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.

First, a few quick updates.

Update on reviews: Sorry it’s been such a slow week this last week! I had a review draft written that I was planning to put up last week, but it was such a hectic week at work that I was too exhausted to concentrate on revising it in the evenings this last week. With the long weekend (yay!), getting it posted this week shouldn’t be a problem, though. Next I’ll be starting on a review of The Tainted City, the second book in The Shattered Sigil series by Courtney Schafer. I just finished it last night and loved it.

Update on The Midnight Court giveaway: The winner has been drawn and contacted and let me know which book they wanted so that giveaway is over.

On to the books – this week brought two finished copies and one ARC.

The Emperor's Knife by Mazarkis Williams

The Emperor’s Knife (The Tower and Knife #1) by Mazarkis Williams

I am so excited to read this. I’ve been wanting to read it since before it was released at the end of last year!

The Emperor’s Knife is now available in hardcover, ebook, and trade paperback. Chapter Three is available to read online. The second book in the trilogy, Knife Sworn, will be released in hardcover and ebook in November.

There is a cancer at the heart of the mighty Cerani Empire: a plague that attacks young and old, rich and poor alike. Geometric patterns spread across the skin, until you die in agony, or become a Carrier, doing the bidding of an evil intelligence, the Pattern Master. Anyone showing the tell-tale marks is put to death; that is Emperor Beyon’s law…but now the pattern is running over the Emperor’s own arms. His body servants have been executed, he ignores his wives, but he is doomed, for soon the pattern will reach his face. While Beyon’s agents scour the land for a cure, Sarmin, the Emperor’s only surviving brother, awaits his bride, Mesema, a windreader from the northern plains. Unused to the Imperial Court’s stifling protocols and deadly intrigues, Mesema has no one to turn to but an aging imperial assassin, the Emperor’s Knife.

As long-planned conspiracies boil over into open violence, the invincible Pattern Master appears from the deep desert. Only three people stand in his way: a lost prince, a world-weary killer, and a young girl from the steppes who once saw a path in a pattern — a path that might save them all.

The Hobbit Illustrated by David Wenzel, Adapted by Charles Dixon

The Hobbit Illustrated by David Wenzel & Adapted by Charles Dixon

This expanded edition of the graphic novel of The Hobbit contains six new pages of artwork. The trade paperback reprint was released on September 25.

It’s been about 10 years since I read The Hobbit so this may be a nice way of refreshing my memory on the story if I decide to I want to before watching the movie!

First published in the United States more than seventy-five years ago, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is one of the best-loved books of all time. Now a blockbuster film by Peter Jackson, Academy Award–winning director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit was also adapted into a fully painted graphic novel, a classic in its own right, presented here in a new expanded edition.
When Thorin Oakenshield and his band of dwarves embark upon a dangerous quest to reclaim stolen treasure from the evil dragon Smaug, Gandalf the wizard suggests an unlikely accomplice: Bilbo Baggins, a quiet and contented hobbit. Along the way, the company faces trolls, goblins, giant spiders, and worse. But in the end it is Bilbo alone who must face the most dreaded dragon in all Middle-earth—and a destiny that waits in the dark caverns beneath the Misty Mountains, where a twisted creature known as Gollum jealously guards a precious magic ring.

Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3) by Beth Revis

The final book in the Across the Universe trilogy will be released in hardcover and ebook in January 2013. The previous two books are Across the Universe and A Million Suns, in that order. You can read the first chapter from Across the Universe online.

I probably won’t read this one since it would require tracking down the first two books, but I am really glad to see some science fiction for young adults!

The final book in the trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis!

Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They’re ready to start life afresh–to build a home–on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience. But this new Earth isn’t the paradise that Amy had been hoping for. Amy and Elder must race to uncover who–or what–else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. But as each new discovery brings more danger, Amy and Elder will have to look inward to the very fabric of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed–friends, family, life on Earth–will have been meaningless.