Book Review: The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

29774026._uy1125_ss1125_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.

Book Review:

Let’s be honest here – the ARC of this book is so intimidating that I, personally, don’t even want to pick it up. But there’s this one night when the book was calling me and I didn’t know that by picking up the book and reading the first page of the book will make me finish it.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon is one, if not good, of the best among fantasy books that I read last year. The eight hundred pages look intimidating? I kid you not. I need more from its world. The Kingdom of Inys, ruled by Queen Sabran, is yet to unfold and there are a lot of things to learn and to discover in their word.

I was completely stunned by how could Samantha Shannon creates a fantastical and ground-breaking world that is created with light and magic devised completely to the law of nature. I was in awe by the story that I don’t want to put the book down.

Queen Sabran is a majestic ruler. She knows where she stands and what she wants. I would like to praise her for what she does to the country. No matter what her decision is it is because of the diplomatic and remarkable relationship between kingdoms despite the political issues inside her own country. Meanwhile, Ead Duryan, on the other hand, is completely saving Queen Sabran to potential assassins that are after the Queen’s life. It is said that only the Queen having an heir could prevent the rise of an old enemy. Ead Duryan is preventing this to happen. And no one knows what the truth behind Ead.

What I really liked about this book is that it shows a lot of human emotions. There are strong women, vulnerable women, transparent women, and yet striving women. The feminism in this book is so distinct that you couldn’t help just to fall in love with the characters.

It was commendable when you figure how each character correlates and at some point influence the decisions of the other characters. It feels like I am watching a craft, grinding, starting to shape on its own with my own eyes. I am applauding Samantha Shannon here because she was able to write this book swiftly and in a fast-paced setting that the characters doesn’t feel like they belong to a fictional world, instead, they feel like a person on their own with their own attitude and personality.

I noticed that Shannon has a way in her words that you just wanted to get lost and at the same time, there’s this magic how she interconnects the characters, the law of magic, and its role in the book.

Truthfully, I believe Samantha Shannon just raised it stakes to Young Adult Fantasy. This book is a remarkable representation of fierce women that tries to shape the future of the world. And at the same time, interweaves with few characters that I, specifically, like. Also, I need more appearance of Arteloth. I am really hoping that he will have his own companion book or at least sequel, or perhaps a whole different book focus on his journey?

May there be questions left unanswered at the end, I am still hoping that Samantha Shannon will write more – and she should be – books from this world. It holds power and quality and definitely a novel worthy to be read. And it is for us to discover in the future what the world would let us see the story that has yet to reveal.

Check out these blogs for further book reviews from The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon: Literary Weaponry, Sammy’s Shelf, and Always Love To Read a Lot!


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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. Film and TV rights were acquired by the Imaginarium Studios. The Mime Order followed in 2015 and The Song Rising in 2017.

Her next novel, The Priory of the Orange Tree, will be published in February 2019. Her work has been translated into twenty-six languages. She lives in London.


5 thoughts on “Book Review: The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

  1. The cover is gorgeous and really gives of the fantasy vibe! I’ll have to pick this up at some point or the other especially since for some reason I’ve been reading less fantasy? Well anyway, I think in an alternate universe I would have judged this book by its cover and got it anyway. Great review!


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