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 (often unsolicited). 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.

Last week, I bought one of my most anticipated reads of the year and discovered that a book I’ve been hearing good things about but knew very little about sounds fantastic!

In case you missed it last week, I reviewed Dark Ascension by M. L. Brennan—and enjoyed it every bit as much as the previous books in the series! Generation V has become one of my favorite series due to its unique vampires and great characters.

On to the new books!

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott

Court of Fives (Court of Fives #1) by Kate Elliott

Last week my husband was looking for something else to buy to get some free shipping and asked if there was a book I wanted to get. Of course there was! I ended up deciding to get Kate Elliott’s newly released YA book. I loved her Spirit Walker trilogy, and the Court of Fives series sounds quite interesting too.

An excerpt from Court of Fives can be read on


On the Fives court, everyone is equal.

And everyone is dangerous.

Jessamy’s life is a balance between acting like an upper-class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But away from her family, she can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for the Fives, an intricate, multilevel athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom’s best competitors.

Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an improbable friendship between the two Fives competitors—one of mixed race and the other a Patron boy—causes heads to turn. When Kal’s powerful, scheming uncle tears Jes’s family apart, she’ll have to test her new friend’s loyalty and risk the vengeance of a royal clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.

In this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s first young adult novel weaves an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

This debut novel will be available on September 15 (hardcover, ebook). The first chapter from The Traitor Baru Cormorant can be read on

I’ve seen a lot of advance praise for this one, but I didn’t actually know what it was about until I looked at it after it showed up in the mail this week. After looking at the description, I came to the conclusion that it sounds every bit as good as I’ve heard it is!


THE TRAITOR BARU CORMORANT is an epic geopolitical fantasy about one woman’s mission to tear down an empire by learning how to rule it.

Tomorrow, on the beach, Baru Cormorant will look up from the sand of her home and see red sails on the horizon.

The Empire of Masks is coming, armed with coin and ink, doctrine and compass, soap and lies. They’ll conquer Baru’s island, rewrite her culture, criminalize her customs, and dispose of one of her fathers. But Baru is patient. She’ll swallow her hate, prove her talent, and join the Masquerade. She will learn the secrets of empire. She’ll be exactly what they need. And she’ll claw her way high enough up the rungs of power to set her people free.

In a final test of her loyalty, the Masquerade will send Baru to bring order to distant Aurdwynn, a snakepit of rebels, informants, and seditious dukes. Aurdwynn kills everyone who tries to rule it. To survive, Baru will need to untangle this land’s intricate web of treachery – and conceal her attraction to the dangerously fascinating Duchess Tain Hu.

But Baru is a savant in games of power, as ruthless in her tactics as she is fixated on her goals. In the calculus of her schemes, all ledgers must be balanced, and the price of liberation paid in full.

Other Books: