Review: The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samathan Shannon


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 to be a dragonrider since she was a child, 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.

My Thoughts

We may be small, and we may be young, but we will shake the world for our beliefs..


This is another book that has been on my radar ever since its release, but I keep putting it off until recently, and now I regret it immensely. It might have taken me some time to get through this thick volume, but the time spent with it was so worth it in the long run. I could also understand why other readers who’ve already read this one before couldn’t form any concrete summaries or descriptions about it – and now I finally understand why. It also now deserves a spot in my top 2020 favorites, and also in my most favorite books list!

This is just a unique book for everyone who loves epic high fantasy as much as I do. And dragons – tons of dragons.

I learned around halfway through the book that this was a play on a British folk legend called “George and the Dragon”, so I had to search was it was about. I could definitely see the concept it was rooted from, but it was just so much more.

I’ve read the author’s The Bone Season series before, so I was already expecting a lot of character work and world building from the very start – and I was not disappointed. The story began very slowly at first, since it was introducing a lot of concepts and characters (almost feeling a huge info dump), but as soon as you pass the first 10-15% of the book, everything starts to make sense and a reader could easily keep up with the story flow until it gets faster and more intense. The author is definitely a master in creating very vivid and complex descriptions of her world that it’s so easy to be able to picture it in your head. I really love how she mixed a lot of cultures that speaks for almost all parts of the real world, and put her own spin towards it. It’s all complete from the political system, religion, festivals, clothes, and even the food! Not to mention that it also features LGBTQ+ characters that we need to see more of in epic fantasy novels. This book has a lot of diversity filled in its pages that I really enjoyed and admired.

I always love an epic fantasy that has a lot of court intrigue, politics, warfare, and world conflict – and it delivered. The problems the characters were facing both from internal and external forces really drove the story forward, and it was an enjoyable ride to see all of them solve it. There is also a lot of adventure that happened between the areas of the world that I absolutely love, and it was so exciting to see all the different pieces and stories from the beginning finally merge and come to fruition. I’m not a huge fan of romance being a major driving factor in my epic fantasy stories, but I appreciated the little snippets of romance scattered across this book that just complimented the story more.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. It just needs a bit of time and patience, but it will be worth it in the long run.

 “Some truths are safest buried. Some castles best kept in the sky. There’s promise in tales that are yet to be spoken.”

My Rating

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

About The Author

T.J. Klune (Author of The House in the Cerulean Sea)

Samantha Shannon studied English Language and Literature at St. Anne’s College, Oxford. The Bone Season, the first in a seven-book series, was a New York Times bestseller and the inaugural Today Book Club selection.

Her next novel, The Priory of the Orange Tree, was published in February 2019 and became a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller. Her work has been translated into twenty-six languages. She lives in London.

Author Website | Twitter

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