The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature in which I highlight books I got over the last week that sound 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.

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of, and I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

One book I’m very excited about came in the mail last week, plus I’m finally catching up on some birthday books from April! But first, a couple of things:

On to the new book in the mail and the birthday books! (Most of them. I also got a copy of the new edition of Cagebird by Karin Lowachee, which is a book I love and reviewed here. I already have a copy, but I was gifted another one since there is something different about it: my review is quoted on the back cover!)

Cover of The Sun and the Void by Gabriela Romero Lacruz

The Sun and the Void (The Warring Gods #1) by Gabriela Romero Lacruz

This fantasy debut novel will be released on July 25 in both the US and the UK. The US edition will be available in trade paperback, ebook, and audiobook, and the UK edition will be available in hardback and ebook.

The author’s website has content warnings and character artwork.

SciFiNow has a chapter one excerpt from The Sun and the Void.

This novel appeared on my most anticipated books of 2023 post. In part, that’s because the Orbit acquisition announcement says the following about it:

Full of twisted family politics, dark magic, and fantastical beings, THE SUN AND THE VOID transports readers into a lush world inspired by the history and mythology of 1800s South America.

I love the sound of the historical and folkloric inspirations, family politics, and the dark god with tempting magic.


Two women embark on a unforgettable quest that draws them into a world of dark gods and ancient magic in this sweeping fantasy debut inspired by the history and folklore of colonial South America.

Reina is desperate.

Stuck on the edges of society, Reina’s only hope lies in an invitation from a grandmother she’s never met. But the journey to her is dangerous, and prayer can’t always avert disaster.

Attacked by creatures that stalk the mountains, Reina is on the verge of death until her grandmother, a dark sorceress, intervenes. Now dependent on the Doña’s magic for her life, Reina will do anything to earn—and keep—her favor. Even the bidding of an ancient god who whispers to her at night.

Eva Kesaré is unwanted.

Illegitimate and of mixed heritage, Eva is her family’s shame. She tries to be the perfect daughter, but Eva is hiding a secret: Magic calls to her.

Eva knows she should fight the temptation. Magic is the sign of the dark god, and using it is punishable by death. Yet it’s hard to ignore power when it has always been denied you. Eva is walking a dangerous path. And in the end, she’ll become something she never imagined.

Cover of The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakraborty

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi (Amina al-Sirafi #1) by Shannon Chakraborty

This novel is the beginning of a new trilogy set about 1,000 years before The Daevabad Trilogy. It was released in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook, and both the US publisher and the UK publisher have text and audio samples on their websites.

Shannon Chakraborty’s previous series (written under the name S. A. Chakraborty) made her an international bestseller and an Astounding Award nominee, and it was a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Series. The City of Brass, the first book in the trilogy, was a finalist for several awards, including the World Fantasy Award, the British Fantasy Award, and the Locus Award.

The second and third books in The Daevabad Trilogy were among my favorite books of 2019 and my favorite books of 2020, respectively, so of course I’m excited that there’s a new book set in the same world!


Shannon Chakraborty, the bestselling author of The City of Brass, spins a new trilogy of magic and mayhem on the high seas in this tale of pirates and sorcerers, forbidden artifacts and ancient mysteries, in one woman’s determined quest to seize a final chance at glory—and write her own legend.

Amina al-Sirafi should be content. After a storied and scandalous career as one of the Indian Ocean’s most notorious pirates, she’s survived backstabbing rogues, vengeful merchant princes, several husbands, and one actual demon to retire peacefully with her family to a life of piety, motherhood, and absolutely nothing that hints of the supernatural.

But when she’s tracked down by the obscenely wealthy mother of a former crewman, she’s offered a job no bandit could refuse: retrieve her comrade’s kidnapped daughter for a kingly sum. The chance to have one last adventure with her crew, do right by an old friend, and win a fortune that will secure her family’s future forever? It seems like such an obvious choice that it must be God’s will.

Yet the deeper Amina dives, the more it becomes alarmingly clear there’s more to this job, and the girl’s disappearance, than she was led to believe. For there’s always risk in wanting to become a legend, to seize one last chance at glory, to savor just a bit more power…and the price might be your very soul.

Cover of In a Garden Burning Gold by Rory Power

In a Garden Burning Gold (The Wind-up Garden #1) by Rory Power

This novel by New York Times bestselling author Rory Power came out in paperback earlier this year and is also available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook. The Penguin Random House website has an excerpt from In a Garden Burning Gold.

The conclusion to this duology was just released earlier this month (hardcover, ebook, audiobook). The publisher’s website also has an excerpt from this novel, In an Orchard Grown from Ash.

I somehow missed In a Garden Burning Gold until I heard some good things about it earlier this year that prompted me to look it up. A family with magic power sounded intriguing, so I added it to my wishlist—and was happy to receive a copy for my birthday!


Twins imbued with incredible magic and near-immortality will do anything to keep their family in power—even if it tears the family apart—in the first book of a mythic epic fantasy duology from the New York Times bestselling author of Wilder Girls.


Rhea and Lexos were born into a family unlike any other. Together with their siblings, they control the seasons, the tides, and the stars, and help their father rule their kingdom. Thanks to their magic, the family has ruled for an eternity, and plan to rule for an eternity more.

But Rhea and Lexos are special: They are twins, bonded down to the bone, and for the past hundred years, that bond has protected them as their father becomes an unpredictable tyrant—and his worsening temper threatens the family’s grip on power.

Now, with rival nations ready to attack, and a rebel movement within their own borders, Rhea and Lexos must fight to keep the kingdom—and the family—together, even as treachery, deceit, and drama threaten to strand the twins on opposite sides of the battlefield.

In a Garden Burning Gold is a vividly written, atmospheric saga that explores the limits of power and the bonds of family—and how far both can be bent before they break.