Priory of the Orange Tree REVIEW
I could tell by page 30 that this was going to be such a complex, gigantic story and that I was going to fall in love with each of these characters, and I was right. I want to do this review a little differently by giving pros and cons instead of a full blown written out review.
As far as plot description, I think it’s best to just let the synopsis do it’s job:
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.
- Diverse cast of characters, mainly women which is something that is sorely lacking in epic fantasy. My favorite character was definitely Ead, with Loth and his sister Margaret as a close second and third.
- IMPRESSIVE world building. This is something that I absolutely have to have in a book, and I still want to know more about this world and it’s history!
- There are two different parts of this world, the East and the West. The east reveres dragons while in the west they are feared.
- The action and dialogue between characters was so satisfying and their interactions really showcased each of the characters personalities.
- Fantastic character arcs. The characters from the more close-minded countries (Sabran, Loth, and Tane, specifically) grew so much in not only their understanding of themselves but of the world in general and it was so pleasant to see that.
- For an 800+ page book, this went by so FAST. I think part of that has to do with Samantha Shannon’s writing style. Each section flowed nicely into the next and the pacing was excellent.
- Honestly I could go on and on about how fantastic this book was. If I sas to write a book myself, I can only hope it would be half as good as this was.
- The magic system was really interesting to learn about! I loved the use of riddles and “prophecies” throughout the book, and the revelations about our characters ancestors were really fun to learn about!
- I wish we could’ve spent more time on the major battles of the book. We spent a lot of time working up to it, but then it was over so quickly! I wanted more of that scene and higher stakes, but that may come from my love of fantasies such as A Song of Ice and Fire.
- Is wanting a sequel a negative? Because I definitely want to see more of these characters and this world and I hate that it’s over.
- I wish we could’ve seen more of Tane and her search for her history, because everything about her character’s background felt like it was unfinished, but of course Samantha did say that this world has more stories to tell, so maybe we will get this later on!
- I wanted to see more dragons! They were there, but I wanted to see more of them and learn more about their culture and where they came from.