The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature in which I highlight books I got over the last week that sound like they may be interesting—old or new, bought or received in the mail for review consideration (the latter of which are mainly 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, along with series information and the publisher’s book description. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

There are a couple of books that look rather intriguing to highlight this week, but first, here’s last week’s review in case you missed it:

Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutskie - Book Cover

Bonds of Brass (Bloodright Trilogy #1) by Emily Skrutskie

This space opera about a pilot and a secret prince is scheduled for release on April 7 (hardcover, ebook, audiobook).

I’ve had my eye on Bonds of Brass ever since I saw Emily Skrutskie’s trope list on Twitter, which includes “forbidden love,” “best friends PINING,” “scary empress moms,” “the inherent DRAMA of empire,” and much more. It sounds like a lot of fun so I was pretty excited when a copy arrived yesterday!


A young pilot risks everything to save his best friend—the man he trusts most and might even love—only to learn that his friend is secretly the heir to a brutal galactic empire.

“Riveting, wildly fun, and incredibly smart.”—Emily A. Duncan, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Saints

Ettian’s life was shattered when the merciless Umber Empire invaded his world. He’s spent seven years putting himself back together under its rule, joining an Umber military academy and becoming the best pilot in his class. Even better, he’s met Gal—his exasperating and infuriatingly enticing roommate who’s made the academy feel like a new home.

But when dozens of classmates spring an assassination plot on Gal, a devastating secret comes to light: Gal is the heir to the Umber Empire. Ettian barely manages to save his best friend and flee the compromised academy unscathed, rattled that Gal stands to inherit the empire that broke him, and that there are still people willing to fight back against Umber rule.

As they piece together a way to deliver Gal safely to his throne, Ettian finds himself torn in half by an impossible choice. Does he save the man who’s won his heart and trust that Gal’s goodness could transform the empire? Or does he throw his lot in with the brewing rebellion and fight to take back what’s rightfully theirs?

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R. R. Martin - Book Cover

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (A Song of Ice and Fire) written by George R. R. Martin and illustrated by Gary Gianni

This illustrated collection of three prequels to A Song of Ice and Fire is coming out in paperback on February 25. A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is already available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook.

The Penguin Random House website has an excerpt from A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, which includes the following novellas about Dunk and Egg: “The Hedge Knight,” “The Sworn Sword,” and “The Mystery Knight.”


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Taking place nearly a century before the events of A Game of Thrones, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms compiles the first three official prequel novellas to George R. R. Martin’s ongoing masterwork, A Song of Ice and Fire.


These never-before-collected adventures recount an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne, and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living consciousness. Before Tyrion Lannister and Podrick Payne, there was Dunk and Egg. A young, naïve but ultimately courageous hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall towers above his rivals—in stature if not experience. Tagging along is his diminutive squire, a boy called Egg—whose true name is hidden from all he and Dunk encounter. Though more improbable heroes may not be found in all of Westeros, great destinies lay ahead for these two . . . as do powerful foes, royal intrigue, and outrageous exploits.

Featuring more than 160 all-new illustrations by Gary Gianni, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a must-have collection that proves chivalry isn’t dead—yet.

Additional Books: