The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature where I discuss books I got over the last week–old or new, bought or received in the mail 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.

Some rather intriguing books came in the mail recently, but first, here is the previous post in case you missed it:

  • Review of Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra, a novel set in post-apocalyptic Asia focusing on a heroine belonging to one of the Orders of Peace that upholds justice throughout the land. I absolutely loved the world, but I thought the characters and story were held back by mechanical plot devices.

I’m almost finished with a review of Rin Chupeco’s The Bone Witch that should be going up in the next day or two. (You may have already seen that I rather liked this one and am looking forward to the sequel.)

And now, some upcoming releases!

84K by Claire North

84K by Claire North

This dystopian novel by award-winning author Claire North will released on May 22 (trade paperback, ebook, audiobook).

I’m rather curious about this one since I’ve been hearing great things about Claire North’s books, including The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and her 2017 World Fantasy Award–winning novel A Sudden Appearance of Hope. Claire North is also Carnegie Medal–nominated author Catherine Webb and Kate Griffin.


From one of the most powerful writers in modern fiction comes a dystopian vision of a world where money reigns supreme, and nothing is so precious that it can’t be bought….

The penalty for Dani Cumali’s murder: £84,000.

Theo works in the Criminal Audit Office. He assesses each crime that crosses his desk and makes sure the correct debt to society is paid in full.

These days, there’s no need to go to prison – provided that you can afford to pay the penalty for the crime you’ve committed. If you’re rich enough, you can get away with murder.

But Dani’s murder is different. When Theo finds her lifeless body, and a hired killer standing over her and calmly calling the police to confess, he can’t let her death become just an entry on a balance sheet.

Someone is responsible. And Theo is going to find them and make them pay.

Perfect for fans of speculative fiction such as The Handmaid’s Tale and Never Let Me Go, Claire North’s moving and unnerving new novel will resonate with readers around the world.

A Veil of Spears by Bradley P. Beaulieu

A Veil of Spears (Song of Shattered Sands #3) by Bradley P. Beaulieu

This epic fantasy novel will be released on March 20 (hardcover, ebook, audiobook).

The publisher’s website has samples from the first two books in the series:

  1. Twelve Kings in Sharakhai
  2. With Blood Upon the Sand

There is also an excerpt from Of Sand and Malice Made, a companion novella.


The third book in The Song of Shattered Sands series—an epic fantasy with a desert setting, filled with rich worldbuilding and pulse-pounding action.

Since the Night of Endless Swords, a bloody battle the Kings of Sharakhai narrowly won, the kings have been hounding the rebels known as the Moonless Host. Many have been forced to flee the city, including Çeda, who discovers that the King of Sloth is raising his army to challenge the other kings’ rule.

When Çeda finds the remaining members of the Moonless Host, now known as the thirteenth tribe, she sees a tenuous existence. Çeda hatches a plan to return to Sharakhai and free the asirim, the kings’ powerful, immortal slaves. The kings, however, have sent their greatest tactician, the King of Swords, to bring Çeda to justice for her crimes.

But the once-unified front of the kings is crumbling. The surviving kings vie quietly against one another, maneuvering for control over Sharakhai. Çeda hopes to use that to her advantage, but whom to trust? Any of them might betray her.

As Çeda works to lift the shackles from the asirim and save the thirteenth tribe, the kings of Sharakhai, the scheming queen of Qaimir, the ruthless blood mage, Hamzakiir, and King of Swords all prepare for a grand clash that may decide the fate of all.

Additional Books: