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 (usually unsolicited). 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.

Before discussing the two books I ordered and the others that came in last week, here’s what happened last week.

I finished reading Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews over the weekend and will be starting on a review of it soon.

On to the books!

Serpentine by Cinda Pon

Serpentine (Book #1) by Cindy Pon

This young adult fantasy novel was released in September (hardcover, trade paperback, ebook). An excerpt from Serpentine is available at Good Choice Reading, and you can read more about it in Cindy Pon’s Big Idea post at Whatever.

This book sounds great so I couldn’t resist adding it to my recent latte-supplies-and-Saga order!


SERPENTINE is a sweeping fantasy set in the ancient Kingdom of Xia and inspired by the rich history of Chinese mythology.

Lush with details from Chinese folklore, SERPENTINE tells the coming of age story of Skybright, a young girl who worries about her growing otherness. As she turns sixteen, Skybright notices troubling changes. By day, she is a companion and handmaid to the youngest daughter of a very wealthy family. But nighttime brings with it a darkness that not even daybreak can quell.

When her plight can no longer be denied, Skybright learns that despite a dark destiny, she must struggle to retain her sense of self – even as she falls in love for the first time.

Autumn Moon by Jan DeLima

Autumn Moon (Celtic Wolves #3) by Jan DeLima

This third book in a romantic urban fantasy series just came out last week (mass market paperback, ebook). I’ve read the previous books in the series and enjoyed them both, and I’m especially excited about reading Elen’s story since she was one of my favorite characters in the previous books. (Full Disclosure: Jan is a friend; we used to meet for coffee during our lunch breaks when I lived in Maine.)

The second book in the series, Summer Moon, was nominated for a RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award last year.

The first chapter from all three books in the series can be read online:

  1. Celtic Moon
  2. Summer Moon
  3. Autumn Moon

The heart of a warrior, the soul of a wolf, and the desires of a man…

For centuries, Cormack has lived between worlds—a man trapped in the body of a wolf, shunned by humans and shifters alike. Only one person has ever welcomed his company: Elen, a kindred outcast who is feared by others of her ancient Celtic race for her strange healing abilities.

Cormack has always valued Elen’s kindness and understanding, but after a desperate act of friendship causes Elen to free him from his curse, he realizes he wants more. He wants all of her—completely and forever.Except before Cormack can win Elen’s heart, Pendaran, the evil leader of the Guardians, captures her, determined to manipulate her incredible power to aid him in his twisted war against the shapeshifting tribes.

Now Cormack must use all of his skills as a warrior and a wolf to save the woman he loves—before Pendaran’s vile schemes destroy them all…

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Truthwitch (Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard

Truthwitch, the first book in a new young adult fantasy series, will be released early next year: January 5 in the US and January 16 in the UK. The US cover is shown above since the cover for the UK edition has not been revealed yet.

I’ve been hearing a lot of advance praise for this one so I’m pretty excited about reading it!


On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Saga: Volume 5

Saga: Volume 5 written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples

Saga: Volume 5 is now out! I already read this one and am now impatiently looking forward to volume 6 and more Lying Cat.


Multiple storylines collide in this cosmos-spanning new volume. While Gwendolyn and Lying Cat risk everything to find a cure for The Will, Marko makes an uneasy alliance with Prince Robot IV to find their missing children, who are trapped on a strange world with terrifying new enemies. Collects Saga #25-30.

Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie

Ancillary Mercy (Imperial Radch #3) by Ann Leckie

The final book in the Imperial Radch trilogy will be published on October 6 (trade paperback, ebook, audiobook). An excerpt from Ancillary Mercy is available on the publisher’s website.

Ancillary Justice, the first novel in this trilogy, won the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Locus Award for Best First Novel, and the BSFA Award, among others. The middle book, Ancillary Sword, won the BSFA Award and was nominated for both the Hugo and the Nebula.


The stunning conclusion to the trilogy that began with the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke award-winning Ancillary Justice.

For a moment, things seem to be under control for the soldier known as Breq. Then a search of Atheok Station’s slums turns up someone who shouldn’t exist – someone who might be an ancillary from a ship that’s been hiding beyond the empire’s reach for three thousand years. Meanwhile, a messenger from the alien and mysterious Presger empire arrives, as does Breq’s enemy, the divided and quite possibly insane Anaander Mianaai – ruler of an empire at war with itself.

Anaander is heavily armed and extremely unhappy with Breq. She could take her ship and crew and flee, but that would leave everyone at Athoek in terrible danger. Breq has a desperate plan. The odds aren’t good, but that’s never stopped her before.

Other Books: