The Priory of the Orange Tree – A Book Review

The Priory of the Orange Tree was written by Samantha Shannon

As I sat down to write this review, which was right after finishing the book, I realized that I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about it.

The premise: The kingdom of Inys has stood for a thousand years, and at it’s heart lies it’s queen, Sabran. Now it’s time for Sabran to do her duty and conceive an heir, but evil lurks in the shadows. A plot to undo her kingdom is at hand, and an ancient Dragon awakens in the deep.

This 800 page fantasy book is 3 parts political drama 1 part fantasy story. With a little queer romance thrown in just for good measure. And I’m not the biggest fan of pure political drama if I’m going to be honest. To much real political drama in the world, thank you very much!

The world building is the book was excellently done. Like, superbly done. The author paints a chaotic landscape in fear of the apocalypse to come.

The character building was well done. Sabran, Ead, Margret, TanĂ©, Loth, Nicklays, and all the rest are very well fleshed out with strong backstories. They all have growth, if not all in the ways that you expect (here’s looking at you unexpected queer relationships!).

The plot, well that, that is where I have some problems. Overall, it’s good. The story is engaging and the world is thriving. But I had some problems with the little bits. Some things happened too slowly, some too quickly. There was an awful lot of “if it could go wrong, it will go wrong” happening here. But again, overall, it’s a good plot, with plenty of momentum to pull the story forward.

On the whole, the book was pretty good. I gave it 3.75 out of 5 stars.

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