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 (often these are unsolicited books from publishers). 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 week’s feature covers books that came in the mail during the last couple of weeks. There have been no new reviews since the last of these posts, but I’m nearly finished with a review of The Poppy War that I’m hoping to have up this week!

The Mortal Word by Genevieve Cogman

The Mortal Word (Invisible Library #5) by Genevieve Cogman

The fifth book in Genevieve Cogman’s delightful Invisible Library series will be released on November 27 in the US and November 29 in the UK (trade paperback, ebook).

The Invisible Library is an incredibly fun series following the adventures of Irene Winters, who collects books from various alternate worlds for an organization that exists outside of time and space known as the Library. (Collecting books often involves spying and stealing.)

The publisher’s website has excerpts from each of the previous books in the series, all of which I’ve reviewed here:

  1. The Invisible Library (Excerpt | Review)
  2. The Masked City (Excerpt | Review)
  3. The Burning Page (Excerpt | Review)
  4. The Lost Plot (Excerpt | Review)

In the latest novel in Genevieve Cogman’s historical fantasy series, the fate of worlds lies in the balance. When a dragon is murdered at a peace conference, time-travelling Librarian spy Irene must solve the case to keep the balance between order, chaos…and the Library.

When Irene returns to London after a relatively straightforward book theft in Germany, Bradamant informs her that there is a top secret dragon-Fae peace conference in progress that the Library is mediating, and that the second-in-command dragon has been stabbed to death. Tasked with solving the case, Vale and Irene immediately go to 1890s Paris to start their investigation.

Once they arrive, they find evidence suggesting that the murder victim might have uncovered proof of treachery by one or more Librarians. But to ensure the peace of the conference, some Librarians are being held as hostages in the dragon and Fae courts. To save the captives, including her parents, Irene must get to the bottom of this murder–but was it a dragon, a Fae, or even a Librarian who committed the crime?

Timeless by R. A. Salvatore

Timeless (A Drizzt Novel) by R. A. Salvatore

A new book beginning a new trilogy about Drizzt Do’Urden will be released on September 4 (hardcover, ebook, audiobook).

Check out the publisher’s website for tour events. There is currently one scheduled for Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, NH, on September 7.

It’s been years since I read a Drizzt book, but I have fond memories of reading them around the same time I was playing through the Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale games.


At long last, New York Times bestselling author R. A. Salvatore returns with one of fantasy’s most beloved and enduring icons, the dark elf Drizzt Do’Urden, in an all-new trilogy full of swordplay, danger, and imaginative thrills.

Centuries ago, in the city of Menzoberranzan—the City of Spiders, the city of drow—nestled deep in the unmerciful Underdark of Toril, a young weapon master earned a reputation far above his station or that of his poor house.


The greater nobles watched him, and one powerful Matron—Malice—decided to take him as her own. She connived with rival houses to secure her prize, but it was ultimately the roguish Jarlaxle who caught him.

Thus sparked the birth of two key moments in Menzoberranzan: the coupling of a noble and weapon master that would produce Drizzt Do’Urden…and the friendship between Zaknafein and Jarlaxle.

R. A. Salvatore reveals the Underdark anew through the eyes of this unlikely pair—offering a fresh take on the intrigue and opportunities to be found in the shadows, and providing a fascinating prelude to the journeys that have shaped the modern-day Forgotten Realms. There, Zaknafein and Drizzt are joined together in a series of trials that parallel those of centuries long past, even though their paths no longer seem to be aligned. How will a father, so long constrained by the vicious and conservative world of the drow, be able to reconcile his ingrained prejudices with the world and companions of his enlightened son?

The answer lies in their desire for peace over chaos. And as long as the scourge of the goddess Lolth’s ambitions still remain, both are determined to keep her dark will at bay. But the Spider Queen is powerful, and now demons have been unleashed on the unwitting denizens of the surface world. United in purpose—and through their mutual friendship with Jarlaxle—Zaknafein and Drizzt will need to put aside their differences in order to keep the ones they love safe.

Unholy Land by Lavie Tidhar

Unholy Land by Lavie Tidhar

Unholy Land, the latest book by World Fantasy Award and John W. Campbell Award–winning author Lavie Tidhar, is scheduled for release on November 6 (trade paperback, ebook, audiobook). (Some sites do show some formats of the book as being available earlier.)


The author of the critically acclaimed, Campbell Award-winning Central Station returns with a subversive, entertaining new novel evoking The Yiddish Policemen’s Union and The City and the City.

When pulp-fiction writer Lior Tirosh returns to his homeland in East Africa, much has changed. Palestina―a Jewish state established in the early 20th century―is constructing a massive border wall to keep out African refugees. Unrest in the capital, Ararat, is at fever pitch.

While searching for his missing niece, Tirosh begins to act as though he is a detective from one of his own novels. He is pursued by ruthless members of the state’s security apparatus while unearthing deadly conspiracies and impossible realities.

For if it is possible for more than one Palestina to exist, the barriers between the worlds are beginning to break.

Additional Books: