Book Review of
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
OKAY!!! So what do I say?
I want to say a lot of things about Samantha Shannon’s latest novel. First among many is that this book ‘The Priory of the Orange Tree’ is HUGE!!! Gigantically huge!!! And equally huge was my expectations from this overhyped book.
Did it meet my expectations?
No, it did not. It sort of fell flat.
An Epic feminist fantasy ‘The Priory of the Orange Tree’ is a tale of conflict between cultural historical belief and the truth. Set in a world where women rules and Dragons are worshipped. Samantha weaves a story which has many shades of emotions: love, fear, deceit, etc.
Opening Lines: And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the abyss and holding in his hand a great chain.
Page Counts: 848 pages
Publication Date: February 26th, 2019
The Priory of the Orange Tree is Samantha Shannon’s first standalone fantasy book. Like any other standalone fantasy stories, ‘The Priory of the Orange Tree’ has many complex characters, their histories, and personalities as well as a story spanning multiple continents, which kind of wasn’t executed well.
It had feels of many medieval tales spanning many countries and there was a clear emphasis on the powerful nature of beliefs in different cultures and traditions.
I know, I am being a bit harsh but the truth is The Priory of the Orange Tree felt something of an overstretched and unbalanced. The first few hundred pages develop its characters, backstories, and subplots in frustratingly slow paced. It’s only halfway through it catches pace and becomes reasonably compelling. But the end game was good but failed to impact me as a reader. Maybe a few hundred pages less and this book could have been a 5 star read!
Though Shannon has created a good storyline but she fell in the execution department. Maybe too much details kind of made it an okayish read.
On the other hand, I really loved the narration style. Four narrators with their distinct personality made me want to continue reading and not give up. I also loved her written style smooth and poetic at someplace and it kind of fit with the feel of the story. Her prose sucked me into the narrative, even though it was unnecessarily a behemoth of a book. The fantasy also has some good scenes and a sensuous slow romance.
Do I recommend this book?
I wouldn’t not recommend this book unless you have patience enough to read a behemoth of a book with a mildlingly good read.
My Rating: 3/5 stars
I buddy read this book with Sidhhi of bookbabiesandmore.
About the Author
Born: London, The United Kingdom
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. Film and TV rights were acquired by the Imaginarium Studios. The Mime Order followed in 2015 and The Song Rising in 2017.
Her next novel, The Priory of the Orange Tree, will be published in February 2019. Her work has been translated into twenty-six languages. She lives in London.
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