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. Book cover links are affiliate links to Bookshop.

This weekend’s feature covers books that came in the mail during and after Women in SF&F Month—and if you missed that, you can find all of this year’s guest posts here!

The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng by K. S. Villoso - Book Cover

The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng (Chronicles of the Bitch Queen #3) by K. S. Villoso

The final book in K. S. Villoso’s Chronicles of the Bitch Queen trilogy was just released last week (trade paperback, ebook). The publisher’s website has an excerpt from The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng, as well as one from The Wolf of Oren-Yaro, the first book in the series.

I haven’t had a chance to dig into this yet with the busyness of April, but I plan to read it after I finish the book I’m currently reading. I LOVED the first two books in this series, The Wolf of Oren-Yaro and The Ikessar Falcon. Queen Talyien, the narrator and protagonist, has one of the best voices I’ve read, and the world and characters get more and more complex.

You can also read more about Queen Talyien from the author’s perspective in K. S. Villoso’s Women in SF&F Month guest post from 2020, which opens with “Queen Talyien is a badass.”


In The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng, the queen of a divided land must unite her people against the enemies who threaten to tear her country apart. K. S. Villoso is a “powerful new voice in fantasy.” (Kameron Hurley)

Queen Talyien is finally home, but dangers she never imagined await her in the shadowed halls of her father’s castle.

War is on the horizon. Her son has been stolen from her, her warlords despise her, and across the sea, a cursed prince threatens her nation with invasion in order to win her hand.

Worse yet, her father’s ancient secrets are dangerous enough to bring Jin-Sayeng to ruin. Dark magic tears rifts in the sky, preparing to rain down madness, chaos, and the possibility of setting her nation aflame.

Bearing the brunt of the past and uncertain about her future, Talyien will need to decide between fleeing her shadows or embracing them before the whole world becomes an inferno.

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten - Book Cover

For the Wolf (Wilderwood #1) by Hannah Whitten

Hannah Whitten’s debut novel will be released on June 1 (trade paperback, ebook, audiobook).

I actually just finished reading For the Wolf, which Hannah Whitten described as “fairytale soup” in her recent guest post, and really enjoyed that aspect of it, the woods and magic, and Red’s journey. The conclusion also left me very curious about what will happen next in For the Throne, which is scheduled for release next summer.


The first daughter is for the Throne.
The second daughter is for the Wolf.

For fans of Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale comes a dark, sweeping debut fantasy novel about a young woman who must be sacrificed to the legendary Wolf of the Wood to save her kingdom. But not all legends are true, and the Wolf isn’t the only danger lurking in the Wilderwood.

As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose—to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.

Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.

But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood—and her world—whole.

Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales by Soman Chainani - Book Cover

Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales by Soman Chainani and illustrated by Julia Iredale

This short story collection by Soman Chainani, New York Times bestselling author of The School for Good and Evil series, will be released on September 28 (hardcover, ebook, audiobook).


You think you know these stories, don’t you?

You are wrong.

You don’t know them at all.

Twelve tales, twelve dangerous tales of mystery, magic, and rebellious hearts. Each twists like a spindle to reveal truths full of warning and triumph, truths that capture hearts long kept tame and set them free, truths that explore life . . . and death.

A prince has a surprising awakening . . .

A beauty fights like a beast . . .

A boy refuses to become prey . . .

A path to happiness is lost. . . . then found again.

New York Times bestselling author Soman Chainani respins old stories into fresh fairy tales for a new era and creates a world like no other. These stories know you. They understand you. They reflect you. They are tales for our times. So read on, if you dare.