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.

It’s not exactly a “leaning pile” this week since there’s only one book to cover, but it’s one I’m quite happy to see re-released!

Perilous Prophecy by Leanna Renee Hieber

Perilous Prophecy (A Strangely Beautiful Novel) by Leanna Renee Hieber

This new revised edition of the Prism Award–winning prequel to Strangely Beautiful was released last week (trade paperback, ebook). You can read chapter two of Perilous Prophecy right here on Fantasy Café, as well as Leanna Renee Hieber’s essay on Gothic literature titled “The Gothic as a Canary in Fear’s Coal Mine.”


Cairo in the 1860s is a bustling metropolis where people from all walks of life mix and mingle, mostly in complex harmony. When evil ghosts and unquiet spirits stalk the city’s streets, the Guard are summoned―six young men and women of different cultures, backgrounds, and faiths, gifted by their Goddess with great powers.

While others of the Guard embrace their duties, their leader, British-born Beatrice, is gripped by doubt. What right has she, a bookish, sheltered, eighteen-year-old, to lead others into battle? Why isn’t dark-eyed, compelling Ibrahim, who is stronger of will than Beatrice, the one in charge?

Ghosts maraud through Cairo’s streets, heralding a terrible darkness. Beatrice and her Guard have little time to master their powers; a great battle looms as an ancient prophecy roars toward its final, deadly conclusion.

This enchanting prequel to Leanna Renee Hieber’s gaslamp fantasy, Strangely Beautiful, returns to print after more than a decade, edited and revised for Tor’s publication.