Review: The Priory of the Orange Tree

Hi and welcome to the reading world!

Today I’m sharing a read that was one of my favorites of 2021, The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon.

Review: The Priory of the Orange TreeThe Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on February 26, 2019
Genres: Fiction / Coming of Age, Fiction / Fantasy / Epic, Fiction / Fantasy / General, Fiction / General, Fiction / LGBTQ+ / Gay, Fiction / LGBTQ+ / Lesbian, Fiction / Women
Pages: 848

The New York Times bestselling "epic feminist fantasy perfect for fans of Game of Thrones" (Bustle).

AMAZON (Top 100 Editors Picks and Science Fiction and Fantasy) * CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY * BOOKPAGE * AUTOSTRADDLE

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction--but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

This is a tome. The physical copy clocks in at over 800 pages, covers an entire fantasy world with various magic systems, political dynamics, and scales of conflict all within a standalone story. It definitely intimidated me at first and I hesitated picking this one up for awhile. Thankfully, Briana of @ibingebooks was willing to buddy read this one with me and that definitely helped me finally start this one. We both ended up sprinting through this one!

Firstly, I love a good cast of characters in novels, and Priory brought me some new all time favorites. Ead and Nayimathun are definitely the standout favorites of this story for me, but the vast majority of the characters were ones I enjoyed reading about. There are multiple storylines, each with their own main and side characters, so establishing the dynamics and development of them all did take time in the beginning. However, the wait was worth it. There was a sapphic slow burn romance, excellent friendships, dragons of all different sorts, and political intrigue that all unfolds across the page.

The story itself establishes slowly in the beginning while the characters take center stage. However, each storyline takes its turn having fast paced moments that help move along the first part. After the main players are established, the pacing picks up and the story gains momentum quickly. There are some side storylines I didn’t think carried the impact the same as others, and I wanted a little more page time on the big central action scenes, but overall this 800+ page story kept me glued for at least half of the novel.

Overall, Priory of the Orange Tree is a fantastic fantasy standalone. It definitely can be daunting to get into given its scope, but I thought the payoff was worth it and this makes a fantastic buddy read.

Have you read this one? What’s a tome you want to tackle on your TBR?

Thanks for stopping by!


One thought on “Review: The Priory of the Orange Tree

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: