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. 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.

This week was another giant week for books. I bought one and three ARCS (early unfinished copies) and three review copies showed up.

Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone

Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone

This novel will be released as a hardcover, ebook, and audiobook in October. It’s a debut novel and there is a quote by Jerry Pournelle on the back that ends with “I can’t wait for the second.” so it seems to be the first book in a series.

After looking at this, I’m really excited to read it. I LOVE worlds with gods, this has a first line that makes me want to know more, and it just sounds fantastic overall.

A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring Him back to life before His city falls apart.Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot.Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith.When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts—and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt Coulumb’s slim hope of survival.Set in a phenomenally built world in which justice is a collective force bestowed on a few, craftsmen fly on lightning bolts, and gargoyles can rule cities, Three Parts Dead introduces readers to an ethical landscape in which the line between right and wrong blurs.

The Wind Witch by Susan Dexter

The Wind Witch (The Warhorse of Esdragon #2) by Susan Dexter

I became interested in this book when Angie recommended it as an underappreciated book she really enjoyed in her Women in SF&F post. It came to my attention again when Michelle reviewed it at See Michelle Read and also loved it. I checked to make sure it was on my wish list (it was!) and noticed that there was a new copy available for the same price mass market paperbacks normally go for. So I snatched it up while it was there since it is an out of print book.

While it is the second book in a series, it can be read without reading the first book. Here’s what Angie said about the series in her post:


I am continually amazed that Susan Dexter’s books remain out of print. And so glad I bought my copies when I had the chance. This trilogy features three separate heroines and one fascinating warhorse. If pressed, I choose The Wind-Witch as my favorite, but they are each excellent and do not have to be read in order.

Faithful wife to a small landholder, Druyan had lived her life in other people’s shadows. And if she could sometimes hold the clouds at bay or whistle up a wind, Druyan made sure to keep that talent to herself. Then war came, and Druyan found herself a widow, with no one to help during the harvest but Kellis, the wounded prisoner her husband had locked in the root cellar the day he marched away. But when Druyan freed Kellis from the cellar, she unlocked a Pandora’s box, for Kellis had secrets and magic of his own . . .

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1) by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms is the first book in a new young adult fantasy series by Morgan Rhodes, a pen name for paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and YA fantasy author Michelle Rowen. This novel will be released in hardcover and ebook in December 2012, and the next book titled Rebel Spring is scheduled for release in 2013.

This is one I’ve had my eye on, so I was really excited to find this inside the package that came in the mail. The back cover says it is “ideal for fans of George R. R. Martin and Kristin Cashore.” While part of me is skeptical that it can be as good as the description makes it sound, the other part thinks I must try it because of that description. After reading the first line, I am definitely thinking I should listen to the part that says I should try it, though. It also sounds like it has a lot of things I like – a cast with a few different characters and power struggles, for instance.

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects’ lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword…

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

Chasing Magic by Stacia Kane

Chasing Magic (Downside Ghosts #5) by Stacia Kane

Chasing Magic is now available in ebook, mass market paperback, and audiobook. An excerpt is available on the publisher’s website.

The previous books in this urban fantasy series are as follows:

  1. Unholy Ghosts (Excerpt)
  2. Unholy Magic
  3. City of Ghosts
  4. Sacrificial Magic (Excerpt)

(There are no excerpts for 2 and 3 because those particular books did not have them on the publisher’s site.)

Between this and the Aaronovitch book, I think it’s time to make a book order for the first books in some UF series (and Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews since that will be out soon). I have wanted to read this series for awhile now. It’s supposed to be really dark, but I don’t have a problem with that at all.

Magic-wielding Churchwitch and secret addict Chess Putnam knows better than anyone just how high a price people are willing to pay for a chemical rush. But when someone with money to burn and a penchant for black magic starts tampering with Downside’s drug supply, Chess realizes that the unlucky customers are paying with their souls—and taking the innocent with them, as the magic-infused speed compels them to kill in the most gruesome ways possible.
As if the streets weren’t scary enough, the looming war between the two men in her life explodes, taking even more casualties and putting Chess squarely in the middle. Downside could become a literal ghost town if Chess doesn’t find a way to stop both the war and the dark wave of death-magic, and the only way to do that is to use both her addiction and her power to enter the spell and chase the magic all the way back to its malevolent source. Too bad that doing so will probably kill Chess—if the war doesn’t first destroy the man who’s become her reason for living.

The Wanderers by Paula Brandon

The Wanderers (Veiled Isles #3) by Paula Brandon

This final book in a fantasy trilogy will be released in trade paperback and ebook on July 31. An excerpt can be read on the publisher’s website.

The previous books in the series are:

  1. The Traitor’s Daughter (Read the first 50 pages)
  2. The Ruined City (Excerpt)

This is another series I’ve been wanting to read and the first book is on my wishlist.

Paula Brandon’s acclaimed fantasy trilogy comes to a triumphant conclusion in an unforgettable collision of magic, intrigue, and romance.
Time is running out. Falaste Rione is imprisoned, sentenced to death. And even though the magical balance of the Source is slipping and the fabric of reality itself has begun to tear, Jianna Belandor can think only of freeing the man she loves. But to do so, she must join a revolution she once despised—and risk reunion with a husband she has ample reason to fear.
Meanwhile, undead creatures terrorize the land, slaves of the Overmind—a relentless consciousness determined to bring everything that lives under its sway. All that stands in the way is a motley group of arcanists whose combined powers will barely suffice to restore balance to the Source. But when Jianna’s father, the Magnifico Aureste Belandor, murders one of them, the group begins to fracture under the pressures of suspicion and mutual hatred. Now humanity’s hope rests with an unexpected soul: a misanthropic hermit whose next move may turn the tide and save the world.

Coup d'Etat by Harry Turtledove

Coup d’Etat (The War That Came Early #4) by Harry Turtledove

This World War II alternate history will be released in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook on July 31. An excerpt is available on the publisher’s website.

The previous books are:

  1. Hitler’s War (Excerpt)
  2. West and East (Excerpt)
  3. The Big Switch (Excerpt)

In 1941, a treaty between England and Germany unravels—and so does a different World War II.

In Harry Turtledove’s mesmerizing alternate history of World War II, the choices of men and fate have changed history. Now it is the winter of 1941. As the Germans, with England and France on their side, slam deep into Russia, Stalin’s terrible machine fights for its life. But the agreements of world leaders do not touch the hearts of soldiers. The war between Germany and Russia is rocked by men with the courage to aim their guns in a new direction.

England is the first to be shaken. Following the suspicious death of Winston Churchill, with his staunch anti-Nazi views, a small cabal begins to imagine the unthinkable in a nation long famous for respecting the rule of law. With civil liberties hanging by a thread, a conspiracy forms against the powers that be. What will this daring plan mean for the European war as a whole?

Meanwhile, in America, a woman who has met Hitler face-to-face urges her countrymen to wake up to his evil. For the time being, the United States is fighting only Japan—and the war is not going as well as Washington would like. Can Roosevelt keep his grip on the country’s imagination?

Coup d’Etat captures how war makes for the strangest of bedfellows. A freethinking Frenchman fights side by side with racist Nazis. A Czech finds himself on the dusty front lines of the Spanish Civil War, gunning for Germany’s Nationalist allies. A German bomber pilot courts a half-Polish, half-Jewish beauty in Bialystock. And the Jews in Germany, though trapped under Hitler’s fist, are as yet protected by his fear of looking bad before the world—and by an outspoken Catholic bishop.

With his spectacular command of character, coincidence, and military and political strategies, Harry Turtledove continues a passionate, unmatched saga of a World War II composed of different enemies, different allies—and hurtling toward a horrific moment. For a diabolical new weapon is about to be unleashed, not by the United States, but by Japan, in a tactic that will shock the world.

Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Black City (Black City Chronicles #1) by Elizabeth Richards

This young adult post-apocalyptic novel will be released in hardcover in November. (It may be in ebook as well; I can’t find anything on that but it’s not coming out until close to the end of the year so there may just not be information online about that yet.)

According to the author’s Goodreads page, there will be a second and third book in the series.

A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war. In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable–they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed–but their feelings are too strong. When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.