Maddy‘s Review of The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
It took me a couple hundred pages to get into the book, but after that I was really intrigued. There were some pacing issues and I think the book could have been shorter. Overall though I enjoyed the book. Later in the story it started to pick up and was a beautiful high fantasy read. I think the ending could have been longer though, there was buildup for most of the story and in the last 20 pages everything was wrapped up. Maybe there could have been an extra 20 pages or so to add more to the ending.
The characters were great, especially Ead and Tané. I liked following Ead’s relationship with Sabran and others in the court. It was wonderful having a high fantasy with so many strong and well fleshed out female characters. All of the characters were well written, and we got enough time with each main character to get to know them well. I loved learning and the different dragons and reading about them. It’s not a given that dragons will be well written and interesting in a high fantasy world, yet it was here. I can’t wait to read the standalone prequel and learn more about this world Shannon created.
Priory of the Orange Tree is about a world divided. There is: Queen Sabran, who needs to conceive an heir to save her realm from destruction. Ead, who is an outsider and becomes a lady-in-waiting, but has some secrets. Tané, a woman who has trained to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could unravel her life. And there is a danger that could destroy the world; the Nameless One. The East and West will need to work together to destroy this danger, but will they be able to bypass the past and all of the bad blood?
The world building is amazing, some of the best that I have seen in a while. There were dragons, pirates, magic, and secrets. What else could one want in a high fantasy? I liked seeing different characters from the East and the West, following their stories and learning more about why they hate each other.
Author: Samantha Shannon
Stars: 4 out of 5