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. 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.

There have not been any new posts since last weekend’s feature, and I’m very excited about this week’s book, so let’s get straight to it!

The Boy with Fire by Aparna Verma - Book Cover

The Boy with Fire (The Ravence Trilogy #1) by Aparna Verma

Aparna Verma’s debut novel will be released on August 31.

I was immediately intrigued by The Boy with Fire when I saw a tweet by the author mentioning that you might want to read it if you like the following:

  • morally grey protagonists
  • corruption & redemption arc
  • Indian mythology

Aparna Verma discussed these aspects of the book and more in an interview at one of my favorite book blogs, The Quiet Pond:

The Boy With Fire is, at its heart, a story about madness. It shows a world teetering on the edge of war, and the people who push it over. The book is DARK. It’s written in three character POVs, and each character must make cruel decisions. There’s genocide, terrorism, vengeful gods, and man’s battle against fate. In short, the book is not for the faint of heart.

But, there are lighter moments! There is a subtle romance subplot, fast-paced dojo scenes, and an amazing BIPOC cast. Elena, the heir to the throne, is perhaps the most relatable character; Leo, the tyrant, is a secret favorite; and Yassen, the assassin, will break your heart.”

You can read more about the book and its inspirations in the interview/cover reveal and in a post Aparna Verma wrote on Goodreads.


Dune meets The Poppy War in Aparna Verma’s The Boy with Fire, a glorious yet brutal tour-de-force debut that grapples with the power and manipulation of myth in an Indian-inspired epic fantasy.

Yassen Knight was the Arohassin’s most notorious assassin until a horrible accident. Now, he’s on the run from both the authorities and his former employer. But when Yassen seeks refuge with an old friend, he’s offered an irresistible deal: defend the heir of Ravence from the Arohassin, and earn his freedom.

Elena Ravence prepares to ascend the throne. Trained since birth in statecraft, warfare, and the desert ways, Elena knows she is ready. She only lacks one thing: the ability to hold Fire. With the coronation only weeks away, she must learn quickly or lose her kingdom.

Leo Ravence is not yet ready to give up the crown. There’s still too much work to be done, too many battles to be won. But when an ancient prophecy threatens to undo his lifetime of work, Leo wages war on the heavens themselves to protect his legacy.

The first of The Ravence Trilogy, The Boy with Fire is the tale of a world teetering on the edge of war and prophecy, of fate and betrayal, of man’s irrevocable greed for power — and the sacrifices that must come with it.