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 (most of which 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.

A couple of these are technically from the week before last since I was spending my blogging time focused on last week’s post, which I found rather daunting to write since this book is so much in the very best of ways:

  • Review of The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow — This is my favorite book of 2019 so far. It’s an ode to words, books, and imagination; it’s a story about finding your way back to yourself; and it’s ineffably enchanting with beautiful prose, among many other things. I just love it.

On to the newest book arrivals!

The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K. S. Villoso - Book Cover

The Wolf of Oren-Yaro (Chronicles of the Bitch Queen #1) by K. S. Villoso

This previously self-published epic fantasy novel is being re-released by Orbit Books. The ebook is available now, and the trade paperback and audiobook editions will be available on February 18, 2020.

K. S. Villoso wrote a Twitter thread about The Wolf of Oren-Yaro, particularly its centering of Filipinos, on the day of the cover reveal a couple months ago.

I’m excited about this one, which has a very intriguing opening!


A queen of a divided land must unite her people, even if they hate her, even if it means stopping a ruin that she helped create. A debut epic fantasy from an exciting new voice.

“They called me the Bitch Queen, the she-wolf, because I murdered a man and exiled my king the night before they crowned me.”

Born under the crumbling towers of Oren-yaro, Queen Talyien was the shining jewel and legacy of the bloody War of the Wolves, which nearly tore her nation apart. But her arranged marriage with the son of a rival clan should herald peaceful days to come.

However, her husband’s sudden departure before their reign begins puts a quick end to those dreams, and the kingdom is fractured beyond repair.

Years later, Talyien receives a message, one that will send her across the sea. What’s meant to be an effort at reconciling the past becomes an assassination attempt. Stranded in a land she doesn’t know, with no idea whom she can trust, Talyien will have to embrace her namesake.

A wolf of Oren-yaro is not tamed.

A House of Rage and Sorrow by Sangu Mandanna - Book Cover

A House of Rage and Sorrow (Celestial Trilogy #2) by Sangu Mandanna

A House of Rage and Sorrow just came out last week (hardcover, ebook).

The Celestial Trilogy is space opera inspired by the Mahabharata, and I found A Spark of White Fire (the first book) to be incredibly engrossing. I am eager to find out what happens next!


One kingdom. One crown. One family.

“Maybe it’s time the great House of Rey came to an end. After all, what are we now? Just a house of rage and sorrow.”

Esmae once wanted nothing more than to help her golden brother win the crown of Kali but that dream died with her best friend. Alexi broke her heart, and she vowed to destroy him for it. And with her sentient warship Titania beside her, how can she possibly fail?

As gods, beasts, and kingdoms choose sides, Alexi seeks out a weapon more devastating than even Titania. Past lives threaten the present. Old enemies claim their due. And Esmae cannot outrun the ghosts and the questions that haunt her. What really happened to her father? What was the third boon her mother asked of Amba? For in the shadows, lurking in wait, are secrets that will swallow her whole.

The House of Rey is at war. And the entire galaxy will bleed before the end.

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