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.

Another week, another set of intriguing books! Though there were no new reviews last week, my review of Tomorrow’s Kin by Nancy Kress should be going up this week.

Now, the latest books!

The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin

The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth #3) by N. K. Jemisin

The final book in N. K. Jemisin’s phenomenal Broken Earth trilogy will be released on August 15 (trade paperback, ebook, audiobook). Both of the previous books in the trilogy, The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate, were Nebula Award nominees, plus The Fifth Season won the Hugo Award and The Obelisk Gate is one of this year’s Hugo Award finalists.

The Stone Sky has the distinction of being one of the 2017 releases I was most looking forward to reading, if not the most anticipated. The Fifth Season (my review) is a brilliant book, and I absolutely loved The Obelisk Gate (my review).

Excerpts from the first two Broken Earth books are available on the publisher’s website:

  1. The Fifth Season
  2. The Obelisk Gate


The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.

Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe.

For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.

The remarkable conclusion to the post-apocalyptic and highly acclaimed trilogy that began with the multi-award-nominated The Fifth Season.

The Broken Earth
The Fifth Season
The Obelisk Gate
The Stone Sky

Halls of Law by V. M. Escalada

Halls of Law (Faraman Prophecy #1) by V. M. Escalada

This epic fantasy, written by The Sleeping God author Violette Malan, will be released on August 1 (hardcover, ebook, audiobook).

The publisher’s website has an excerpt from Halls of Law (the “Look Inside” link below the cover image).


The first book in the Faraman Prophecy introduces a world of military might and magical Talents on the brink of destruction 

The Faraman Polity was created by the first Luqs, and has been ruled for generations by those of the Luqs bloodline. It is a burgeoning empire maintained by the combined efforts of the standing military force and the Talents of the Halls of Law. While the military preserves and protects, it is the Halls’ Talents—those gifted from birth with magical abilities—who serve as the agents and judges of the Law. For no one can successfully lie to a Talent. Not only can they read people by the briefest of physical contacts, but they can also read objects, able to find information about anyone who has ever come into direct contact with that object. Thanks to the Talents and the career military, the Polity has long remained a stable and successful society. But all that is about to change.

Seventeen-year-old Kerida Nast has always wanted a career in the military, just like the rest of her family. So when her Talent is discovered, and she knows she’ll have to spend the rest of her life as a psychic for the Halls of Law, Ker isn’t happy about it. Anyone entering the Halls must give up all personal connection with the outside world, losing their family and friends permanently. Just as Kerida is beginning to reconcile herself to her new role, the Polity is invaded by strangers from Halia, who begin a systematic campaign of destruction against the Halls, killing every last Talent they can find.

Kerida manages to escape, falling in with Tel Cursar, a young soldier fleeing the battle, which saw the deaths of the royal family. Having no obvious heir to the throne, no new ruler to rally behind, the military leaders will be divided, unable to act quickly enough to save the empire. And with the Halls being burned to the ground, and the Talents slaughtered, the Rule of Law will be shattered.

To avoid the invaders, Kerida and Tel are forced to enter old mining tunnels in a desperate attempt to carry word of the invaders to Halls and military posts that have not yet been attacked. But the tunnels hide a dangerous secret, a long-hidden colony of Feelers—paranormal outcasts shut away from the world for so long they are considered mythical. These traditional enemies of the Halls of Law welcome Kerida, believing she fulfills a Prophecy they were given centuries before by the lost race of griffins. With the help of these new allies, Kerida and Tel stand a chance of outdistancing the invaders and reaching their own troops. However, that is only the start of what will become a frantic mission to learn whether any heir to the throne remains, no matter how distant in the bloodline. Should they discover such a person, they will have to find the heir before the Halian invaders do. For if the Halians capture the future Luqs, it will spell the end of the Faraman Polity and the Rule of Law.

To Guard Against the Dark by Julie E. Czerneda

To Guard Against the Dark (Reunification #3) by Julie E. Czerneda

The final book in the Reunification trilogy will be released on October 10 (hardcover, ebook).

Julie Czerneda answered some questions about creating aliens in science fiction as part of the blog tour for the first book, This Gulf of Time and Stars (my review).

As part of the blog tour for the next book, The Gate to Futures Past, Julie Czerneda wrote a guest post about her experience with moving in the midst of book deadlines.


The final book in the hard science fiction Reunification trilogy, the thrilling conclusion to the award-winning Clan Chronicles

Jason Morgan is a troubling mystery to friends and enemies alike: once a starship captain and trader, then Joined to the most powerful member of the Clan, Sira di Sarc, following her and her kind out of known space.

Only to return, alone and silent.

But he’s returned to a Trade Pact under seige and desperate. The Assemblers continue to be a threat. Other species have sensed opportunity and threaten what stability remains, including those who dwell in the M’hir. What Morgan knows could save them all, or doom them.

For not all of the Clan followed Sira. And peace isn’t what they seek.

Additional Books: