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. 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 is a long one since I didn’t manage to fit one of these posts in last weekend. All my blogging time then went toward finishing Warchild by Karin Lowachee so I could stick to the schedule I’d made myself for Sci-Fi Month (but that was fine since I ended up LOVING Warchild, which is now one of my favorite books ever!).

That also means I didn’t get to mention the Mind Meld at SF Signal I’d recently participated in as I had been planning to. It’s about the importance of anthologies, and there are a lot of different answers and anthology recommendations.

Several books came in over the last two weeks, including two I’ve talked about before. One is even a book by one of my favorite authors that I LOVED that an awesome friend got signed for me at a con, which made my week! The other was released earlier this month, Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach (also known as Rachel Aaron, the author of the Legend of Eli Monpress series).

On to the rest of the books!

The Silvered by Tanya Huff

The Silvered by Tanya Huff

The Silvered was released in the UK earlier this month (paperback, ebook). It was first released in the US about a year ago and is available in hardcover, ebook, audiobook, and mass market paperback. An excerpt from the beginning of the book is available on the US publisher’s website.

I’ve heard The Silvered is quite good, and I rather enjoyed Tanya Huff’s novel The Fire’s Stone so I was excited to start reading this one—enough so that I already started reading it! Right now I’ve only read through part of the second chapter, but I like what I’ve read so far.


The Empire has declared war on the small, were-ruled kingdom of Aydori, capturing five women of the Mage-Pack, including the wife of the were Pack-leader. With the Pack off defending the border, it falls to Mirian Maylin and Tomas Hagen—she a low-level mage, he younger brother to the Pack-leader—to save them. Together the two set out on the kidnappers’ trail, racing into the heart of enemy territory. But with every step the odds against their survival, let alone their success, grow steeper…

Fiddlehead by Cherie Priest

Fiddlehead (The Clockwork Century #5) by Cherie Priest

The conclusion to The Clockwork Century was just released earlier this month (trade paperback, ebook). The previous novels are as follows:

  1. Boneshaker
  2. Dreadnought
  3. Ganymede
  4. The Inexplicables

An excerpt from Fiddlehead can be read on the publisher’s website.


Ex-spy ‘Belle Boyd’ is retired – more or less. Retired from spying on the Confederacy anyway. Her short-lived marriage to a Union navy boy cast suspicion on those Southern loyalties, so her mid-forties found her unemployed, widowed and disgraced. Until her life-changing job offer from the staunchly Union Pinkerton Detective Agency.

When she’s required to assist Abraham Lincoln himself, she has to put any old loyalties firmly aside – for a man she spied against twenty years ago.Lincoln’s friend Gideon Bardsley, colleague and ex-slave, is targeted for assassination after the young inventor made a breakthrough. Fiddlehead, Bardsley’s calculating engine, has proved an extraordinary threat threatens the civilized world. Meaning now is not the time for conflict.

Now Bardsley and Fiddlehead are in great danger as forces conspire to keep this secret, the war moving and the money flowing. With spies from both camps gunning for her, can even the notorious Belle Boyd hold the war-hawks at bay?

Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac

Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac

Killer of Enemies is published by Tu Books, a publisher dedicated to young adult science fiction, fantasy, and mystery books with diverse characters. I recently read one of their science fiction novels, Tankborn by Karen Sandler, and really enjoyed it.

An excerpt from Killer of Enemies, published in hardcover and ebook earlier this fall, is available online.


Years ago, seventeen-year-old Apache hunter Lozen and her family lived in a world of haves and have-nots. There were the Ones—people so augmented with technology and genetic enhancements that they were barely human—and there was everyone else who served them.

Then the Cloud came, and everything changed. Tech stopped working. The world plunged back into a new steam age. The Ones’ pets—genetically engineered monsters—turned on them and are now loose on the world.

Lozen was not one of the lucky ones pre-C, but fate has given her a unique set of survival skills and magical abilities. She hunts monsters for the Ones who survived the apocalyptic events of the Cloud, which ensures the safety of her kidnapped family. But with every monster she takes down, Lozen’s powers grow, and she connects those powers to an ancient legend of her people. It soon becomes clear to Lozen that she is not just a hired gun.

As the legendary Killer of Enemies was in the ancient days of the Apache people, Lozen is meant to be a more than a hunter. Lozen is meant to be a hero.

Malice by John Gwynne

Malice (The Faithful and the Fallen #1) by John Gwynne

This fantasy debut, the winner of the 2013 David Gemmell Morningstar Award, will be released in the US on December 3 (trade paperback, ebook). It is already available in the UK. An excerpt from Malice can be read on the US publisher’s website.


A black sun is rising …

Young Corban watches enviously as boys become warriors under King Brenin’s rule, learning the art of war. He yearns to wield his sword and spear to protect his king’s realm. But that day will come all too soon. Only when he loses those he loves will he learn the true price of courage.

The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed shields in battle, the earth running dark with their heartsblood. Although the giant-clans were broken in ages past, their ruined fortresses still scar the land. But now giants stir anew, the very stones weep blood and there are sightings of giant wyrms. Those who can still read the signs see a threat far greater than the ancient wars. Sorrow will darken the world, as angels and demons make it their battlefield. Then there will be a war to end all wars.

High King Aquilus summons his fellow kings to council, seeking an alliance in this time of need. Some are skeptical, fighting their own border skirmishes against pirates and giants. But prophesy indicates darkness and light will demand two champions, the Black Sun and the Bright Star. They would be wise to seek out both, for if the Black Sun gains ascendancy, mankind’s hopes and dreams will fall to dust.

Last to Rise by Francis Knight

Last to Rise (Rojan Dizon #3) by Francis Knight

The conclusion to the Rojan Dizon trilogy will be released on November 26 (trade paperback, ebook). The previous books in the series are as follows:

  1. Fade to Black (My review)
  2. Before the Fall

An excerpt from Last to Rise is available on the publisher’s website.


The concluding volume of the Rojan Dizon series where magic must save a city on the eve of its destruction.

The towering vertical city of Mahala is on the brink of war with its neighbouring countries. It might be his worst nightmare, but Rojan and the few remaining pain mages have been drafted in to help.

The city needs power in whatever form they can get it — and fast. With alchemists readying a prototype electricity generator, and factories producing guns faster than ever, the city’s best advantage is still the mages.

Leading the alchemists is Rojan’s sister, with a risky plan to help tap the mages’ strength and overcome the armies marching towards them. With food in the city running out and a battle brimming that no one is ready for, risky is the best they’ve got . . .

Apparition by Trish J. MacGregor

Apparition (Hungry Ghosts #3) by Trish J. MacGregor

This stand alone sequel to Esperanza was released earlier this month (hardcover, ebook). Another related book, Ghost Key, came out after Esperanza and before Apparition.

An excerpt from Apparition can be read on


Trish J. MacGregor returns to a mythic city high in the Ecuadorian Andes in Apparition.

Tess and Ian have been living in the high city of Esperanza for years, along with Tess’s niece, Maddie, and her partner, Nick Sanchez. They thought they could rest, that they had defeated the brujo threat to our plane of existence. But they were wrong.

A new and greater threat has formed, a new tribe of the hungry dead, seeking to possess the bodies of the living in order to experience the passions of physical life. This new tribe has found the door to the physical plane that is Esperanza, and they threaten all human life. Only the outnumbered Light Chasers and their human allies can stand against the evil brujos.

A Dance of Blades by David Dalglish

A Dance of Blades (Shadowdance #2) by David Dalglish

The Shadowdance books were originally self published, and they are now being released in quick succession by Orbit Books (trade paperback, ebook). There have been some changes to the newer versions, and you can learn more about the differences between the self-published editions and the Orbit editions on the author’s blog.

The first book, A Dance of Cloaks, was released last month, and A Dance of Blades just became available earlier this month. A Dance of Mirrors will follow next month.


It’s been five long years since the city learned to fear…

The war between the thief guilds and the powerful allegiance known as the Trifect has slowly dwindled. Now only the mysterious Haern is left to wage his private battle against the guilds in the guise of the Watcher – a vicious killer who knows no limits. But when the son of Alyssa Gemcroft, one of the three leaders of the Trifect, is believed murdered, the slaughter begins anew. Mercenaries flood the streets with one goal in mind: find and kill the Watcher.

Peace or destruction; every war must have its end.

Fantasy author David Dalglish spins a tale of retribution and darkness, and an underworld reaching for ultimate power.