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.

Hope that you all are doing as well as you can be right now and are surrounded by good books!

I tried working on a review of my favorite book of the year so far, The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K. S. Villoso, last week, but I found myself too distracted to concentrate on writing. In the meantime, I wanted to recommend it to those looking for excellent character-driven fantasy with a vivid voice. It hooked me from the very first sentence, and I absolutely loved it.

Here are the reviews written since the last time there was one of these posts in case you missed any of them:

  • Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia — This is a delightful standalone Popol Vuh–inspired novel in which our protagonist accidentally binds herself to a Mayan god of death and goes on a quest to restore him to 100% pure god. It didn’t have a lot of in-depth character development, but I really enjoyed the writing and mythology (and any part set in Xibalba!).
  • Moontangled (The Harwood Spellbook #2.5) by Stephanie Burgis — This short, sweet, compulsively readable novella set after Thornbound tells the tale of a romantic misunderstanding between magician-in-training Juliana Banks and politician Caroline Fennell. I found it to be more of a diverting story than a memorable one, but I had fun reading it even if I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as Snowspelled (the first Harwood Spellbook installment) or Spellswept (the prequel novella).

A Bond Undone by Jin Yong - Book Cover

A Bond Undone (Legends of the Condor Heroes #2) by Jin Yong; translated by Gigi Chang

An English translation of A Hero Born, the first installment in acclaimed Chinese author Jin Yon’s Legends of the Condor Heroes translated by Anna Holmwood, was released in the US for the first time last year. English translations of the rest of the series are being released this year and next with A Bond Undone, the second book, coming out on March 24 (trade paperback, ebook, audiobook).

The publisher’s website has an excerpt from A Bond Undone. A Snake Lies Waiting will be released in September, and A Heart Divided is scheduled for release in 2021.


A Bond Undone is the second book in Jin Yong’s epic Chinese classic and phenomenon Legends of Condor Heroes series, published in the US for the first time!

In the Jin capital of Zhongdu, Guo Jing learns the truth of his father’s death and finds he is now betrothed, against his will, to two women. Neither of them is his sweetheart Lotus Huang.

Torn between following his heart and fulfilling his filial duty, Guo Jing journeys through the country of his parents with Lotus, encountering mysterious martial heroes and becoming drawn into the struggle for the supreme martial text, the Nine Yin Manual. But his past is catching up with him. The widow of an evil man he accidentally killed as a child has tracked him down, intent on revenge.

Meanwhile, his true parentage at last revealed, Yang Kang, the young prince Guo Jing must face in the Garden of the Eight Drunken Immortals, is forced to choose his destiny. Will he continue to enjoy the life of wealth and privilege afforded to him by the invader of his homeland, or give up all he has known to avenge his parents?

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