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.

August 2020 Book Haul

Well, if my August reading experiment taught me anything it’s that I really love books. So much so that I bought 7 books in the month of August.

I mean, let’s be honest, I already knew I loved books, this just gave me an excuse to buy more books.

Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. This is the story of Achilles and Patroclus. The two forge an unexpected bond after being brought together by chance. But can they fight what cruelty fate has in store for them?

Recursion by Blake Crouch. An epidemic like no other is sweeping the world, driving it victims mad with visions of a life they haven’t lived. In NYC, Det. Barry Sutton is close to finding the truth, and in a remote lab Dr. Helena Smith unknowingly hold the key to finding the truth.

To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers. Thanks to synthetic biological supplementations, humans have mastered spaceflight. Ariadne O’Neill and her crew mates are fifteen lightyears away from Earth on a mission to survey habitable worlds. But as they work, Earth has changed.

How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse by K. Eason. Rory Thorne is a princess with thirteen fairy blessings. She is also the oldest child and heir to her fathers throne. But then her father is assassinated, her mother gives birth to a son, and she is betrothed to a prince from a far off world.

Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne. There is a Chosen One, but he is not like any Chosen One you have ever heard about. And there’s this faraway kingdom, but nowhere is quite like the magical world of Pell. And when their quest goes wrong, it’s up to the talking goat, a mighty warrior, an assassin whose afraid of chickens, and a cursed bard to make everything better.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik. Agnieszka loves her quiet village home. But the terrible Woods lie on the border. She and her people count on the cold wizard known to them only as the Dragon to keep the Woods in check. But the village must pay a terrible price for his help. Every ten years a young woman is sent to serve him.

White Fragility, Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Race by Robin DiAngelo. This one is pretty much about what it says in the title.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix. Set in the 90’s, this book is about Patricia, who is attacked on night by her neighbor after leaving her book club. This brings her neighbors handsome nephew, James, into her life. But when children go missing, Patricia begins to suspect James, who turns out to be a new kind of monster.

Well, there are all the books I got in August. Not counting the ones I pre-ordered. Or the 24 I have left in my Amazon cart. Book tube and Book tok making me want to buy all the books!