Celia is free to hunt for the terrorists and the vile mage who is helping them (while keeping her eyes open for the perfect maid-of-honor dress). 

Assuming the bride and groom both live to see their wedding day, this will be one royal wedding no one will ever forget.