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.

Last week brought some books that sound pretty interesting, including two of my most anticipated books of 2016! First, here are last week’s posts in case you missed them:

  • A not-as-mini-as-I’d-planned mini review of Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. I found the first quarter of the book difficult to get through, and although it got a lot more readable later, it still wasn’t a book I found particularly memorable.
  • The January Patreon review of a fantasy book at least fifteen years old: The Changeling Sea by Patricia A. McKillip. I loved everything about it, and it’s my first 10/10 book of 2016 (and the first since Robin Hobb’s last release!).

On to last week’s books!

Kingfisher by Patricia A. McKillip

Kingfisher by Patricia A. McKillip

Patricia McKillip’s latest novel will be available on February 2 (hardcover, ebook).

This was one of my most anticipated books of 2016, and after recently reading The Changeling Sea, I’m even more excited about starting it!


The eagerly awaited new fantasy from the multiple award-winning “storytelling sorceress” (Peter S. Beagle).

Hidden away from the world by his mother, the powerful sorceress Heloise Oliver, Pierce has grown up working in her restaurant in Desolation Point. One day, Heloise tells her son the truth: about his father, a knight in King Arden’s court, about an older brother he never knew existed, about his father’s destructive love for King Arden’s queen, and Heloise’s decision to raise her younger son alone.

As Pierce journeys to Severluna, he learns that things are changing in that kingdom. Ancient magic is on the rise. The immensely powerful artifact of an ancient god has come to light, and the king is gathering his knights to quest for this profound mystery, which may restore the kingdom to legendary glory—or destroy it.

The Edge of Worlds by Martha Wells

The Edge of Worlds by Martha Wells

The Edge of Worlds, the first book in a new duology set in the same world as The Books of the Raksura, will be released on April 5 (hardcover, ebook).

This is another of my most anticipated books of the year since I love the fascinating, unique world of The Books of the Raksura and wanted more novels in this setting after reading those three (The Cloud Roads, The Serpent Sea, and The Siren Depths).


An expedition of groundlings from the Empire of Kish have traveled through the Three Worlds to the Indigo Cloud court of the Raksura, shape-shifting creatures of flight that live in large family groups. The groundlings have found a sealed ancient city at the edge of the shallow seas, near the deeps of the impassable Ocean. They believe it to be the last home of their ancestors and ask for help getting inside. But the Raksura fear it was built by their own distant ancestors, the Forerunners, and the last sealed Forerunner city they encountered was a prison for an unstoppable evil.

Prior to the groundlings’ arrival, the Indigo Cloud court had been plagued by visions of a disaster that could destroy all the courts in the Reaches. Now, the court’s mentors believe the ancient city is connected to the foretold danger. A small group of warriors, including consort Moon, an orphan new to the colony and the Raksura’s idea of family, and sister queen Jade, agree to go with the groundling expedition to investigate. But the predatory Fell have found the city too, and in the race to keep the danger contained, the Raksura may be the ones who inadvertently release it.

The Edge of Worlds, from celebrated fantasy author Martha Wells, returns to the fascinating world of The Cloud Roads for the first book in a new series of strange lands, uncanny beings, dead cities, and ancient danger.

Daughter of Blood by Helen Lowe

Daughter of Blood (The Wall of Night #3) by Helen Lowe

Daughter of Blood was released last week (mass market paperback, ebook). The first book in the series, The Heir of Night, won the 2012 Gemmell Morningstar Award, and the second book, The Gathering of the Lost, was on the 2013 Gemmell Legend Award shortlist.

SF Signal has an excerpt from Daughter of Blood.


A Gemmell Award-Winning Series

Malian of Night and Kalan, her trusted ally, are returning to the Wall of Night—but already it may be too late. The Wall is dangerously weakened, the Nine Houses of the Derai fractured by rivalry and hate. And now, the Darkswarm is rising . . .

Among Grayharbor backstreets, an orphan boy falls foul of dark forces. On the Wall, a Daughter of Blood must be married off to the Earl of Night, a pawn in the web of her family’s ambition. On the Field of Blood, Kalan fights for a place in the bride’s honor guard, while Malian dodges deadly pursuers in a hunt against time for the fabled Shield of Heaven. But the Darkswarm is gaining strength, and time is running out—for Malian, for Kalan, and for all of Haarth . . .

Feverborn by Karen Marie Moning

Feverborn (Fever #8) by Karen Marie Moning

The latest book in the New York Times bestselling Fever series was released on January 19 (hardcover, ebook, audiobook). The previous seven books in the series are as follows:

  1. Darkfever
  2. Bloodfever
  3. Faefever
  4. Dreamfever
  5. Shadowfever
  6. Iced
  7. Burned

In Karen Marie Moning’s latest installment of the epic #1 New York Times bestselling Fever series, the stakes have never been higher and the chemistry has never been hotter. Hurtling us into a realm of labyrinthine intrigue and consummate seduction, FEVERBORN is a riveting tale of ancient evil, lust, betrayal, forgiveness and the redemptive power of love.

When the immortal race of the Fae destroyed the ancient wall dividing the worlds of Man and Faery, the very fabric of the universe was damaged and now Earth is vanishing bit by bit. Only the long-lost Song of Making—a haunting, dangerous melody that is the source of all life itself—can save the planet.

But those who seek the mythic Song—Mac, Barrons, Ryodan and Jada—must contend with old wounds and new enemies, passions that burn hot and hunger for vengeance that runs deep. The challenges are many: The Keltar at war with nine immortals who’ve secretly ruled Dublin for eons, Mac and Jada hunted by the masses, the Seelie queen nowhere to be found, and the most powerful Unseelie prince in all creation determined to rule both Fae and Man. Now the task of solving the ancient riddle of the Song of Making falls to a band of deadly warriors divided among—and within—themselves.

Once a normal city possessing a touch of ancient magic, Dublin is now a treacherously magical city with only a touch of normal. And in those war-torn streets, Mac will come face to face with her most savage enemy yet: herself.