The Priory of the Orange Treeby Published 26 Feb 2019
|The Priory of the Orange Tree.pdf|
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.
"The Priory of the Orange Tree" Reviews
I'm NOT DNFing... I'm just putting this down for now, because I just can't immerse myself in this story for some reason! But I promise to try again before the year is over! <3
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hit me with those 800 pages of high fantasy cause that's the only acceptable way to murder me fyi
As a huge Tolkien fan, and one who considers his writing to be the very best fantasy has to offer, I don’t often compare other books to his works (at least not in a positive way.) Simply because there is very rarely a good comparison to be made. Every great work of fantasy has felt somewhat shallow in contrast to the deep pool of imagination he conjured with his words. Nothing cuts it. Nothing competes.
However, with this I do venture to make a comparison. I do venture to concur with the blurb Laura Eve has provided this book with; this is a “feminist successor to The Lord of the Rings” because it is a story told with grace and infused with rich history and lore in its gloriously huge scope: it is magnificent in every regard. It’s all about the girl power here! I recommend this to readers who enjoy female driven fantasy that is also carefully paced like the works of Robin Hobb, Tad Williams and Chris Wooding.
So, what makes this book so excellent and what makes it stand out against a plethora of other fine fantasy novels on the market today? For me, and I do not doubt for many other readers too, this ticks every box. Not only do we have real characters, and by real I mean characters so well-written that they actually begin to leap out of the page as they battle their internal conflicts and self-doubt, but we also have a world with a huge past. And the characters are driven by it as they try to live up to the example their ancestors set. They are trying to be better people, more worthy people. I loved this constant drive, it made the world feel old and like we have only glimpsed but a fraction of its vast timeline that has spanned ages. There so much more here, so much room for more stories. And if I go away from a book this large wanting more, then that’s a very good sign indeed.
The plot rests on the threat of The Nameless One returning. It’s a giant dragon that threatens to destroy the world and all in it if the eastern and western kingdoms cannot put aside their differences and unite in order to destroy the monumental threat. Much of the novel is dedicated to the unification of the two factions, and several characters have many different ideas about how exactly this should be done ranging from assassination to simple negotiation. It’s a colourful story of witchcraft and romance, of dragons and political intrigue, of treachery and love and one that continued to surprise me until the very end.
It’s also worth briefly mentioning here that I did not like the author’s series The Bone Season. It was too young adult for my taste, but I clearly loved this. So, I really do urge other readers to try this regardless of what you thought about Samantha Shannon’s other work. This is completely different, and I don’t hesitate to say that this will be one of the biggest fantasy releases this year. Don’t miss it, it’s incredible.
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Epic battle between good and evil for the control of the world!
Overall I really enjoyed this new fantasy book.
The world was complex and interesting but since it's a standalone and that you're following 4 main POV it got quite overwhelming at times. Lots of names, places, histories to follow but it gets better. The magic system was great, the plot was intriguing and so were most of the characters. Also, dragons, pirates and magic. Need I say more?!
I would love to read more adventures in this world!
The other things that bothered me were fairly minor but I'm curious to see if anyone else felt the same.
Every time a character died, even when it was one that I liked, I felt quite detached from it because it was sudden and it didn't feel like it brought a lot to the story. It felt like the authors needed a few of them to perish since this book is about an epic war.
The writing during the battles also didn't really work for me but I'm having trouble pinpointing exactly why. All I know is that it was one of the weaknesses of the book. Lastly, the battle at the end that we wait for throughout the whole book was... very quick and lukewarm.
Still I recommend it!
I just need it said that I've been calling this book "The Priority of the Orange Tree" for months, thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.
XXXXXX “All the world is a cage in a young girl's eyes.” XXXXXX
I wanted to finish this yesterday because it was International Women's Day and this book is everything I have ever wanted to see in the Epic Fantasy genre since I was a little girl - but you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and (wo)men. I digress.
From the very beginning this book pulled me in and I held on for dear life. The world building felt natural and progressed at a pace that kept me interested in the plot but not overwhelmed. Shannon weaved a beautiful web from Eastern and Western mythology, and infused it with this badass womanly energy that makes me so excited to see the ripple effect.
“We may be small, and we may be young, but we will shake the world for our beliefs.”
The book changes POVs from place to place instead of character, so you get glimpses of what is going on in the East, West and South as the story progresses. What I found so interesting in this book is that usually, when I deal with a POV change I'm annoyed because I wanna see everything play out, or I like one character better, but in Priory everything was just so well timed and executed to perfection.
Can I also say, props to the author for making this standalone and a self-contained story in itself and not dragging it out in book after book just to cash grab like a lot of authors choose to do. And there is so much beauty in the fact that this is one gorgeous tale on its own. It is magical, and powerful, and dramatic, and an adventure from beginning to end.
I think there is something so unique in fantasy that is unlike any other genre, where anything is possible and we are not bound by the boring and often stifling constrictions and preconceived notions. If there are dragons and wyrms and magic than why not Queendoms, and societies where the women are the ones trained to fight, and it is just as common for a man to marry another man than it is for him to marry a woman.
I really don't want to say too much about the story because I find so much joy in walking into a brand new world. But I looked back on my updates while I was reading this and this is what I experienced: goosebumps, edge of your seat excitement, awe when faced with such beautiful storytelling skill, surprise as nothing went down how I thought it would, shock because HOLY. MORTHERFORKING. SHIRTBALLS. BATMAN, and just so much contentment in knowing there's a book like this out there now.