Book Review: The Priory of the Orange Tree

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

The Rating: 5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Review:

A world divided.

A queendom without an heir.

An ancient enemy awakens.

It’s officially been two weeks since I finished reading The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, and I can safely say that I am still not over this book!

Let me begin by saying thank you so much to the team at Bloomsbury for sending me a copy to review.  When I received the email telling me that my application had been successful, I had to try very hard not to squeal with excitement at my desk (I was at work)!  This is one of my most anticipated books of 2019, and it has become one of my favourite books – ever.

This epic saga (it’s 800 pages, I’m allowed to call it that) follows four characters on their very different journeys:

Ead, a courtier with a hidden past trying to protect the Queen of Inys. 

Tane, a girl on the brink of realising her dream of becoming a dragon rider.

Niclays, an alchemist in exile who wants nothing more than to return home.

Arteloth, Ead’s friend and confidant who has been sent on a seemingly impossible quest.

Samantha weaves together the stories of these four characters and those around them with the skill of a medieval bard.  The writing in this book is beautiful – you can tell that she has spent hours going over each word to make sure it’s the perfect one.  The story feels ancient and new at the same time; like it’s been lost in an old book somewhere and Samantha has discovered it and reworked it especially for us.

The book itself is split into six parts.  The first part is by far the longest, coming in at over 250 pages, and this is the one that I found the slowest to read. That’s not because I didn’t enjoy it – there’s just quite a lot of story to get through!  This is where you get to know Samantha’s world and her characters.  If possible, I’d recommend trying to read this part in one go, just because it really gets you into the heart of the action!

Once you’ve finished Part One, the story really gets moving and becomes everything you could want from a high fantasy novel.  There are intrigues and scandals, plots and battles, sorcery, spells and talking dragons! I really can’t say more without giving the game away, but just think of all of your favourite things about fantasy books and know that this one has them all.

In the end, I was torn between racing to finish this story and taking as long as possible, because I didn’t want to leave this world or these characters behind.  The Priory of the Orange Tree is a stand-alone novel, but I hope that Samantha returns to this world at some point in the future.  She has definitely left enough scope to tell further stories of Inys, and I will be there for each and every one!

Thank you, Samantha Shannon, for writing such an incredible book!

To everyone else, get The Priory of the Orange Tree on your TBR list!! It releases on 26 February 2019!

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