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. Book covers are affiliate links to Bookshop, and I earn from qualifying purchases.

This is a bit late due to moving and related chaos (I still haven’t found all of the parts for my coffeemaker and can’t make coffee), but one book that I’m very excited about showed up shortly before the move.

The Quicksilver Court by Melissa Caruso - Book Cover

The Quicksilver Court (Rooks and Ruin #2) by Melissa Caruso

The Quicksilver Court, the second book in the Rooks and Ruin trilogy, was just released last week (trade paperback, ebook).

The Obsidian Tower, the first book in this series, was one of my favorite books of 2020 with entertaining banter, family drama galore, and mysteries surrounding the titular tower and the main character’s magic—which is completely unlike the rest of her family’s life-sustaining magic, killing all that she touches. I had the best time reading it and am looking forward to continuing the story.

Rooks and Ruin is set about 150 years after events in Melissa Caruso’s other excellent trilogy, Swords and Fire (The Tethered MageThe Defiant HeirThe Unbound Empire).


Loyalties are tested and nations clash in the second novel of a fresh epic fantasy series bursting with adventure, intrigue, ambition, and deadly magic.

Ryxander, the Warden of Gloamingard, has failed. Unsealed by her blood, the Door hidden within the black tower has opened. Now, for the first time since the age of the Graces, demons walk the world.

As tensions grow between nations, all eyes—and daggers—are set on Morgrain, which has fallen under the Demon of Discord’s control. When an artifact with the power to wipe out all life in a domain is stolen, Ryx will do whatever it takes to save her home from destruction. But success may demand a larger sacrifice from Ryx than she could have imagined.