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The Roots of Chaos #1

The Priory of the Orange Tree

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Fantasy (2019)
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 to be a dragonrider since she was a child, 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.

848 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 26, 2019

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About the author

Samantha Shannon

29 books21.4k followers
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.

Her next novel, The Priory of the Orange Tree, was published in February 2019 and became a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller. Her work has been translated into twenty-six languages. She lives in London.

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Profile Image for chai ♡.
322 reviews156k followers
August 11, 2022
I feel like a thread of my heart had snagged in The Priory of The Orange Tree and is still trying to tug me back in. I barely felt time passing, and when I finished reading, I had the strange experience of looking up from the pages, feeling dreamy and obscure and so keenly aware of the world around me, almost to an abject degree. The same experience of waking up just as the last vestiges of some delightful nocturnal adventure are disappearing. This, I've come to realize, is the hallmark of a great book.

Without surrendering any spoilers, the story goes like this:

After a millennium of peace, rumors of the Nameless One’s return—gliding vulture-like in the skies above—had finally descended and sunk in their claws for good.

Legend goes that Galian Berethnet, wielding the mythical sword Ascalon, succeeded in drawing borders around the Nameless One’s power and consigning him to the Abyss, but whatever he did is melting away and the fire-breathing dragon will surge back with a vengeance, doling death in his wake. In this world, there are three empires at the brink of war—with one another, and within themselves.

In the countries of the West, House Berethnet are lost in the details of their own legend, rolling words like boulders about their queen, Sabran the Ninth, being the sacred source of the monster’s bindings. Here, dragons had only to be mentioned and hatred sang bright in the people, like a defensive reaction to their name. Sabran is their last hope, but it’s difficult to see where that hope could possibly bear fruit when the lies about her ancestry are wearing thin, unveiling the truth beneath: that the legend of Galian Berethnet is merely a phantasm—a scrap of useless myth dancing on a string.

In the South, a secret order of female mages called the Priory venerates the Mother. Pledged to this society is Ead Duryan who is sent undercover as a lady-in-waiting in Sabran’s court to protect the queen’s life, in case she is revealed to be the key to thwarting the monster after all. But when the breadth of the Priory’s instruction expands, the line of Ead’s responsibility is trying to draw her back, and the current of her growing, unsuitable affection is pulling her towards Sabran.

In the East, where the more benevolent water-dragons are revered as gods, young Tané, a dragon-rider in training, dithers between pitiless ambition and necessary caution when she happens upon a Western seafarer on the borders, and in the end, unable to measure the perils one way and the other, it’s her nature that wins out: Tané decides not to report him to the authorities and risk being suspected of carrying the plague, and in doing so, unknowingly sets into motion a plot of abysmal proportions.

Although the knowing of the Nameless One’s return and how to defeat him is a blurry, shadowed thing, the three empires feel the horror of it like the weight of an uninvited body. Like trains on a single-track rushing inexorably toward each other, Tané, Ead and Sabran are hurled along their respective storylines until they inevitably crash in a tangle of strife and fatality.

Overwhelmed by a sense of their own destinies, their differences become lightweight. This is a danger, a disaster, a calamity—and they alone can stop it.

“In darkness, we are naked. Our truest selves. Night is when fear comes to us at its fullest, when we have no way to fight it,” Ead continued. “It will do everything it can to seep inside you. Sometimes it may succeed—but never think that you are the night.”

As you've probably already garnered from the above summary, the scope of The Priory of The Orange Tree is majestic, brimming with detail and ideas and teeming with characters, languages, and perspectives. Though this is a single novel, it feels rather like several books meticulously stitched together. In lesser hands, it would be a bewildering welter. Fortunately for us, Shannon possesses the inerrant skills to make it all come together so splendidly.

And therein lies the book's greatest triumph for me: that despite so many moving parts, what beams through is the author’s concern with language, the supple twisting of the narrative spine, the minute turnings of characters and their choices, the web of moving relationships and how all those ripples affect players continents away. Shannon gathers myriad old tales and turns them into something all kinds of vibrant and new. She makes sure the readers are always thinking about and learning about the various nations, cultures, and histories that make up this vast, sweeping world. And she does so in writing so suffused with love and enthusiasm for storytelling, with sentences coiling around like the serpentine tail of a dragon itself, enshrouding the reader in a conspiracy which had begun a millennium before and ends exactly where it must.

Shannon also employs multiple narrative voices in The Priory of the Orange Tree. The cast is sprawling, but the novel is deft at braiding their lives together, which is an incredible feat as the characters are separated by continents and disparate systems of beliefs. It would be a mistake to believe that dragons are this book's beating heart. Their formidable shadows never once overwhelm the vividly drawn and gloriously complicated characters. Rather, the bulk of the book is about the characters as they grow, learn, and face the insidious and inexorable threat of the Nameless One.

I am in love with every single woman in this book, where they are queens, warriors, scientists, and pirates—strong and powerful and brilliant and hungry. And I want to talk about each of them:

Queen Sabran the Ninth carries herself like a woman used to having her words listened to and acted upon instantly. She built around herself a camouflage, and learned how to hold a world of incertitude within her without a single crack in her exterior calm. And that was only half the price. Sabran's duty was whittled down to begetting heirs, and though her exhaustion and looming mortality were wearing her down, and her humanity slowly chipped away with rumors of divinity, she refused to exist like a bird bred inside a gilded cage. Sabran's character is so heartbreakingly flesh and blood, human in all the ways she was flawed. As she learns more about the world beyond her queendom, narrative grows threaded with a series of uncomfortable truths and brutal observations. The stories Sabran had been taught are at so many removes they bear only the most tangential relation to the truth, and it’s not until she accepts it that a crack opens in the wall of ice in her mind. Sabran wants to save her people, but to do, she must smooth feathers ruffled by the winds of change, and try to lead them out of fear of the South and East.

We don’t get Sabran’s POV in this book and so her mind remains half in shadow until the right confidante appears—Ead Duryan. Sabran and Ead were each other’s person, each other’s place. Their moments together put so much heart in me. But Ead and Sabran are two separate planets, each with its own gravitational pull and orbit, and the weight of their duties piled like mountains atop their shoulders. Shannon’s insistence on their agency never quells, but I love how she also doesn’t disallow them the ineffable and aching experience of love and affection.

“You remember the first day we walked together. You told me about the lovejay, and how it always knows its partner’s song, even if they have been long apart,” Ead whispered to her. “My heart knows your song, as yours knows mine. And I will always come back to you.”
“I will hold you to that, Eadaz uq-Nāra.”

Next, Tané! Tané’s childish dreams dwindled to one: being a dragon rider. She fed that ambition with any scrap she could lay her hands on, and when there was nothing to feed it, she nourished it with some stubborn faith of her own making. I really liked Tané’s character and I hoarded her interactions with the great Nayimathun like a touch-starved dragon. In many ways, Tané is as aloof and competent as Sabran, just as tough-minded and solitary in her habits, and in many ways, just as fragile too. Tané is often tormented with a keen sense of inadequacy and failure which grows keener when one irreversible mistake suddenly creates for her an expendable past, disposable as a plastic cup—and it’s the hideous despair of having finally found the place that fits, the place where you belong, before being yanked back into loneliness.

Tané's character development is as masterful and as deeply affecting as Ead's and Sabran's. But Shannon’s depth of character doesn’t end with Ead, Sabran and Tané. One other major viewpoint explored in this book is that of Niclays Roos, an alchemist who persuaded a young—and naïve—Queen Sabran of his ability to brew an elixir of immortality for her, and whose failure in doing so earns him a long exile to the Island of Orisima where Niclays has only to glance over his shoulder for all the years to drop away and for him to see it behind him again, a picture that will never desert him: of the man he loved and lost, and the people he let down since it’s been one long slide into the bottom of a wine bottle.

Niclays, strangely, is the character that I connected to the most. Maybe because every fault of his is laid bare—every flaw, every weakness, every selfishness, the multitudes of shames he carried. He’s a self-confessed coward, too wane-hearted to show true courage, and everything he did, he did it selfishly, in bitter heart. But grief does a lot of strange things, and while I wouldn’t consider Niclays a very good person, neither can I bring myself to believe that he is an irredeemably bad one either. Pity and sorrow for him welled up through me, hot enough to burn away both blame and resentment. While reading, I often wondered if it were his own wiles that had planted this seed of madness inside him, or if he were too soaked in solitude and grief to be his old self, yet all the same, I felt something deep between my lungs crack clean in two reading his chapters. His character development is a heart-breaker (I could barely glimpse the pages through my tears), yet it’s one of the things I relished most about this book.

Lord “Loth” Arteloth, Sabran’s closest friend, is also a very intriguing character. He is a man who is nobly built, notably arraigned, and nobly positioned, cloaked in diplomacy and compromise, and born with his heart on the outside of his body. Yet, it isn't until he is backed up to the world’s edge that he starts pushing his mind past its limits of understanding to encompass worlds beyond his own, and realizing that he had long been locked out of them by his own innocence and naivety. This made his arc such a rewarding experience.

“Would the world be any better if we were all the same?”

In many senses, all the characters undergo this same aspect of masterly written character development: their lives were studded with facts they’ve known beyond the shadow of the doubt, yet never with any proof to back them up. It was just the way things were. And it takes them being faced with calamity to stop seeing the world through such a narrowed lens and learn to come together on the other side of their differences. It isn’t lost on me that this, in many ways, borrows deeply into our everyday truths. Nor is it, I suspect, lost on Shannon either, who pours so much tenderness, care and attention into her story and characters.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book, and I cannot recommend it highly enough! It's quite a chunky read, but believe me, despite its length, you will be sad to walk away from it.

If you liked this review or found it useful and are feeling generous, please consider supporting me on ko-fi !
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Emily.
297 reviews1,551 followers
April 15, 2019
Okay, so. I finished this behemoth.

Was it good? .... I don't know. I enjoyed it for the most part. Certain aspects of this book absolutely SOARED. But overall it is waaaaaaaay too long, and the plot is a bit of a mess. The word that comes to mind is inelegant. Given how much space Shannon has to set the stage for an intricate plot, I was left pretty disappointed on that front.

What this book does well: the love story. Despite the fact that this book has four perspectives, Ead's story is clearly the tentpole for the whole book. And Ead has an INCREDIBLE queer love story! There is such a dearth of f/f love stories in fantasy, particularly f/f love stories that don't fetishize lesbian relationships. We get a beautifully told romance between two complicated, well-developed ladies. I loved it.

But alas, the plot. The plot isn't bad per say, but it's also nothing to get excited about. The down beats, which are certainly essential to a story, were a bit too slow. And in a book that's over 800 pages, that can make reading a slog at times.

The biggest disappointment, for me, was that almost every climatic moment--almost every big twist, every big emotional scene--was sloppy. I think this book falls for the idea that a completely suprising plot twist is the same as a good one. That's a common misconception. A good plot twist is one that doesn't feel contrived, and still either surprises or delights the reader--to a degree. I would prefer a well set-up plot twist that I guessed earlier in the book than one that feels contrived.

The twists in this felt contrived. The amount of explaining that happened post-twist is, to me, indicative of a lack of coherent set-up. The timelines for the emotional climaxes didn't make sense. And what left me feeling the most frustrated was that so many of these things were very easily fixable.

One example, at a sentence level, that stuck out to me and seemed representative of all of my issues with the plot (edited slightly to remove spoilers):
One character is looking down at their lover, who has a wound on their face that has been stitched up. Another character enters, hugs character one, and then says "It's over. He's dead."

Now, this is not in reference to the character lying prone, wounded in the face. It's about another character. Why would you use a pronoun here? It's very easy to just use a name. The pronoun, given the context of the scene, invites confusion. There is an INCREDIBLY easy fix for this!!!!

I also have some... thoughts... about the gender politics of this world. On the one hand it's incredibly refreshing to see women just casually treated as capable and strong and competent. Love that! Love that it's just there and doesn't need to be commented on!! A rarity in high fantasy books. On the other hand, that also just... didn't make sense to me?

Hear me out. One of the kingdoms in this book was founded by a dude who takes credit for something that a woman did, sanctifies HIMSELF, creates a religion around HIMSELF that is highly structured and more than a bit repressive. It's also worth noting that the language used in this religion is verrryyyyy reminiscent of the chivalric tradition. Basically, the set up for this society reeks of a misogynistic patriarchy. But that's not what we get! Instead, it's a matriarchy with lots of badass ladies. There's some discussion of how the queens are often reduced to their wombs, a teeeeensie bit about how women often act at the gatekeepers and enforcers of patriarchal structures. But there's not much. The logic of the world, in this specific instance, just didn't make sense to me. I think Shannon was trying to push back against the notion that you HAVE to depict the oppression of women in high fantasy, which I think is a very admirable goal. But the world doesn't work. The set up would make sense if Shannon wanted to subvert some of the tropes that are unfortunately all too common in high fantasy, but she doesn't do that. The history of this particular society feels incongruous with its contemporary culture, and we aren't given any additional context to bridge that gap.

I still largely had fun while reading this. The magic was interesting, if the language was weird (star rot?? That's really what you're going to call a magical substance????). The love story kept me reading, but ultimately this left me feeling conflicted. I'm settling on three stars (though I debated giving it two), because I did mostly have fun. But the issues this book had were pretty glaring, and I think it's worth noting just how long it took me to finish this book...
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,119 reviews44.8k followers
April 28, 2020
As a huge Tolkien fan, and one who considers his writing to be the very best fantasy has to offer, I don’t often compare other books to his works (at least not in a positive way.) Simply because there is very rarely a good comparison to be made. Every great work of fantasy has felt somewhat shallow in contrast to the deep pool of imagination he conjured with his words. Nothing cuts it. Nothing competes.

However, with this I do venture to make a comparison. I do venture to concur with the blurb Laura Eve has provided this book with; this is a “feminist successor to The Lord of the Rings” because it is a story told with grace and infused with rich history and lore in its gloriously huge scope: it is magnificent in every regard. It’s all about the girl power here! I recommend this to readers who enjoy female driven fantasy that is also carefully paced like the works of Robin Hobb, Tad Williams and Chris Wooding.

So, what makes this book so excellent and what makes it stand out against a plethora of other fine fantasy novels on the market today? For me, and I do not doubt for many other readers too, this ticks every box. Not only do we have real characters, and by real I mean characters so well-written that they actually begin to leap out of the page as they battle their internal conflicts and self-doubt, but we also have a world with a huge past. And the characters are driven by it as they try to live up to the example their ancestors set. They are trying to be better people, more worthy people. I loved this constant drive, it made the world feel old and like we have only glimpsed but a fraction of its vast timeline that has spanned ages. There so much more here, so much room for more stories. And if I go away from a book this large wanting more, then that’s a very good sign indeed.

The plot rests on the threat of The Nameless One returning. It’s a giant dragon that threatens to destroy the world and all in it if the eastern and western kingdoms cannot put aside their differences and unite in order to destroy the monumental threat. Much of the novel is dedicated to the unification of the two factions, and several characters have many different ideas about how exactly this should be done ranging from assassination to simple negotiation. It’s a colourful story of witchcraft and romance, of dragons and political intrigue, of treachery and love and one that continued to surprise me until the very end.

It’s also worth briefly mentioning here that I did not like the author’s series The Bone Season. It was too young adult for my taste, but I clearly loved this. So, I really do urge other readers to try this regardless of what you thought about Samantha Shannon’s other work. This is completely different, and I don’t hesitate to say that this will be one of the biggest fantasy releases this year. Don’t miss it, it’s incredible.


You can connect with me on social media via My Linktree.
Profile Image for Rick Riordan.
Author 259 books409k followers
January 20, 2020
Oh, this brilliant fantasy! Set in an intricate quasi-Early Modern world where Eastern and Western cultures exist in an uneasy truce, PRIORY follows a large cast of characters in many nations as they prepare for the return of the Nameless One, the great evil dragon who was banished a thousand years ago, and who is now poised to make his big comeback and burn the mortal world to ashes. There are two basic types of dragons: the fire-breathing wyrms of the West (Bad dragon! Bad dragon!), who are considered evil demonic creatures only fit to be killed by chivalrous knights, and the noble water-and-sky-dwelling dragons of the East, who are revered as living gods. As you can guess, the Eastern lands and Western lands have a bit of a cultural disconnect over how they view their draconian neighbors. Centuries ago, the Eastern dragons fought with their dragon rider allies against the Nameless One, but that fact is lost on the Westerners, who consider all dragons to be evil. Now that the Nameless One is rising again, the world’s only hope may be if East and West can somehow work together, which seems unlikely.

The story is a tapestry of viewpoints, all of them lovely, but the main protagonists are two young women. In the West is Ead, a mage warrior from the Priory of the Orange Tree, a secret order charged with battling wyrms and protecting humankind in the name of the Mother, their founder who once battled the Nameless One. Ead is dispatched to guard Queen Sabran of Virtuedom, descendant of the Mother, who may be the key to stopping the Nameless One’s rise. Only one problem: Magic is not allowed in Virtuedom, so Ead must disguise herself as a handmaiden while ninja-ing around the palace and slaying assassins like a badass. Okay, maybe two problems: Hypothetically speaking, what would happen if Ead started to develop feelings for the queen she was protecting? That might complicate things just a bit . . . Meanwhile in the East, Tané has been training all her life to become a dragon rider, but when she finally gets her chance, everything seems to go wrong. She must overcome tragedy and disgrace if she is to save her own reputation, her dragon’s life, and the fate of her entire world, but no pressure. The scope of the book is similar to A Game of Thrones. The book is long, but never felt slow. If anything, the fast and furious pace made me want to take my time, because I sensed right away that I would be sad when I had to leave this world behind. What I really appreciated was the feminist worldview in which female knights and rulers were no more remarkable than dragons or mages. Gender equality was simply taken for granted. I learned a lot from that, and it challenged preconceptions I hadn’t been aware I had. Very much a stand-alone novel, Priory is an enthralling and complete read, but I still find myself hoping Ms. Shannon will revisit this world in future books. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,536 reviews9,961 followers
December 31, 2020
UPDATE: $1.99 Kindle US 12/31/20


I love this book so damn much!! I have this special edition, the kindle and the Audio! I loved so much about this book, the world, the people, the dragons! Ead is one of my favorite characters! I’m looking forward to savoring the Reread on Audio!!

I’m going to add a few excerpts and that’s me done!!

An enormous head towered over the fence of Orisima. It belonged to a creature born of jewel and sea.

Cloud steamed from its scales-scales of moonstone, so bright they seemed to glow from within. A crust of gemlike droplets glistened on each one. Each eye was a burning star, and each horn was quicksilver, agleam under the pallid moon. The creature flowed with the grace of a ribbon past the bridge and took to the skies, light and quiet as a paper kite.

A dragon. Even as it rose over Cape Hisan, others were ascending from the water, leaving a chill mist in their wake. Niclays presses a hand to the drumbeat in his chest.

"Now, what," he murmured, "are they doing here?"

Her bare feet lit upon the marble. As the cutthroat stepped into the Great Bedchamber, dagger aloft, she covered his mouth and drove her blade between his ribs.

The cutthroat bucked. Ead held fast, careful not to let a drop of blood spill on to her.


The dragon rose with the rest of her kin over the rooftops of the city. Water made flesh. As a mist of divine rain streamed from their scales, soaking the humans below, a Seiikinese male reared up, gathered his breathe, and expelled it in a mighty gust of wind.

Every bell in the temple rang out in answer.


As Fyredel unleashed his fire, so Ead broke the chains on her long-dormant power. Flame collided with ancient stone.

Happy Reading!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾


Profile Image for Samantha Shannon.
Author 29 books21.4k followers
April 21, 2022
Hiiiii, Goodreads.

This is my new book. I'm thrilled to finally be able to tell you more about it.

The Priory of the Orange Tree is an epic fantasy set in a world that is both like and unlike ours. I've been working on this book since 2015, and I've fallen in love with this setting and these characters. I can't wait for you to meet Ead, Tané, Sabran and the others – I hope you'll enjoy reading their story as much as I've enjoyed writing it.

I'm just popping in to let you know that there is a glossary and a character list at the back of the book. And yes, that is the correct page count. This book will hurt you if it falls on you. Be warned.



PS: The beautiful cover was designed by David Mann and illustrated by Ivan Belikov.

PPS: There won't be maps in the proofs, but they're being drawn up by the wonderful Emily Faccini for the finished editions.

PPPS: A prequel to The Priory of the Orange Tree is coming on 24 January 2023.
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
554 reviews60.5k followers
April 1, 2019
Epic battle between good and evil for the control of the world!

Overall I really enjoyed this new fantasy book.

The world was complex and interesting but since it's a standalone and that you're following 4 main POV it got quite overwhelming at times. Lots of names, places, histories to follow but it gets better. The magic system was great, the plot was intriguing and so were most of the characters. Also, dragons, pirates and magic. Need I say more?!

I would love to read more adventures in this world!

The other things that bothered me were fairly minor but I'm curious to see if anyone else felt the same.

Every time a character died, even when it was one that I liked, I felt quite detached from it because it was sudden and it didn't feel like it brought a lot to the story. It felt like the authors needed a few of them to perish since this book is about an epic war.

The writing during the battles also didn't really work for me but I'm having trouble pinpointing exactly why. All I know is that it was one of the weaknesses of the book. Lastly, the battle at the end that we wait for throughout the whole book was... very quick and lukewarm.

Still I recommend it!
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 6 books13.7k followers
April 3, 2020
hit me with those 800 pages of high fantasy cause that's the only acceptable way to murder me fyi
Profile Image for Maryam Rz..
220 reviews2,754 followers
May 22, 2021
You know when people are rushing somewhere and your curious soul feels helplessly tugged along and then you get there and go, oh, I think I just hit a gold mine.

That’s me with this book.

“We may be small, and we may be young, but we will shake the world for our beliefs.”

The Priory of the Orange Tree—or POT as I’ll call it from now on because I’m lazy—is what they declare the stuff of legend, a tale destined to be enshrined in song. Because this? This is “a brilliant, daring, and devastating jewel” and a unique, rich dragon of a book—both in size and magnificence. From “a masterpiece of intricate world-building” to “diverse, feminist, thought-provoking and masterfully told,” POT has been thrown many lines of acclamation and more and all are true and none are enough to paint this timeless, one of a kind yarn spun by such skilled hands. With stunningly flesh and blood queer characters with deep internal struggles, this book captures your imagination and traps you in its world.

Shannon’s astonishing achievement is her ability to breathe impossible life into new religions, histories, and conflicts and create a world so old and layered that she’s been called “the female George R.R. Martin,” even as her work lacks his noted dark ruthlessness and has me in disagreement. However, “a feminist successor to The Lord of the Rings” is an adequate praise not many can bear on their shoulders and still remain standing, unperturbed by its weight, yet The Priory of the Orange Tree might just be able to.

“In darkness, we are naked. Our truest selves. Night is when fear comes to us at its fullest, when we have no way to fight it. It will do everything it can to seep inside you. Sometimes it may succeed—but never think that you are the night.”

But it’s not the detailed, immersive prose, not the wicked, genius villain or tragic fools and inspiring hearts setting on dazzling journeys of development, not the doomsday prophecy that can only be beat through the uniting of this divided land of prejudice, nor the sheer epicness of every facet of this tapestry that make it an all-time fave. For me the most fascinating element is the remarkably crafted world for which the author considerately writes, “The fictional lands of The Priory of the Orange Tree are inspired by events and legends from various parts of the world. None is intended as a faithful representation of any one country or culture at any point in history.” You can find many of those listed in the Inspirations & Themes section.

“Reading. A dangerous pastime.”
“You mock me.”
“By no means. There is great power in stories.”
“All stories grow from a seed of truth. They are knowledge after figuration.”

Despite the first 25% struggling to fully pull me in, despite the riddles and mysteries I was quick in figuring out, and despite not being perfect, POT is an undoubtedly worthy addition to your adult epic high fantasy shelf because it is the genre at its finest—you simply need it in your life. I recommend enhancing your reading experience with a beautiful soundtrack ⤳ Spotify URL


A holy Queendom in the North, wyrm-worshipers in the West, mages in the South, and dragonriders in the East...a cursed, divided people swallowed by chaos.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for more than 1000 years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran IX must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—for it is believed that as long as a Berethnet rules in Virtudom, the monster beneath the sea will sleep. But assassins are getting closer to the queen, and Ead Duryan, the outsider lady-in-waiting at court and in truth a mage of the South, is tasked with secretly protecting Sabran with forbidden magic.

All this while across the Abyss far in the East, Tané who has trained all her life to be a dragonrider teeters on the brink of her dreams and one choice could unravel her life, taking her to places no Easterner has set foot in centuries.

There are fools in crowns, Dukes and Queens absorbed in their own politics, clinging to their beliefs, blind to the forces of chaos rising from their sleep. History is to repeat itself and none are ready to stand united. “Let them come with their swords and their torches. Let them come.

Inspirations & Themes

Shannon has driven inspiration from folklore and teachings of all over the world and woven every thread in the tapestry that is POT; here are some I’ve managed to deduce—subjects in the book are in italic:

Chinese/Japanese/Korean mythology: dragons ➾ for the Eastern dragons
European mythology: dragons & wyverns ➾ for the Western wyverns and wyrms
Norse mythology: Odin and Valhalla ➾ for Galian in Halgalant, the heavenly court, and the Great Table
The teachings of alchemy ➾ for Clay’s storyline
Beliefs of Christianity ➾ for the sign of the sword and the followers of the Saint
The Bible, Revelation 20: The Thousand Years ➾ for the Abyss and keys
Marion Angus’s poem: Alas! Poor Queen ➾ for Sabran’s court
William Shakespeare’s Richard II: Act Two ➾ for hereditary rights coupled with political reality, or the fact that the male view of the world leaves out an entire realm of perception
The Man’yoshu poem collection: Tsuki ➾ an eulogy for a dead man on the shore
The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser ➾ for the story of Galian, Cleolind, and the Nameless One

What’s more, Shannon addresses many themes and topics that are the centre of social debate in the 21st century and adds her piece on the deep conflicts of humanity:

Feminism: Full of precious, strong women taking the stage, ruling, glowing, and fighting the world’s expectations, POT is one of the best feminist books out there, if not the best feminist fantasy book yet.

No woman should be made to fear that she was not enough.
A woman is more than a womb to be seeded.

LGBT+: POT’s world is a rare one where sexuality is not something people fuss over, openly accepting this aspect of humanity. This leads to a bold, refreshing book brimming with queer characters and relationships, all portrayed so tangibly.

Custom & Tradition: Undeniably, these are two integral parts of human society that shape the world, and Shannon’s apt craftsmanship attentively discusses their implications, origins, and influence. Plus, there is the occasional amusing moment when characters question our traditions, such as “Who in the world wears white on their wedding day?

“Just because something has always been done does not mean that it ought to be done.

Prejudice & Clashing of Beliefs: Most importantly, though, Shannon has told a tale of both the struggles and beauties of our differences, asking, “Would the world be any better if we were all the same?” Or are our contrasting views on life truly meant to be accepted and embraced and joined to form a picture none of us could see individually? As international relations become more a part of the day-to-day life these days, the importance of how people can come together despite years upon years of hostility and bitterness increases with an unsettling yet precious speed, and Shannon offers a path to acceptance of others’ differing identities while not losing our own.

“Piety can turn the power-hungry into monsters. They can twist any teaching to justify their actions.”

Religion: But POT also tackles my favourite social conundrum, tying religious conflicts, living gods, the power of belief, the shunning of science, and the reshaping of religions. No one can deny the power faith holds on humanity and how it’s been put into conflicting uses in history, for good or bad.

“When history fails to shed light on the truth, myth creates its own.”

History & Myth: One more matter I have been obsessed with since the dawn of my curiosity is the accuracy of history and fluidity of facts upon changing the narrative. And Shannon explores this theme thoroughly and without flinching. I’m inclined to give her a standing ovation.


“When the heart grows too full, it overflows. And mine, inevitably, overflows on to a page.”

The best way to describe Shannon’s glorious and detailed writing in POT is to quote herself, “She was part poet and part fool when it came to telling stories.Her prose is exquisite and her storytelling technique genius; rather detailed like GRRM’s with focus on immersion in the moment rather than on plot advancement.

“To ensure an heir, the Dukes Spiritual must paint a certain picture of the Inysh court and its eligible queen. They needed you gone, so they...painted you out.”

Yet it’s not only her prose that submerges the reader; her politics aka the golden point of it all, are smart, wicked, creative, and impressive in the way she has brought them to life, and her battles and action scenes are mostly unmatched, and rarely a little lacking unfortunately. But perhaps POT is already too long and no one wants more strategy and detail...but I do? That aside, to alter Kit’s words, “This is a fine book. I believe I would marry this book, were I a book myself.


Ead (POV): A mage and strong warrior, with an open heart and open mind, she smells secrets and roots them out. I can’t even begin to explain the love I feel for this inspiring young woman.

“I do not fear that which I do not understand.”

Tané (POV): Yes, she is single-minded with all the wrong priorities, but at 19 she’s the youngest protagonist, and she stole my heart with her ambitious and courageous dragon’s heart.

“The sea is not always pure. It is not any one thing. There is darkness in it, and danger, and cruelty. It can raze great cities with its rage. Its depths are unknowable; they do not see the touch of the sun. To be a Miduchi is not to be pure, Tané. It is to be the living sea.”

Niclays (POV): An alchemist with madness in his blood, a man of shadows with a life of pure tragedy, “too heartsore to live, too craven to die,” Clay is my #1 character in POT and my heart cracked into a thousand pieces for his pain. He was the most real and conflicted, and I was in awe of his journey and its parallels with the stages of alchemy.

With Clay, Shannon taught me that pain does not change us—neither dies it reveal our true selves; it only inflames our worst instincts. Clay was a passionate man who was dealt a cruel hand and turned ruthless to pay life back what was its due; he did it all only to return home. Anything to return home. That is why, from the 6 moments I had tears in my eyes during the 800+ pages of this book, 4 were for Clay.

“I don’t want to carry on! Do you not understand? Does nobody in this world understand, damn you? Is no one else haunted?”

Loth (POV): A religious, kind, loyal man who is trusting to a fault but a strong, brave, and determined quick learner who goes through a moving character development and shows that understanding and love can bloom in any belief or way of life.

“Art is not one great act of creation, but many small ones. When you read one of my poems, you fail to see the weeks of careful work it took me to build it—the thinking, the scratched-out words, the pages I burned in disgust. All you see, in the end, is what I want you to see. Such is politics.”

✮ To name other characters who dug a den in my chest: Kit the hilarious, genius, charming poet. Sabran the golden-tongued, an unforgettable queen, a self-righteous fool, and a woman I would not change for the world.

“You say you desire truth, but truth is a weave with many threads.”

Kalyba the wicked witch and my devious love. Captain Harlowe the privateer adept at survival. Estina the wise, clever, and badass sailor. The Emperor, witty, charismatic, and irresistible. Aubrecht the charming puppy I wanna hug. Truyde the sharp little fox. Sulyard the precious, passionate, open-minded idiot. Susa the cat girl, always landing on her feet. Onren the amazing and memorable friend. Chassar the honourable and discreetly wicked man. And yes I shipped Sarsun the sand eagle and Aralaq the ichneumon.


“Not all dreams should be pursued, especially not dreams conceived on the feather-bed of love.”

It’s a rare romance that you ship from their first scene without knowing anything about the characters or their orientation, and yet Shannon managed to make their chemistry so palpable and their development so gradual that she immediately established herself as a fave author and had me bursting at the seams with emotions.

“All of us have shadows in us. I accept yours.” He placed a hand over her ring. “And I hope you will also accept mine.”

But all that aside, it’s friendships that are the author’s strongest point and focus of much of POT. From “sea sisters, two pearls formed in the same oyster” to friends with the opposite beliefs, I’d say my number one relationship in POT is Ead and Loth’s bond—a platonic and moving example of how two very different souls can be tied together with such unbreakable chains.

Seek not the midnight sun on earth,
But look for it within.

And that’s it folks—a new fave treasure tome. Considering the loose ends and Shannon confirming future books in this world, I’d say farewell until the spinoff.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.7k followers
April 15, 2019
‘we will shake the world for our beliefs.’

starting with me because, holy mother of dragons, I AM SHOOK.
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
720 reviews1,116 followers
August 28, 2019
This, my friends is why I love fantasy

5 stars ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

"I shall found a priory of a different sort, and no craven knight shall soil its garden."

Wow! I have no words. I am blown away, spellbound, enraptured in this incredibly beautiful and complex world. I thoroughly enjoyed Samantha Shannon's The Bone Season series, but this was something else entirely!

I don't even know where to begin. I guess the best place would be with the characters. We follow a large set of characters in a similar way to the A Song of Ice and Fire series. These characters are separated by religion, station and geography. In this world the East and the West have no contact. There is a huge divide between the East; where they worship Dragons as gods, and the West, where they fear dragons and believe they should all be destoyed.

Sabran the ninth Berethnet: Sabran is the current monarch of Inys. A group of lands that all fall under the religion of Virtudom - that of the worship of the Saint, Galian and the damsel, Cleolind. Sabran's family line is revered for being the reason that the nameless one, one of the most terrifying and powerful dragons; has not returned to murder everyone, after first being bound by Saint Galian. As long as she continues her family line (in history every Queen has had only 1 daughter, who has continued the line) then Inys will remain protected.

Ead Duryan: Ead is a member of The Priory of the Orange Tree, a sisterhood trained to destroy Wyrms (aka dragons) and to protect the realm from destruction. Ead has been sent by the Prioress to pose as one of Sabran's ladies, in order to be close enough to protect her from any harm. The Priory also follow the religion of Virtudom but with a twist. They believe that Cleolind (known as the Damsel to Inys) was the one who first bound the nameless one rather than Galian. They worship Cleolind as the mother rather than Galian as the Saint. They actually believe Galian was a bit of douche.

Tane': Tane' is like the Daenerys of this book, if you like. She doesn't have any obvious links with the other characters, and she resides in the East, where she is training to become a dragon rider. As we learn right in the very beginning, Tane' allows someone to breach the border keeping the East separate from the rest of the world. The East lets no one in, for fears of the draconic plague (a disease whose origins are unknown, but cause terrible burning for its sufferers). Her story is one of my favourites, as she serves such an important purpose as the book goes on.

"You have a ghost...do not become a ghost yourself."

Niclays Roos: I also really loved Niclays' character. He is an alchemist, previously of Sabran's court before he was banished and sent to the East. He also plays a part in the beginning with the smuggling of a man over the border into the East. Niclays reminds me of Davos a little bit (sorry for the ASoIaF comparisons, I can't help it) he manages to keep surviving despite numerous obstacles and losses. He makes a lot of mistakes, and his conscience definitely isn't the clearest, but he has a good heart and I could relate to his character a great deal.

As the nameless one is found to be returning once again to destroy the world. The East and the West must find a way to work together. The wyrm haters must learn to work with the water dragons of the East in order to battle the fire dragons and prevent a mass slaughter. With magic, myth, violence, heartbreak and war - this vast novel has something for everyone.

I'll leave my review here, as it's impossible to explain such a complex and imaginative world with powerful storylines and characters all interlocking and connecting. I will just say this - if you loved ASoIaF don't miss out on this one, it is truly incredible.

Actually just one final point I would like to reiterate. The fact that Samantha Shannon can create such believable religions for her fantasy and have characters who cling to these faiths so strongly was truly remarkable. I've read quite a few fantasy books where authors will refer to religions that exist in our world, rather than creating their own. If you are making a fantasy world, then everything in it should be fantasy, don't reference religions that would not exist in that world. Just my two cents.

"Love and fear do strange things to our souls. The dreams they bring, those dreams that leave us drenched in salt water and gasping for breath as if we might die - those, we call unquiet dreams. And only the scent of a rose can avert them."

Pre review:

1) This book is available to pick up from the library!!! OMG THIS IS NOT A DRILL!!!

2) I have like 7 other library books to pick up and I'll need some serious upper body strength to carry them along with this beast.

3) Not to mention the like 10+ library books I have at home..... (2 of which are Fire and Blood and War Storm which are also GIANT BOOKS)

Send help


How did I not notice that this was written by Samantha Shannon? Aka the author of The Bone Season series!! I need this!!!!
Profile Image for ✨ A ✨ .
432 reviews1,792 followers
April 16, 2020
“We may be small, and we may be young, but we will shake the world for our beliefs.”

I'm not gonna lie, I feel fucking proud of myself for managing to make my way through this giant. I have been wanting to read this book for months and with every high rating I saw on my GR feed, it made me even more excited.

To say that I'm sad that this turned out to be a three star read for me is an understatement.

This review is going to be a short one. I'm not going to give a summary of what this book is about because I do feel that it's the sort of book you jump into.

What I liked:
• the easy writing
• the relationships and friendships
• the reps and diversity
• females in power

When I finally had the time to dive in I was pleased to find the writing style to be beautiful and easy to read. The different kingdoms, religions, hard-to-pronounce names and creatures became easier to remember as I went on.

What I disliked:
• almost everything else

Most of this book was slow paced. And then towards the end everything was so rushed and thrown together.

I did not connect with the characters. I just felt so detached and that put a damper on my experience.

I did appreciate the character growth of Niclays. He, Tane and Loth became dear to me and I was very invested in their story lines.

I did not like Sabran. I just found her obnoxious, arrogant and dislikeble. Now don't get me wring, sometimes those traits could make me love a character. I found it hard to sympathize with her and I honestly couldn't care less about her.

The ending was poorly executed and, for me, was a huge let down. My dissapointment was akin to the heartbreak suffered by millions of fans when season 8 of Game of Thrones ended.

I was sitting there staring at this gigantic book and my first thought was: Really? That's it?

I know my opinion is unpopular and that most readers absolutely loved this book. And that's great! I think this book would be awesome for people wanting to start reading adult epic fanatasy. It's not too complicated and it's easy to follow.
Buddy read this monster of a book with Helena!!! 🐉
Profile Image for Sofia.
231 reviews6,974 followers
November 23, 2020
This, my friends, is feminist fantasy at its finest.

I still can't come to terms with the fact that it's over. After this whole journey, it seems almost impossible that a last page exists. The Priory of the Orange Tree trapped my heart from the very first sentence, and now I'm having trouble distinguishing what's real from what jumped out of the pages.

Sabran Berethnet is Queen of Inys during a time of turmoil and unrest. She has to come to terms with a devastating loss, her own depression, and deception within her court as an ancient force threatens to reawaken. But nothing is as it seems, and history is not often truthful.

Ead Duryan, a mage of the Priory, is assigned to protect Sabran from the Nameless One, who seeks to destroy her and her house. While she longs to return to her duties to Cleolind, the founder of the Priory, she is determined to uncover the twisted secrets of the court of Inys. She has to sacrifice her destiny for the good of the world, but she never bats an eye.

Miduchi Tané, an aspiring dragonrider, makes an error of judgement that changes her future forever. Disgraced and cast out of her homeland, she discovers a hidden force within herself that could destroy the world. Tané, who uses the people around her for her own needs, is forced to overcome her pride and her overwhelming guilt.

Niclays Roos is an alchemist who was banished from Sabran's court years ago. He yearns for his home and his old love, but he knows the only way he could ever return is if he finds the secret of immortality. He dives into a web of treachery and deceit to do so, propelled by his own sorrow and lust for a longer life. Throughout the novel, he comes to terms with his selfishness and cowardice.

Arteloth (Loth) Beck is sent on a mission that will almost certainly lead to his death. Betrayed by his own court, he ventures into the unknown, unaware of the dark forces that are soon to rise. But nothing is as he expects, and his whole religion is turned upside down.

These protagonists, separated by wildly different cultures and religions, find themselves intertwined in a turn of events no one could have predicted.

The worlds of this book are vivid and real and evocative, as are the characters. Each point of view fills me with different fears and biases, and these contentions are what bring them to life. When all their beliefs were overturned, it was so easy to slip in each of their minds and gauge their reactions.

The Priory of the Orange Tree starts out slow, which I like. We’re very gradually introduced to the world--absolutely no infodumps. And by the end, I was completely immersed in the story, characters, and religions.

Speaking of religion, Samantha Shannon crafts three believable faiths, but not a single one of them is immune to the threats that rise again. It’s incredible how much I sympathized with each one; how much I wanted each to succeed. Losses were personal hits. Gains were personal victories.

Every advance in the plot is gradual, natural, and realistic--but not in a predictable way. Everything makes sense once it’s unveiled. The whole scope of things is something that takes time, but it's not out of grasp.

If I were to condense The Priory of the Orange Tree into one sentence (impossible, but whatever) I would say something along the lines of “queer queens, dragons, and ancient magic.” It’s wondrous. It’s awe-inspiring. It’s epic.
Profile Image for Angelica.
814 reviews1,154 followers
Want to read
May 5, 2019
Me, trying to jump on this book's bandwagon before it's way too late:

for all the hype it's receiving this book better pay my bills, cure my depression, and usher in an era of world peace.
Profile Image for Mayim de Vries.
577 reviews884 followers
July 8, 2019
Key facts about this book:
- number of "LOL" comments in my highlights: 159;
- number of "ROTFL" reactions during near-death/death scenes: 17
- pages to wasted life ratio: 848 to 1

An overhyped book. I hope you have not expected anything more than 2 stars from me.

I am asking myself why, oh why, I have thought that reading “The Priory of the Orange Tree” was a good idea at all. Having critically scrutinised my motivations I have come to this conclusion:

Firstly, it has a sexy tittle. Some time ago on Fantasy Buddy Reads, we have had this awesome discussion about the best titles. The general agreement was that the majority of the fantasy books follow the “something of something” line. You know, Gardens of the Moon, Fellowship of the Ring, and so on and so forth. It is really not that easy to find something original. But even among this crowd “The Priory of the Orange Tree” has a nice ring to it. How many times have you heard that you should not judge the book by its cover? More, I am sure, than you care to count. Now, heed my advice. Do not judge it by the title either.

Secondly, I have failed to do my research. As in: read Goodreads reviews! Have I known that Samantha Shannon is the very same writer who penned The Bone Season which after reading this genius review I have promptly shelved as not my cup of coffee, I’d definitely think a hundred times more twice before investing my reading time in this novel.

As it is, after making these two rudimentary mistakes I set myself up on a course for a spectacular disaster.

And what is it precisely that I did not like about this book that the various “I love this book so much”, “my favourite book of all times,” “the most beautiful works of literature I’ve ever read,” “5 million stars kill me now” reviews won’t mention?

In short: dragons everything.

Let us starts with the protagonists.

Of the four main ones, there is only one individual who is not repulsive from the outset. I am talking about Eadaz du Zāla uq-Nāra, who is, so to speak, a special agent on a covert mission. Her unique powers and somewhat implausible skills notwithstanding, she initially comes across as a likable heroine. Initially being the keyword but we will come back to this.

The three remaining persons: Lord Arteloth Beck, Niclas Roos and Tané, have all the necessary predispositions to be antagonists rather than protagonists. It would be OK if the novel was built on the anti-hero premise, but it is not and so you are expected to fall for a brainless indolent, conniving conformist and a ruthless egoist. Take your pick. Roos and Tané aim at some sort of character development, but one is just a victim of circumstance and the other goes through a personality flip in the grand finale and the post-coital (plot-wise, naturally) change of character does not come as plausible at all.

The only person I truly liked appeared for a couple of chapters (still, I am grateful for the respite, Donmata Marosa and I am seething that your potential has been wasted and your personage abandoned in a most careless way).

And then there is the queen. The queen is selfish and moody bordering on neurotic; politically inept to the point of being redundant which is doubly amazing because on the ideological level “The Priory of the Orange Tree” is supposedly a feminist read with females saving the world and winning all the fights (which always makes me laugh because: it’s biology stupid), and on the commonsensical level you’d expect a daughter of royalty in umpteenth generation has sucked intrigue and the rules of the power game at the court with her mother’s milk. Instead, we have to put up with somebody locked within a bubble, falling for flattery and outright lies and altogether fitting in the “a princess to be rescued” trope.

On top of everything, and this really drove me bonkers, even though she knows that a whole lot of things depends on her getting married and getting laid pregnant, she is as obstinate when it comes to this issue as a four-year-old eating her greens. Pining after immortality and jealous of her baby to be - can one fall any lower? As these are the evil Queen-mother staples, you’d think THIS is an antagonist perhaps? Wrong. This is the significant other. This brings me to the second problem.

Romance less exciting than copulating whales and not a single guy to fall for.

Loth is too gentle and too naive to snatch anyone’s interest and mind you adjective naive is used only because I feel rather magnanimous. There are other, less flattering words that can be used to describe somebody apt at ignoring reality. Loth is so tough that leeches give him shudders, talks faster than thinks, and this is because he does not think too much. In truth, I loathed Loth for most of the time.

The two romantic sub-plots are not heterosexual and so I either yawned or skimmed, and most often did both at once. It’s this kind of diversity that stops being diverse anymore.

In a book unable to hook the reader with a protagonist (on whatever grounds, mind you, there are also those we love to hate, ideal antagonists, right Darling?), the only solution left is to provide a compelling plot and world building. “The Priory of the Orange Tree” has none of these.

What we have is another atheist author thinking that writing about religion is a great idea and invents a faith to the measure of their own spirituality; essentially a hypocritical system based on invented religion which is both Puritan to the core and at the same time gay-friendly which strikes me as an unlikely combination. The way this world is setup and then developed suffers from the terrible malaise called lack of consequence: all the premises examined for longer than a minute fall apart like rotten oranges. Most of the behaviours don’t make sense and the decisions have been sponsored by WTF.

A queen who doesn’t want to conceive although it’s her to be or not to be; a girl who spent her whole life to earn the red cloak of a slayer and refuses it because; a dragon rider who was not told anything about dragons by her teachers; a gal able to win marital duels in a full Victorian dress; the living Kinder Surprise Egg (now, that was rich!). I could continue, but I’ll spare you. The most important effect of this is that the most dramatic turns of events instead of being riveting were hilarious in their absurdity.

The whole orange tree business was terribly disappointing and all I could think of when reading was gummy bears and their gummiberry juice. While the whole tale starts refreshingly (an outsider in the court), it goes awry soon enough. Ead prides herself on telling the truth and serving the truth but all she gives is flattery and her whole service feeds into a lie so while she says that all she does serves a bigger and nobles purpose, all I could see was a girl serving her own (lusty) needs.

And the actual truth is kept hidden for no self-evident reason whatsoever (why would you keep secret something that really happened if not because of the feeling of power and superiority this gives you?) which is the main reason for the whole incoming disaster, which is uninventive and, dear me, involves dragons.

I cannot recommend the book or the author. In fact, I’d implore you to stay away from the orange tree failure. Better listen to this beautiful song about a Blueberry Tree and find a worthy read instead.
Profile Image for Alice Oseman.
Author 48 books76.8k followers
March 5, 2019
I don't usually get along with high fantasy - heavy world-building tends to bore me and I don't really get any enjoyment from reading about wars/fights/political ploys. But this was just WONDERFUL. PRIORY does have fights and politics (and history and dragons and magic), but its heart lies with the characters, whose flaws, desires, relationships, and struggles are so damn relatable. I just wanted all of them to be safe and warm. Thank you to Samantha and Bloomsbury for sending me a proof many months ago!
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,310 reviews44.1k followers
April 28, 2021
A well-written high fantasy with multiple amazing characters with strong female power, an epic war between good and bad and lots of magic, dragons! So what are you waiting for? This is intriguing, exciting, entertaining formula of best fantasy book needed to have!

So why am I dancing between 3 to 4 ? Am I really too picky, dissatisfied, picky, grumpy person? (Mostly I am but this is not about being tough grader, something in my heart made me reject to love this book. I truly liked it especially progression and development, but unfortunately I didn’t love it because the competitors were written in the same genre are so much better.)

What I liked but don’t love about this book are:

As a start, why all the authors try to sabotage my eye health by writing books could be only carried by heavyweight champions. Lately I read Imaginary Friend and Institution, I even took them to my training sessions and my torturer trainer made me lift them like heaviest dumbbells (I lifted them at least 500 times and they start to call me Dwayna –Dwayne Johnson’s little sister-)

When a book is so good, I don’t want it finish, I actually enjoy reading it forever like a never ending soap opera continues to air on TV till you die. But the problem with this one, first half was too low and second half was too fast with its action parts. I thought we were moving with baby steps and then we started to sprint. Especially the last epic war part lost its effectiveness because it happened so fast and I didn’t get thrill I have been waiting for from the beginning of the book.

There were so many materials and vivid characters to write too many sequels but they were used only for one book so we couldn’t absorb all those beautiful, witty, exciting stories.

When it comes to dragons, my all-time favorite books are “Dragon and Thief” , “Iron Dragon’s Daughter”, “Seraphina” and “Eragon”. It’s fair to compare this book with those epic stories but as I said before especially last parts of the book lost its magic and made me wish if it would end at the half part and divide into separate three books. So we may easily relate with the characters and don’t suffer from heavy breathing to catch the last parts’ too fast pacing.

But I still rounded up my 3.5 stars to 4 because even the book is too long and there were some pacing issues I still liked the idea to create a feminist fantasy with its queens, warriors and priestesses. The rich, resounding worldbuilding of the author (reminds you of the UK and Japan), diversions between religious and the mysterious atmosphere were perfectly developed.

If you’re patient enough and real high fantasy lover you should read this book! I enjoyed the most parts I have to admit it’s good written book from a brilliant writer but I honestly say this is not one of my favorite books from this genre.
October 20, 2022
5 juicy stars for a book that breathes heart and soul into Fantasy.

“It was the stuff of legend, a tale destined to be enshrined in song”. and a song that needed to be sung. And so from the realm of the Orange Tree we travel east and west, to reveal how the lives of Ead, Tane, Niclays, Loth and Sabran become so dependent on each other as they face an evil buried for a thousand-years. A world on the brink of destruction. A world divided for many years.

The Priory of the Orange Tree is a complex book that is adventurous, daring, and yet still magical. A book that creates a new universe, inspired by the cultural differences between East and West, and with striking similarities to countries and periods in our own history. A book that introduces new religions, and new demons, while using one of the most powerful monsters dating back to antiquity. The Dragon.

A commitment at 800 pages, but a book that is imaginative, addictive and absorbing; action packed and energetic but also dramatic and expressive.

The Plot.

It is difficult to summarise an 800-page book and do justice to the plot, sub plots, and world building because this feels like a series crammed into one mammoth read, not just because of the 800+ pages, but also the scope of the book and the number of stories at play at any one time.

Four narrators deliver this great tale covering the vast realms of Inys, Yscalin, Mentendon and Hróth. So, let’s start with Ead in the West who is an outsider at court and sent by the Priory of the Orange Tree to protect Sabran the Ninth who is the current ruler of the Queendom of Inys, the last in line of the House Berethnet. A Queen who must produce an heir to secure the dynasty, but a leader who faces an invisible enemy and the return of the nameless one who was sent to the abyss by one of Sabran’s ancestors.

We travel East to Miduchi and to the famous dragon rider’s of Seiiki where we meet Tane, a fierce warrior who earns her place among men to pair with one of the dragons, that is to become her bond. Then we meet Niclays Roos, an exiled alchemist, and Lord Arteloth Beck, a trusted advisor to the queen who is sent on missions that presents all sorts of challenges as he is captured, mistrusted, and pardoned but it is his finesse and gift of words that keeps him alive and ready to return to his Queen in the west to face the final trial against the nameless one.

With a very divided East and West who are refusing to forgive the past, one or all of the four must force the unlikely alliance of all kingdoms as the forces of evil are slowly arising from their thousand-year sleep, and the mythical creatures in the East and West start to lose their powers.

Review and Comments.

The Priory of the Orange Tree is a feminist story, with women in leads roles. Inys is ruled by a woman, her protector is a woman, the powerful warrior Tane is female, while all the wisdom is imparted by female ancestors. As such this creates the perfect backdrop for a same sex love story between Eads and Sabran, that is very touching, deep, and respectful of their personal duties.

Whilst I love the feminist story, not so much at the expense of weak men, because that is not the world we live in, and it makes the story too one dimensional. Had we enjoyed the company of some strong men (not love stories) then I feel this would have appealed more to a wider audience and set this up there as one of the best Fantasy stories ever written.

The second criticism is the lack of detail in some of the action scenes. Sounds bizarre in an 800-page book that I am asking for more detail? Why? Although packed with lots of action, the conflicts and encounters seemed to be over in a flash and we were missing the mental and emotional detail experienced by the characters who had to solve many riddles and work out the problems as they were faced some harrowing challenges.

Now to the positives. And there are plenty. This is one of my favourite fantasy books ever, the characters felt real but flawed and the love stories felt honest, deep, and sincere. I would like to see same sex / opposite sex relationships incorporated into the stories written by other Fantasy authors, as well, which is more representative of the world we live in today. However, I loved that Shannon did bring a same sex relationship to this feminist story.

The book was well structured and divided into parts that could easily be read as separate books without feeling the need to finish in one go. The writing style was perfect for the genre, and although some of the names like ‘the nameless one’ could have been more imaginative, this book overall was an explosion of imagination.

The outstanding quality of this book, however, came from the world building. You could see the cultural differences between the East and West and the countries the author took inspiration from. Although most of the story took place in the West, the action in the other parts of this magical world was equally captivating and by no means played down.

An exceptionally gifted author that brought sincerity to the characters many of whom were strong but flawed, combatants but compassionate; deadly but loyal. A series of plots that were so intricately woven you can only admire the author for being able to keep all this in her head when writing this epic fairy tale. Then finally the world building that I missed when I finished this book. It was simply brilliant.

A multi cultured and multi-layered story that was captivating, immersive and unforgettable by an author who managed to breathe heart and soul into Fantasy. Dazzling and now we can sing that song!!!.
Profile Image for Caz (littlebookowl).
302 reviews40.2k followers
July 16, 2019
Hi, hello, I am Priory trash.

If you are looking for:
- fantasy
- dragons
- a cast of fascinating characters
- same-sex relationships
- wonderful friendships
- political intrigue
- rich worldbuilding
then Priory is for you. MAN I'm ready to re-read this.
Profile Image for Samantha.
441 reviews16.8k followers
March 30, 2021
4.5 stars

TW: gore; death of a friend; miscarriage

The thing that keeps this from being 5 stars is that I do think this should have been multiple books. This world is so vast and complex that there were times I do think things were skimmed over that wouldn’t have been if there were more books. This single book also reads as multiple books anyway, so I feel it could have easily been split up.

But beyond that, I love this world and the masterful interweaving of characters that we had here. The character arcs were wonderful, and the world was rich. This makes me want to read more by Samantha Shannon.
Profile Image for Mel.
113 reviews11.9k followers
August 12, 2021
I have qualms with Ms. Shannon…

I did not just read 780 pages to have this 20 page wrap up💀

Still a fantastic book, but this ending🥵
Profile Image for Spencer Orey.
557 reviews142 followers
May 3, 2019
I liked this, didn't love it. But wow did I sure race through it! 800 pages flew by pretty fast, so this book is doing something right.

There's enough here that if you're thinking about reading this book, go for it. It's a compelling fantasy story and the world is intriguing. I do think it had the potential to be much better.

It's a reeeeeally long book and there are a ton of things to like here, and also some very uneven things that I can't quite let slide. This book isn't necessarily doing a lot of things that feel new, but it's taking tropes of the high fantasy genre and using them in interesting ways. I appreciated that.

Let's start with what I loved: There are cool dragons. There's a growing sense of urgency as the end of the world approaches. And the world itself is well put-together, offering some great threats (like an evil draconic plague that infects people).

My favorite part of the book by far was the religious politics. There are three or so religions that have completely different understandings of one central event of the last 1000 years. All are convinced that they're right and that the other religions are wrong. This makes for great conflict and drama in the story and makes us as readers want to find out what REALLY happened. I love the idea that 1000 years is so long that confusion about what happened generates important mythology. As we learn more about the real story, I was a little saddened to lose that mystery. Things are explained a little too cleanly, and the characters who have their entire worldview shattered seem to respond to it fairly well. I actually would have liked more characters who refuse the truth and hold onto the old view of things.

Also the matriarchy was interesting, and the gender dynamic in Virtudom was intriguing. It was too bad it wasn't able to be way different than our world though? Like an actual feminist kingdom in this world would have been super refreshing instead of this vaguely British thing where all our ideas about medieval patriarchy and oppression exist but where women can be Knights too.

I have two large critiques:

First, the second half of the book feels like three or so sequels got crammed into 400 pages. Some of that makes it very exciting but mostly it just feels uneven and oddly paced. The first half is, if anything, a little too slow, building on court intrigue and the mystery of the looming apocalypse. Then the second half is a real sprint to the end. Suddenly, previously long geographic distances shrink and characters are able to jump far across the world at just the right time when it's convenient to the story. Chapter lengths become kind of random too, and we don't shift as much between PoVs.

That said, I absolutely appreciate getting the full story in one volume. No waiting 5 years to figure out how things will end. We get one complete tale. That's great.

My second complaint is about the LGBTQ representation. It's absolutely great that there are central queer characters here acting in the world. That said, they're the kind of queer characters that feel safe to straight people: they're monogamous, committed to one and only one person, and they don't really talk about the experience of being queer in this world to anyone except in very contained moments of coming out. I appreciate the representation but would have liked to see things go further. I've said this before, but there's a lot of room for fantasy to explore how queer identity could be different in different fantasy settings. Sexuality and gender roles were vastly different in different times and places in the history of our world, and there's a lot of room to explore that in fantasy in particular. Since there is a generally progressive throughline present in this story (like with rulers thinking about modernization and how to create alliances without relying on marriages), there seemed like there was a lot of room for a better and more nuanced identity politics. Oh well.

Anyway, if you've been looking at this book and wondering if it's worth reading, I say yes. I have no idea if there's going to be a sequel, but I'm curious about how the world at large responded to the end of the book, especially what happens to the three religions after they see that they've all been wrong. Happy reading!
Profile Image for Roberta.
124 reviews26 followers
May 7, 2021
I'm just so disappointed with this one, it was so hyped and I was so excited and it has such a gorgeous cover.
It is just so vastly overhyped to the point that some people compare it with Tolkien??! Sit down, boys and girls, it is not that special. Or at all special.

Now don't get me wrong and don't try to twist my words around.

Do I think that this is a decent book? Yes
Do characters' motivations make sense? Yes
But are characters realistic and well-realized? No. Even though they make sense, they're flat af. And boring. Most of them can be described in two words - "strong" and "justice" (while Niclays can be described by "damaged" and "melancholy"). And while these things are by no means wrong, they do not make a complete character.
The world is large, but is it fleshed out? Again, no. There were a lot of instances where characters had to travel and I thought "Oh wow, finally I'll see what the world looks like". Nah, silly me. These parts were mostly skipped either by telling the reader that the character has already traveled all the way or by magical beings scooping up characters and running/flying real fast. Sis, that's not how we build a world. I understand that the travelling parts can be tedious to write, but you kind of have to flesh them out at least for the sake of the world.
Now, do I have a problem that this is a diverse feminist book? No. But relying on these things as the main selling point is not a good idea. You have to have good characters, story and the world.
What about the story itself, the pacing and such? I don't know, while reading I just kept thinking that it might have been a better idea to make this a series as then you would have more time to give characters personality and growth while also immersing the reader into the world. The story was filled with tropes and it was highly unoriginal if you keep in mind the bigger picture of fantasy genre as a whole. I get that it is hard to make something completely original these days, so it doesn't bother me as much. This book could even be a not-entirely-terrible start for someone who wants to get into fantasy. However, the first third of the book was incredibly slow but it's fiiiine, I know, the author had to set up all the things. But later it became so fast-paced that even the more important events lost their meaning because there were so many things happening at all times that you couldn't discern between the important ones and the fillers.
The mythology and religion also reminded me quite a bit of ASOIAF. Although, this might be just me and if it's not, it's still fine, no one prohibits you from taking inspiration.

Generally, my main problem with this book is that it wanted to be a serious adult fantasy but failed gravely. HOWEVER, it does not have to be a serious adult fantasy with fancy ideas about life to be a good book. It could have been a fun fantasy book that's still a good book. The tragedy is that it failed on both fronts, so I can only give two stars for the author's effort.

P.S. It is not at all surprising that when looking at reviews for this book some are saying that "it's hard to get into" and that they'll "try some other time" because they "really want to get into it".
P.P.S. Not mad, just disappointed.
Profile Image for Colleen.
685 reviews125 followers
April 26, 2021
1 Star

*A bloated, leaden behemoth lacking in any originality, character development, engaging plot, or good writing*

If anyone compares this to The Lord of the Rings or A Game of Thrones, throw this book at their heads. Maybe it will knock some sense into them.

Ok, ok. I fully admit that I’m in a cranky mood, because I wasted so much time reading such an awful, boring, clichéd book. This is one of those cases where I wonder if I read the same book as everyone else did, because what I just read bears no resemblance to the book that people are gushing about.

At the time of writing this review, The Priory of the Orange Tree has a 4.24 rating on Goodreads with 48% of those being five star ratings. Normally with a book this massive by an author I hadn’t read before, I would wait a bit and see if anyone other than hardcore fans thought it was worth the hype. But for some reason, I was sucked into the hype and the pretty cover and decided I needed to read it right away. It’s a story with dragons and magic and legends and female warriors and pirates and witches and lots of awesome-sounding stuff. I thought it sounded great!

Obviously not my smartest moment.

Ok, let’s break this down:


Let’s start with the maps. The story is mostly split between the East and the West. There is a map for each. While at first glance the maps looked good, as I read the book, I became increasingly frustrated with the maps. Both maps run off the edges of the page with no clear indication of what lies beyond. There is no clear delineation of how the two maps relate to each other. The crests for each country float randomly on the edges of the page rather than being over the countries themselves. So if you took the map literally, all of those countries are under the sea. And the descriptions of the various countries and land features didn’t match well with the map. It was almost impossible to orient with the story. And for a story that spends a lot of time traveling and talking about multiple countries, this really crippled an already limping story.

There is also supplemental material at the end which includes a list of characters, glossary, and timeline. The list of characters is somewhat helpful because there are a ton of characters, and they’re too boring to keep track of. The glossary is also hit or miss in its helpfulness. For example, you’re really going to define “Wyvern” but not “Ichneumon”? The timeline is pretty much useless because it leaves off info to avoid spoilers for the plot.


The story itself switches between five main narrators who are mostly divided by whether they are in the East or the West. The narrative jumps between people within chapters, but at least it’s all told in third person.

It’s written with Ye olde English dialogue that feels corny and inconsistent. It is purposefully archaic at times but totally modern-sounding at others. The lines of dialogue feel like high schoolers trying to recite Shakespeare. It all felt so inorganic. Also, one random side note: there are a plethora of palanquins in this book. Despite taking place across different countries that are mostly cut off from each other, with different cultures and different terrains, nearly everyone in this story travels by palanquin. It makes no sense.


Despite all of the allegedly exciting events, this is mostly a character-driven story. And the main characters are stiff and dull and tedious. The rest of the characters aren’t fleshed out and also lack personality. They pop up at opportune moments and pretty much cease to exist the rest of the time. And none of the characters react to their environment or situations authentically. They are stiff cardboard cutouts that only move when the author remembers to move them.

Many people are calling The Priory of the Orange Tree a feminist version of The Lord of the Rings or A Game of Thrones. That’s total bullshit. The only thing they all have in common is being long with lots of characters. (I’ll add more about the alleged feminism later.) There is little else in common with The Lord of the Rings. The comparison to A Game of Thrones makes more sense. But only because The Priory is a total wannabe of the A Game of Thrones, not because they are anywhere near the same quality. They have similar medieval-esque settings in worlds where dragons and magic where once prevalent but are now mostly myth. They both have lots of characters. But there is a reason I always use George R.R. Martin as a prime example of how character development should work. He is amazing at showing how the well-intentioned end up bad and how the evil can be redeemed. He writes complex characters with believable arcs, puts up genuine roadblocks, kills mercilessly, and leaves you constantly wondering who will prevail. Shannon tried to emulate that… and utterly failed at it. She was trying to be dark but didn’t have the guts. I think she just seems too nice to pull off any bloody machinations. Her evil laugh is probably a cute little giggle that doesn’t even make bunny slippers run for cover.

The author’s previous books were all YA, and that shows. This writing very much felt like YA writing that the author tried to age up by killing some people and talking about nipples. This book elicited many eye rolls and snorts of derision from me. It might be better under the New Adult category since almost all of the characters are in their twenties and the story has an air of naiveté to it.


As shoddily as the characters were written, the world-building was worse. The story borrows bits and pieces from cultures and mythologies of Earth, but it feels like everything got thrown in a blender resulting in a messy hodgepodge that does not make sense. The worst part is how badly the world-building is relayed. This is one of the most awful examples of world-building I have ever read. History and myth are relayed clumsily, stiffly, and inorganically. One of the most common methods of relaying information is through inner monologue. There is one time when Character A asks Character B is she is familiar with a certain legend. Character B simply answers, “Yes,” then proceeds to inner monologue the whole legend! It was so bad! And nearly all of the background information was relayed like that – through dry info-dumps catapulted at random into the story.

The narrative is so bogged down by information and filler descriptions that end up doing nothing other than adding to this book’s absurd length. Seriously, this book had no reason to be 830 pages long! If it isn’t lore added through dry monologues or longwinded descriptions of curtains then it’s background on the characters being stuffed into the story. It’s a whole of lot “Hello, Character C, whom I know through your position as Such and Such, and I am aware that you are a descendent of Don’t Care who did Blah Blah Blah waaaay back in the day.”


The sloppy world-building feeds into an underwhelming plot. Now, I knew the story had a slow start. Even many fans admitted that that the first 300 pages were slow. I didn’t realize that those people were seriously understating things! The first 300+ pages are bone-dry, dull, and unbelievably monotonous! It took me months to get through this book. And while the plot does finally manage to accelerate faster than a geriatric patient, it doesn’t speed up by much.

The whole story lacks plausible threat and tension. There is more threat from political machinations than the “evil” dragons, but even that creates almost no suspense. It’s mostly senseless drama. There was never any doubt about how it would all end.

There is so much wandering (fetch-quest style) and yet obstacles are removed with ridiculous ease. Over and over and over the characters just happen to find the object they need, or some coincidence leads to their miraculous escape, or they arrive in a huge city and immediately find the one person they need to find. The entire plot is built upon these obnoxious coincidences. It removes any tension or suspense because you always know that another miracle is right around the corner.

From the way people were weeping over this book and saying they were so devastated over the deaths… well, I thought some more people might die. Like, say, more of the many main characters perhaps? But without going into specific spoilers, the death toll in this book is absurdly low! Seriously, between the draconic creatures attacking, a supposedly incurable plague, warring nations, and betrayals from within, people should have been dropping like flies. Which circles back to my point about Shannon being too nice to murder her darlings.

Remember all those exciting-sounding things I mentioned in the beginning? Well, they are technically in the book. But Shannon found a way to make dragons and magic and legends and female warriors and pirates and witches all mind-numbingly boring. For starters, the dragons are barely in the book! They are mostly there for deus ex machina. Both good and bad dragons only pop up when the plot needs a big dose of fire to wake it up from its self-induced coma. And all those other exciting-sounding elements are barely present and/or so poorly described that it sucks all the excitement from them until nothing is left but dry, dull husks.

Another huge weakness about The Priory of the Orange Tree is the action. There hardly is any. And what little action does happen is horribly described! Shannon loses track of where characters and objects are within a scene. She totally relies on those lucky coincidences to resolve fights. All of the actions scenes are anticlimactic – particularly the end battle scene. But as poorly as the fighting is written, there are several more example of the author taking a complete copout, fading to black as soon as the fight starts, and then recapping it through boring dialogue after the fact! It was terrible!!


Religion is a major theme in The Priory of the Orange Tree. The basis of the lore in this book revolves around various religions interpreting the same events in different ways and building their dogma around that. This theme had the potential to be insightful and powerful, but it was handled so poorly. So while the story borrowed from real-life conflicts, it did not bring anything perceptive or enlightening to the subject.

Another reason people are raving about is the LGBT representation. But like the other elements of the story I have discussed, it is present but unsatisfying. There are only two reps in the book. One is a relationship that took place prior to the book. The other is a female/female relationship that happens during the story. Neither was written well. Because of the horrible lack of character development, none of the relationships in this book were remotely believable or poignant. When a relationship starts with one person fighting her feelings, liking her against her will, and eventually keeping their relationship a secret because she says she likes the forbidden secret more than everyone knowing… well, there is no way that is a healthy relationship. And the female/female sex scenes were awkward. I’ve never heard anyone, of any sexual orientation, wax poetic about someone’s knuckles!

But the biggest annoyance and disappointment about The Priory of the Orange Tree is that this was supposed to be a feminist story. IT ISN’T. Making most of your characters female doesn’t automatically make a story feminist. Making two of your characters lesbians doesn’t automatically make a story feminist. Switching gender rolls only to engage in the same sexist tropes certainly doesn’t make a story feminist. There is NOTHING empowering or inspiring about this book!

This story has several allegedly strong female characters yet they all felt so hollow. That was mostly due to the substandard character development. They lack depth; they lack clear motivation; they lack any personality.

So what does this alleged gender reversal consist of? Well, there is a queendom. But it’s ruled by women only because all of the heirs born happen to have been female, not because of truly being a female-ruled country. And the queen is little more than a figurehead being manipulated by others. Women are still cloistered, prized for their virginity, and seen as broodmares. So feminist, right?? There is a female dragonrider. I had hopes for her, but she is absent from large portions of the story, and her storyline is farfetched. Then there is Ead who is basically a magic-wielding warrior. But she has NO personality. It took a while, but I finally realized why she annoyed me so much: she reminds me too much of Nona from Red Sister. And really, the Priory is basically the same thing from Red Sister. They are both magic-wielding assassin nuns who are allegedly badass but are in fact boring as all-get-out. So now I know of two different authors who managed to make magic-wielding assassin nuns mind-numbingly dull! What a waste!

This book was supposedly full of strong, badass women. But I couldn’t help but compare it to other books like Bloody Rose which had multiple strong female characters with distinct personalities, different strengths, different flaws, different motivations but all badass in their own unique way. And then I look back at The Priory of the Orange Tree, and the first word that pops into my head is “FAIL!” To reiterate, making most of your characters female doesn’t make your story feminist.

This book was a massive waste of my time. It took me three and an half months to slog through this and I absolutely had to force myself to keep going. The whole story is leaden and tedious. I deeply regret that I didn’t abandon it early on. More power to you if you slugged through this book and actually enjoyed it. But damn do I wish I hadn’t wasted my time on it.

If you do still feel compelled to read The Priory of the Orange Tree, I urge you to get the ebook. This isn’t worth getting carpal tunnel syndrome from lugging around the hardcover!

Ease of Reading: 1 Star
Writing Style: 1 Star
Characters and Character Development: 1 Star
Plot Structure and Development: 1 Star
Level of Captivation: 1 Star
Originality: 1 Star
Profile Image for Maxwell.
1,174 reviews8,391 followers
January 22, 2019
WOW. Where do I even begin with this book? Firstly, thank you to Bloomsbury for sending me an early copy of this book to read. But also how could you do this to me? Now I have to wait another month for everyone to get their hands on this so we can talk about it!

Having been a fan of Samantha Shannon's series, The Bone Season, and in general being a fan of fantasy novels, I was eager to read her latest novel, The Priory of the Orange Tree. I have to confess, though, that some larger, high fantasy books have intimidated me and/or bored me to death previously. It takes the right kind of world-building and characters, mixed with a good plot, to keep me going. And wow does this deliver.

The story follows four narrators—Ead, Tané, Loth and Niclays—who live in a world divided, East and West, over the opinions of dragons. In the East they are revered as gods, while in the West they are feared due to the haunting history of the Nameless One, an evil dragon who has been locked away for a thousand years in the Abyss and kept there by the bloodline of the Queendom of Inys, ruled by the Berethnet matriarchy. Stay with me. It sounds like a lot, but when you're reading it it flows so naturally and you quickly adjust to all the characters, where they are from, etc. Plus it has maps! MAPS!

As with all fantasy novels, a chain of events sparks action in our main characters' lives that drives them across kingdoms and oceans, encountering pirates and mythical beasts, and towards and away from one another in both physical and metaphorical senses. It's got lots of action, great dialogue, court intrigue, dragons and more. Plus there is great romance as well as amazing platonic female friendships that you really don't see much in high fantasy. Like, a majority of this book is just about kick-ass women taking charge and working together to save their world.

Needless to say, I loved this story. I loooooved the characters—especially the Loth/Margret/Ead trio—and how they were often at odds with one another but you were also kind of rooting for everyone. It's hard to pick a side but I love that choosing sides was beside the point all along. It's just a wonderful journey to go on with these characters, and I can't believe how much they'd grown on me by the last page. I can see myself returning to this story again in the future, and even though this is a standalone novel (which I appreciate), I hope Shannon returns to this world to expand on the stories we only get glimpses of in Priory.
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