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 (usually 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.

Three books, all of which sound quite intriguing, showed up in the mail last week, but first, here’s the latest review in case you missed it.

Last week, I reviewed N. K. Jemisin’s brilliant, complex, thoroughly engaging novel The Obelisk Gate (which was also released last week). I absolutely loved it—it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read and I can’t rave about it enough! And I was thrilled that the previous book The Fifth Season won the Hugo Award last night.

Now, the latest books!

Breath of Earth by Beth Cato

Breath of Earth (The Breath of Earth #1) by Beth Cato

Breath of Earth, the first book in a new series by Clockwork Dagger author Beth Cato, will be released August 23 (trade paperback, ebook).

I’ve wanted to read this ever since I first heard about it and saw the cover so I was quite excited when it showed up!


After the Earth’s power is suddenly left unprotected, a young geomancer must rely on her unique magical powers to survive in in this fresh fantasy series from the author of acclaimed The Clockwork Dagger.

In an alternate 1906, the United States and Japan have forged a powerful confederation—the Unified Pacific—in an attempt to dominate the world. Their first target is a vulnerable China. In San Francisco, headstrong Ingrid Carmichael is assisting a group of powerful geomancer Wardens who have no idea of the depth of her power—or that she is the only woman to possess such skills.

When assassins kill the Wardens, Ingrid and her mentor are protected by her incredible magic. But the pair is far from safe. Without its full force of guardian geomancers, the city is on the brink of a cataclysmic earthquake that will expose Earth’s powers to masterminds determined to control the energy for their own dark ends. The danger escalates when Chinese refugees, preparing to fight the encroaching American and Japanese, fracture the uneasy alliance between the Pacific allies, transforming the city into a veritable powder keg. And the slightest tremor will set it off. . . .

Forced on the run, Ingrid makes some shocking discoveries about herself. Her powerful magic has grown even more fearsome . . . and she may be the fulcrum on which the balance of world power rests.

Of Sand and Malice Made by Bradley P. Beaulieu

Of Sand and Malice Made (Song of Shattered Sands Prequel) by Bradley P. Beaulieu

Of Sand and Malice Made, a prequel to the Song of Shattered Sands series beginning with Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, will be released on September 6 (hardcover, ebook). has excerpts from both of these books:

The second book in the series, With Blood Upon the Sand, is scheduled for release in February 2017.

I’ve considered picking up the first book in this series in the bookstore a couple of times now so I’m really curious about this one! I also love the cover and title.


Çeda, the heroine of the novel Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, is the youngest pit fighter in the history of the great desert city of Sharakhai. In this prequel, she has already made her name in the arena as the fearsome, undefeated White Wolf; none but her closest friends and allies know her true identity.

But this all changes when she crosses the path of Rümayesh, an ehrekh, a sadistic creature forged long ago by the god of chaos. The ehrekh are usually desert dwellers, but this one lurks in the dark corners of Sharakhai, toying with and preying on humans. As Rümayesh works to unmask the White Wolf and claim Çeda for her own, Çeda’s struggle becomes a battle for her very soul.

The Weaver by Emmi Itäranta

The Weaver by Emmi Itäranta

The Weaver will be released on November 1 (paperback, ebook, audiobook). This is Emmi Itäranta’s second novel; her first novel Memory of Water was nominated for several awards, including the Philip K. Dick Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the Tiptree Award.


The author of the critically acclaimed Memory of Water returns with this literary ecological tale in the vein of Ursula K. Le Guin and Sheri S. Tepper, in which an innocent young woman becomes entangled in a web of ancient secrets and deadly lies that lie at the dark center of her prosperous island world.

Eliana is a model citizen of the island, a weaver in the prestigious House of Webs. She also harbors a dangerous secret—she can dream, an ability forbidden by the island’s elusive council of elders. No one talks about the dreamers, the undesirables ostracized from society.

But the web of protection Eliana has woven around herself begins to unravel when a young girl is found lying unconscious in a pool of blood on the stones outside the house. Robbed of speech by her attackers, the only clue to her identity is one word tattooed in invisible ink across her palm: Eliana. Why does this mysterious girl bear her name? What links her to the weaver—and how can she hold Eliana’s fate in her hand?

As Eliana finds herself growing closer to this injured girl she is bound to in ways she doesn’t understand, the enchanting lies of the island begin to crumble, revealing a deep and ancient corruption. Joining a band of brave rebels determined to expose the island’s dark secrets, Eliana becomes a target of ruthless forces determined to destroy her. To save herself and those she loves, she must call on the power within her she thought was her greatest weakness: her dreams.