The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature in which I highlight books I got over the last week that sound like they may be interesting—old or new, bought or received in the mail for review consideration (the latter of which are mainly unsolicited books from publishers). 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, along with series information and the publisher’s book description. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

There are no new reviews since last weekend, but I am hoping to finish the one I have in progress over the next couple of days.

On to last week’s book arrivals!

Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett - Book Cover

Shorefall (The Founders Trilogy #2) by Robert Jackson Bennett

The second book in Robert Jackson Bennett’s Founders Trilogy will be released on April 21 (hardcover, ebook, audiobook). The Penguin Random House website has an excerpt from Shorefall.

Their website has an excerpt from Foundryside, the first book in the series, as well. I also wrote a brief review of Foundryside, which I found to be fun with a creative magic system but also lighter on character development and heavier on exposition than I’d like.

 

As a magical revolution remakes a city, an ancient evil is awakened in a brilliant new novel from the Hugo-nominated author of Foundryside and the Divine Cities trilogy.

A few years ago, Sancia Grado would’ve happily watched Tevanne burn. Now, she’s hoping to transform her city into something new. Something better. Together with allies Orso, Gregor, and Berenice, she’s about to strike a deadly blow against Tevanne’s cruel robber-baron rulers and wrest power from their hands for the first time in decades.

But then comes a terrifying warning: Crasedes Magnus himself, the first of the legendary hierophants, is about to be reborn. And if he returns, Tevanne will be just the first place to feel his wrath.

Thousands of years ago, Crasedes was an ordinary man who did the impossible: Using the magic of scriving—the art of imbuing objects with sentience—he convinced reality that he was something more than human. Wielding powers beyond comprehension, he strode the world like a god for centuries, meting out justice and razing empires single-handedly, cleansing the world through fire and destruction—and even defeating death itself.

Like it or not, it’s up to Sancia to stop him. But to have a chance in the battle to come, she’ll have to call upon a god of her own—and unlock the door to a scriving technology that could change what it means to be human. And no matter who wins, nothing will ever be the same.

The awe-inspiring second installment of the Founders Trilogy, Shorefall returns us to the world Robert Jackson Bennett created in his acclaimed Foundryside . . . and forges it anew.

The Unspoken Name by A. K. Larkwood - Book Cover

The Unspoken Name (The Serpent Gates #1) by A. K. Larkwood

A. K. Larkwood’s debut novel was just released last week (hardcover, ebook, audiobook). Tor.com has an excerpt from The Unspoken Name.

I’ve been hearing great things about The Unspoken Name, and I’m rather intrigued by A. K. Larkwood’s description of its origins from its Tor.com announcement:

The Unspoken Name grew out of my long-standing curiosity about villains’ sidekicks: what might it take to stay loyal to a boss who is clearly bad news? What do you owe to someone who saves your life, and what do they owe to you? That, and I wanted to write a sweeping adventure with all the wizard’s towers, giant snakes and awful undead things I’ve always loved.

Nerds of a Feather, Flock Together also has a wonderful interview with A. K. Larkwood.

 

A. K. Larkwood’s The Unspoken Name is a stunning debut fantasy about an orc priestess turned wizard’s assassin.

What if you knew how and when you will die?

Csorwe does―she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.

But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin―the wizard’s loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.

But Csorwe will soon learn―gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

Crush the King by Jennifer Estep - Book Cover

Crush the King (Crown of Shards #3) by Jennifer Estep

The conclusion to Jennifer Estep’s Crown of Shards trilogy will be released on March 17 (trade paperback, ebook, audiobook). Although this completes Evie’s story, there are plans for more books set in this world.

Jennifer Estep’s website has an excerpt from Crush the King, and the Harper Collins website has excerpts from the previous books in the series:

  1. Kill the Queen
  2. Protect the Prince
 

A fierce gladiator queen must face off against her enemies in an epic battle in this next thrilling installment of New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Estep’s Crown of Shards series—an action-packed adventure full of magic, murderous machinations, courtly intrigue, and pulse-pounding romance.

Queen Everleigh Blair of Bellona has survived the mass murder of the royal family, become a fearsome warrior trained by an elite gladiator troupe, and unleashed her ability to destroy magic. After surviving yet another assassination attempt orchestrated by the conniving king of Morta, Evie has had enough. It’s time to turn the tables and take the fight to her enemies.

There is no better opportunity to strike than during the Regalia Games, a time when warriors, nobles, and royals from all the kingdoms come together to compete in various sporting events. With the help of her loyal friends, Evie goes on the attack at the Regalia, but things don’t turn out the way she hopes. Soon, she is facing a terrifying new threat, and she will have to dig deep and learn even more about her growing magic if she has any chance of defeating her foes.

Because to secure her throne and ensure her kingdom’s survival, Evie must think like a true Bellonan: she must outsmart and outwit her enemies . . . and crush the king.

Scarlet Odyssey by C. T. Rwizi - Book Cover

Scarlet Oddysey (Red Plains #1) by C. T. Rwizi

C. T. Rwizi’s debut novel, the first book in a fantasy series drawing inspiration from sub-Saharan Africa’s cultures and myths, will be released on July 1 (hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook).

io9 has an excerpt from Scarlet Odyssey.

 

Magic is women’s work; war is men’s. But in the coming battle, none of that will matter.

Men do not become mystics. They become warriors. But eighteen-year-old Salo has never been good at conforming to his tribe’s expectations. For as long as he can remember, he has loved books and magic in a culture where such things are considered unmanly. Despite it being sacrilege, Salo has worked on a magical device in secret that will awaken his latent magical powers. And when his village is attacked by a cruel enchantress, Salo knows that it is time to take action.

Salo’s queen is surprisingly accepting of his desire to be a mystic, but she will not allow him to stay in the tribe. Instead, she sends Salo on a quest. The quest will take him thousands of miles north to the Jungle City, the political heart of the continent. There he must gather information on a growing threat to his tribe.

On the way to the city, he is joined by three fellow outcasts: a shunned female warrior, a mysterious nomad, and a deadly assassin. But they’re being hunted by the same enchantress who attacked Salo’s village. She may hold the key to Salo’s awakening—and his redemption.