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.

This past week brought one book by an excellent author, but first, here are some recent and upcoming posts.

Last week I reviewed the May Patreon book, The Fox Woman by Kij Johnson. It was beautifully written and interesting, but it also took forever to get to the main story and was tedious to read at times.

Tomorrow there will be a guest post about writing and futurism by Brenda Cooper.

Now for the recent arrivals!

Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliott

Poisoned Blade (Court of Fives #2) by Kate Elliott

Poisoned Blade, the sequel to Kate Elliott’s first young adult novel Court of Fives, will be released on August 16, 2016 (hardcover, ebook, audiobook). Court of Fives (excerpt) was a 2015 NPR Best Book of the Year and a finalist for the Andre Norton Award. A prequel novella about Jessamy’s parents, Night Flower, was also released in ebook format late last year.

I loved Kate Elliott’s Spiritwalker trilogy and definitely want to read this series!


In this thrilling sequel to World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s captivating young adult debut, a girl immersed in high-stakes competition holds the fate of a kingdom in her hands.

Now a Challenger, Jessamy is moving up the ranks of the Fives–the complex athletic contest favored by the lowliest Commoners and the loftiest Patrons alike. Pitted against far more formidable adversaries, success is Jes’s only option, as her prize money is essential to keeping her hidden family alive. She leaps at the chance to tour the countryside and face more competitors, but then a fatal attack on her traveling party puts Jes at the center of the war that Lord Kalliarkos–the prince she still loves–is fighting against their country’s enemies. With a sinister overlord watching her every move and Kal’s life on the line, Jes must now become more than a Fives champion…. She must become a warrior.

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