The Priory Of The Orange Tree Book Review

Dive into the epic world of “The Priory of the Orange Tree,” where dragons soar and heroines wield swords as mightily as their convictions. As an avid reader with years spent journeying through high fantasy realms, I’ve weathered many a tale spun from magic and bravery.

This novel, penned by Samantha Shannon, is a rare gem that fuses intricate storytelling with bold feminist themes, creating not just a book but a universe rich in detail and depth.

“The Priory of the Orange Tree” isn’t your typical dragon lore; it reshapes the old narrative into something fresh and contemporary. With its enthralling mix of queer characters, political intrigue, and formidable female protagonists standing guard against chaos-bringing wyrms – this standalone adventure redefines what an epic fantasy can be.

Let’s unravel why this story has captured hearts globally, promising insights that could change how we view our own world’s legends. Get ready for a tale like no other!

Overview of the Book

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The Priory of the Orange Tree is a captivating standalone fantasy novel that has been making waves in the world of literature. With its intricate plot, diverse characters, and rich world-building, it’s no surprise that this book has garnered so much attention. As someone who has delved into the depths of this epic tale, I can confidently say that it offers a unique experience unlike any other fantasy novel out there.

Did you know that The Priory of the Orange Tree features a world filled with female warriors and leaders? This is just one of the many fascinating aspects of this book that sets it apart from other fantasies in the genre. If you’re ready to immerse yourself in a world besieged by fire-breathing wyrms and embark on an unforgettable adventure, then buckle up because this review will provide all the insights you need to navigate through this compelling story.

Summary of the plot

In “The Priory of the Orange Tree,” ancient darkness stirs as the fearsome dragon, the Nameless One, threatens to return after a thousand years. The House of Berethnet reigns over Inys but faces peril without an heir to continue its legacy.

Ead Duryan stands guard secretly within the royal court, wielding forbidden magic to protect Queen Sabran from assassins and the looming draconic threat.

Across the sea in Seiiki, Tané aspires to be a dragonrider but encounters a stranger who could upend her dreams and thrust her into political intrigue. Their fates intertwine with those of others: Niclays Roos seeks redemption for his past mistakes while Arteloth Beck chases heroism.

Together they battle treachery, navigate diplomacy, confront witchcraft, and forge alliances that span kingdoms teetering on the brink of war—all in hopes of banishing an unfathomable evil rising once again.

Description of the characters

The novel features a diverse array of characters, including Queen Sabran IX, the last in the Berethnet bloodline. Ead Duryan is a member of the Priory and tasked with protecting Sabran.

Tane is an aspiring dragon-rider from the East, while Niclays Roos serves as an alchemist and spy. Loth is a gentleman pirate who has his own set of moral standards, and Arteloth Beck serves as a loyal companion to Queen Sabran.

The supporting cast includes warriors, mages, priests, scholars, and political figures who all play vital roles in shaping the narrative.

Themes and Messages

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The Priory of the Orange Tree explores themes of feminism, friendship, love, and overcoming adversity in a world filled with dragons, pirates, and plague.


The novel features a world where female warriors and leaders play central roles, portraying strength, intelligence, and resilience. It challenges traditional gender roles by presenting women in positions of power, actively shaping the narrative with their actions and decisions.

The portrayal of diverse female characters showcases their individual agency and defies stereotypes, making a bold statement about equality and empowerment in the face of adversity.

In addition to featuring strong female characters, the book includes LGBTQ+ representation that adds depth to its exploration of feminism. The themes of love and friendship among women also highlight the importance of solidarity and support within diverse communities.

Overcoming adversity

The characters in The Priory of the Orange Tree face numerous challenges and obstacles. From Ead’s struggles as a mage hiding her identity to Tane’s determination to become a dragon rider despite societal barriers, the novel portrays various forms of adversity.

Sabran faces immense pressure as the queen to produce an heir while also dealing with political intrigue and threats to her queendom. These characters confront their adversities head-on, demonstrating resilience and courage in the face of daunting odds.

As the story progresses, each character is forced to confront their own inner demons and external challenges, showcasing themes of bravery, perseverance, and strength in overcoming adversity.


Friendship is a significant theme in The Priory of the Orange Tree. Throughout the novel, friendships are portrayed as crucial sources of support and strength for the characters. From Ead’s unwavering loyalty to Queen Sabran to Tane and Niclays’ unlikely alliance, the book showcases various forms of friendship that transcend barriers such as societal norms and prejudices.

These relationships not only provide emotional sustenance but also play pivotal roles in advancing the plot, underscoring the power of camaraderie amid adversity.

The interactions between characters demonstrate how friendships can bridge differences and foster unity in confronting challenges. For example, an unexpected bond forms between Loth and Arteloth during their shared journey, representing how genuine connections can develop even amidst conflict.

Love and romance

Romance plays a significant role in The Priory of the Orange Tree, intertwining with the complexities of power and destiny. Queen Sabran’s distaste for marriage is at odds with her duty to produce an heir, but her relationship with Ead challenges traditional expectations.

Their love defies societal norms and adds depth to the story, revealing vulnerabilities behind their steadfast exteriors. Similarly, Tane forms a heartfelt connection with Niclays despite their differences, showcasing how love can transcend boundaries in the face of adversity.

The theme of romance illustrates that even in a world threatened by wyrms and political intrigue, love persists as a force capable of shaping destinies and influencing choices. As relationships intertwine amidst the broader power struggles within the novel’s universe, love serves as both an emotional anchor and a catalyst for change.

Review of the Book

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The Priory of the Orange Tree offers a captivating blend of fantasy and adventure, with an intricate world-building and well-developed characters. Don’t miss the full review to discover more about this epic tale!

Writing style

The writing style in The Priory of the Orange Tree is rich and immersive, drawing readers into a vivid world of fire-breathing wyrms and powerful female warriors. Samantha Shannon adeptly weaves together multiple storylines, motivations, characters, and places to create an intricate plot that keeps readers engaged.

The author’s descriptive prose brings the fantasy realm to life while effectively conveying the depth of emotion and tension within the narrative. With LGBTQ+ representation and a strong focus on world-building and mythology, Shannon’s writing style captivates audiences with its depth and complexity.

Readers are drawn into a lush tapestry of storytelling as they explore Inys through Shannon’s carefully crafted words. The novel showcases the author’s talent for portraying strong themes such as feminism, overcoming adversity, friendship, love, and romance through engaging dialogue and compelling narrative arcs.


The world-building in The Priory of the Orange Tree is rich and immersive, introducing readers to a fascinating realm besieged by fire-breathing wyrms. Through vivid descriptions and intricate details, the novel creates a diverse landscape with various cultures, histories, and mythologies.

From the queendom of Inys ruled by the House of Berethnet for a thousand years to the threat posed by the Nameless One, each aspect of this world is meticulously crafted to draw readers into its depths.

The book’s strong focus on mythology and lore adds layers of complexity and depth to the narrative, making it a standout element that contributes significantly to the overall appeal of the story.

In addition to showcasing diverse environments and societies, The Priory of The Orange Tree also presents an intriguing blend of magic systems and fantastical creatures. Whether it’s Saint George battling dragons or other mystical beings woven into different cultures’ beliefs, these elements add texture to an already vibrant setting.

Character development

The characters in The Priory of the Orange Tree are deeply developed, each with their own intricate backgrounds and motivations. Ead Duryan, a mage of the Priory, undergoes significant growth as she grapples with her loyalty to the queen and her feelings for Sabran.

Similarly, Tane has a compelling arc as she navigates her identity while training to be a dragonrider. The relationships between diverse characters such as Niclays Roos and Loth in particular reveal layers of complexity that add depth to the story.

Focusing on personal struggles amidst an epic backdrop of political intrigue and magical battles, character development plays a crucial role in shaping the narrative’s emotional resonance and investment.

These dynamic arcs create a sense of authenticity that resonates with readers invested in complex storytelling with multifaceted characters.

Overall impact and rating

The character development in “The Priory of the Orange Tree” contributes significantly to its overall impact and rating. The intricate portrayal of the characters, their growth, and relationships adds depth to the storyline.

With a world besieged by fire-breathing wyrms and a queendom without an heir, the characters’ actions drive the plot forward. Their struggles, triumphs, and complexities resonate with readers, making the book a standout choice for those seeking compelling character-driven narratives with LGBTQ+ representation.

The rich world-building and mythology in “The Priory of the Orange Tree” elevate its impact and rating within the fantasy genre. The detailed creation of landscapes, cultures, and histories immerses readers in a vividly imagined universe populated by female warriors and leaders.


In conclusion, “The Priory of the Orange Tree” offers intricate storytelling with a diverse and engaging cast of characters. The novel’s world-building is vivid and immersive, captivating readers from start to finish.

With its strong themes of feminism, friendship, love, and overcoming adversity, the book resonates with audiences on multiple levels. Overall, this standalone fantasy has garnered widespread acclaim for its compelling narrative and rich mythology.

It is indeed a must-read for fans of epic fantasy looking for a fresh and inclusive take on the genre.

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