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.

It’s been awhile, but now that April is over and the cold I got about 2 days after the last Women in SF&F post went up seems to finally be at least mostly gone, this feature is back! This week brought an ARC, a review copy, and one belated birthday gift that took much longer to ship than it was supposed to.

The Maerlande Chronicles by Elisabeth Vonarburg

The Maerlande Chronicles by Elisabeth Vonarburg

This science fiction book was the belated birthday gift of a book from my wish list. I didn’t realize it was a sequel, but it sounds like it does stand alone quite well. An excerpt from The Maerlande Chronicles is available on the author’s website.


A future society, where women far outnumber men, has abandoned the models of patriarchy and matriarchy and established new gender roles. But Lisbei, a young thinker whose gift is exploring the past, confronts the new establishment in order to force changes of her own. The Maerlande Chronicles is a sequel to the critically-acclaimed novel The Silent City.

The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley

The Mirror Empire (Worldbreaker Saga #1) by Kameron Hurley

Kameron Hurley’s upcoming novel is one of my most anticipated releases of this year. I love her blog posts, and although I haven’t read it yet, I’ve heard her science fiction series beginning with God’s War is amazing. The Mirror Empire is scheduled for release in the US and Canada (trade paperback/ebook) on August 26 and in the UK (B-format paperback) on September 4.


On the eve of a recurring catastrophic event known to extinguish nations and reshape continents, a troubled orphan evades death and slavery to uncover her own bloody past… while a world goes to war with itself.

In the frozen kingdom of Saiduan, invaders from another realm are decimating whole cities, leaving behind nothing but ash and ruin.

As the dark star of the cataclysm rises, an illegitimate ruler is tasked with holding together a country fractured by civil war, a precocious young fighter is asked to betray his family and a half-Dhai general must choose between the eradication of her father’s people or loyalty to her alien Empress.

Through tense alliances and devastating betrayal, the Dhai and their allies attempt to hold against a seemingly unstoppable force as enemy nations prepare for a coming together of worlds as old as the universe itself.

In the end, one world will rise – and many will perish.

The Severed Streets by Paul Cornell

The Severed Streets (James Quill #2) by Paul Cornell

The Severed Streets, the second book in a series following London Falling, will be released on May 20 in the United States (hardcover, ebook) and May 22 in the UK (hardcover, ebook). An excerpt from this novel is available on


Desperate to find a case to justify the team’s existence, with budget cuts and a police strike on the horizon, Quill thinks he’s struck gold when a cabinet minister is murdered by an assailant who wasn’t seen getting in or out of his limo. A second murder, that of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, presents a crime scene with a message… identical to that left by the original Jack the Ripper.

The new Ripper seems to have changed the MO of the old completely: he’s only killing rich white men. The inquiry into just what this supernatural menace is takes Quill and his team into the corridors of power at Whitehall, to meetings with MI5, or ‘the funny people’ as the Met call them, and into the London occult underworld. They go undercover to a pub with a regular evening that caters to that clientele, and to an auction of objects of power at the Tate Modern.

Meanwhile, the Ripper keeps on killing and finally the pattern of those killings gives Quill’s team clues towards who’s really doing this…