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.

There are no new reviews from last week (though I am working on a review of a book I mentioned in last week’s Leaning Pile of Books post, Tomorrow’s Kin by Nancy Kress), but the week did bring a few intriguing books to cover today!

The Emerald Circus by Jane Yolen

The Emerald Circus by Jane Yolen

This short story collection by Nebula, Word Fantasy, and Mythopoeic Award–winning author Jane Yolen will be released on November 14 (trade paperback, ebook). It includes an introduction by Holly Black plus some notes on these stories and poems by the author.


Where is Wendy? Leading a labor strike against the Lost Boys, of course.

A Scottish academic unearths ancient evil in a fishing village. Edgar Allan Poe’s young bride is beguiled by a most unusual bird. Dorothy, lifted from Kansas, returns as a gymnastic sophisticate. Emily Dickinson dwells in possibility and sails away in a starship made of light. Alice’s wicked nemesis has jaws and claws but really needs a sense of humor.

In Jane Yolen’s first full collection in more than ten years discover new and uncollected tales of beloved characters, literary legends, and much more. Enter the Emerald Circus and be astonished by the transformations within.

Table of Contents

Andersen’s Witch
Lost Girls (Nebula Award Winner)
Tough Alice
Blown Away
A Knot of Toads
The Quiet Monk
The Bird  (Original story)
Belle Bloody Merciless Dame
Jewel in the Toad Queen’s Crown
A Gift of Magicians
Rabbit Hole
Our Lady of the Greenwood
The Confession of Brother Blaise
Wonder Land
Evian Steel
Sister Emily’s Lightship

The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso

The Tethered Mage (Swords and Fire #1) by Melissa Caruso

This fantasy debut novel, the first book in a trilogy, will be released on October 24 (trade paperback, ebook).


In the Raverran Empire, magic is scarce and those born with power are strictly controlled — taken as children and conscripted into the Falcon Army.

Zaira has lived her life on the streets to avoid this fate, hiding her mage-mark and thieving to survive. But hers is a rare and dangerous magic, one that threatens the entire empire.

Lady Amalia Cornaro was never meant to be a Falconer. Heiress and scholar, she was born into a treacherous world of political machinations.

But fate has bound the heir and the mage. And as war looms on the horizon, a single spark could turn their city into a pyre.

The Tethered Mage is the first novel in a spellbinding new fantasy series.

The House on Durrow Street by Galen Beckett

The House on Durrow Street (Mrs. Quent #2) by Galen Beckett

I recently read and reviewed The Magicians and Mrs. Quent and found it thoroughly engrossing. In fact, I immediately ordered the rest of the trilogy after I finished reading it!


Her courage saved the country of Altania and earned the love of a hero of the realm. Now sensible Ivy Quent wants only to turn her father’s sprawling, mysterious house into a proper home. But soon she is swept into fashionable society’s highest circles of power—a world that is vital to her family’s future but replete with perilous temptations.

Yet far greater danger lies beyond the city’s glittering ballrooms—and Ivy must race to unlock the secrets that lie within the old house on Durrow Street before outlaw magicians and an ancient ravening force plunge Altania into darkness forever.

The Master of Heathcrest Hall by Galen Beckett

The Master of Heathcrest Hall (Mrs. Quent #3) by Galen Beckett

The third book in the Mrs. Quent trilogy showed up in time for last week’s post, but I saved it for this week since the second book hadn’t arrived yet. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series!


Even as her husband is about to attain undreamed-of power, Ivy Quent fears for her family’s safety. With war looming and turmoil sweeping the nation of Altania, Ivy finds the long-abandoned manor on the moors a temporary haven. But nowhere is really safe from the treachery that threatens all the Quents have risked to achieve. And an even greater peril is stirring deep within the countryside’s beautiful green estates. As Ivy dares an alliance with a brilliant illusionist and a dangerous lord, she races to master her forbidden talents and unravel the terrible truth at the heart of her land’s unrest—even as a triumphant, inhuman darkness rises to claim Altania eternally for its own.

Additional Book(s):