The Priory of the Orange Tree

by Samantha Shannon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Priory of the Orange Tree
Click to Purchase

This book seems very intimidating at first glance, but it flows so perfectly that it didn’t feel like reading 800+ pages.

The world was so massive and plotted well with a really interesting history and political system. The story was exciting and engaging the whole way through. I cared about everyone and loved the interactions throughout the story. Every character was also really fleshed out with very distinct personalities.

The ending was very satisfying and I admit that even though this book was long, I still wanted to see more.

Full Review with Spoilers

At more than 800 pages it does come off a bit intimidating. This book was so well written though that it flew by and didn’t feel anywhere close to that length. The story just flows so nicely and never feels like there is a slow point anywhere. Naturally I did enjoy a few characters more than others so when the point of view would shift I would grumble a bit. These other characters still provided a lot in terms of moving the story forward so I didn’t actually feel like this was any kind of issue. I really liked how far apart each point of view was, almost like reading four separate stories that kept moving towards the same point together. This was extremely fun to read I felt like it was really well plotted. It was interesting to watch the different threads start tying together as the story developed.

Each of the four main characters was interesting, though some more than others. Each one read so different than the other that their own voices were very unique. Each also had there own themes and various story elements they brought out. For instance, Ead was an amazing character and her chapters added just the right amount of tension and romance to the book. Loth was ignorant to a lot of the rest of the world so his chapters added plenty of opportunity for us to learn more about the setting and history of the book. Niclays gave us a darker and more cynical perspective of the world and Tané fills a similar role from a much less downtrodden angle. Each focal character has their own sets of secondary characters that really support the story and those character relationships were also well fleshed out.

The ending was very satisfying too, even if Ead and her love interest Sabran couldn’t quiet have a happy ending at that particular moment. Everything else ended the best way it could. Loose ends were tied up, people ended where they needed to and there was just enough left open ended to keep us speculating about what could be after the events in the book.

Overall

I loved this book, it was long and engaging with a great story and great characters. It’s a time investment, but completely worth it. (The character, timeline and glossary information in the back is helpful, but I didn’t feel I really needed it much in order to follow along.)

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