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The Priory of the Orange Tree Paperback – 10 September 2021

4.5 out of 5 stars 4,544 ratings

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Review

A tour de force, and my new absolute favourite epic fantasy ― Laini Taylor, author of Strange the Dreamer

I have been waiting my whole life for this fantasy. It's the kind of book you never want to end. Utterly unique, wild, and rich. Sheer perfectionLisa Lueddecke, author of A Storm of Ice and Stars

The new Game of Thrones. Escapism at its finest - Shannon, we salute youStylist.co.uk

Allow me to introduce your newest fantasy obsession . Remarkably fresh and frankly fearless . Works so well as an intricately realised and feminist fantasy that one might even be tempted to dub Samantha Shannon 'The female George R.R. Martin' . As with the best of fantasy, The Priory of the Orange Tree feels less like a book than it does an experience, a true sojourn into a rich and terrible new world ― Hypable

A magnificent epic . Crammed with subversion and feminism, and written with tough, poetic assurance ― Metro

The Priory of the Orange Tree is a brilliant, daring, and devastating jewel. Samantha Shannon has crafted an incredible world full of depth and danger, with characters I would follow to the ends of the earth. It was a privilege to read, and I'm in awe of her talent. I can't wait for the rest of the world to experience this book ― Victoria Aveyard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Red Queen series

Sensual . Majestic . Blending politics with high adventure and the epic with the intimate, the narrative builds like a tidal wave before sweeping towards an awesome, climactic finale ― Daily Mail

An entirely fresh and addicting tale . A celebration of fantasy that melds modern ideology with classic tropes. More of these dragons, please ― Kirkus Reviews, starred review

A masterpiece of intricate world-building with the depth, complexity, heart and soul of a timelessly relevant classic. Brilliant, diverse, feminist, subversive, thought-provoking and masterfully told, The Priory of the Orange Tree is epic fantasy at its finest. The scope of the book is staggering, as is Shannon's deft command of language ... An absolute must-readKaren Marie Moning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Highlander and Fever series

Nothing short of extraordinary. An audacious, ambitious, sprawling epic, set across a world like no other, The Priory of the Orange Tree takes everything you think you know about high fantasy, rips it apart and remakes it ... Nothing short of game-changing ... An absolute masterclass in story telling, from one of the most exciting and innovative fantasy writers alive today. With it, Samantha Shannon has set the bar stratospherically high. This is the book of 2019Melinda Salisbury, author of The Sin-Eater’s Daughter

The Priory of the Orange Tree feels like a feminist successor to The Lord of the Rings - something I don't say lightly. Epic and awe-inspiring in its scope, its rich, diverse world captivated me. I loved each complex narrator, all wonderfully human heroes and anti-heroes, and adored sinking into the world Samantha Shannon has created with such heart and beauty. This deserves to be as big as Game of Thrones ... An expertly woven saga that feels very relevant for the contemporary world we live in ― Laure Eve, author of The Graces

An epic fantasy destined to be a classic. A world crafted with such intricacy and detail, I had to remind myself it was not a real place. The Priory of the Orange Tree is one of those rare novels that captures your imagination so completely you will read it over and over, until the cover cracks and the spine breaks ― Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of Beautiful Creatures and author of Unbreakable

Move over, Tolkien - you had a good run, but it's high time fantasy had a Queen ― Holly Roberts, bookseller

There is no doubt that Samantha is the real thing . A born storytellerObserver

Shannon's brilliance is that she is not afraid of change, both for her characters and her setting . A name to watchIndependent

Samantha Shannon has a hugely inventive talent and an imagination with seven league bootsSusan Hill, author of The Woman in Black

An astonishing achievement. The roots of Shannon's world lie in real history, but its branches stretch far into the imagination. Many authors can paint different names onto familiar concepts; Shannon goes further, building new religions and histories and conflicts, with all the rich detail necessary to bring them to life ― Marie Brennan, author of The Memoirs of Lady Trent

The Priory of the Orange Tree is the Platonic Ideal of a fantasy novel. A rich and stirring tale of magic and queens, swords and dragons, assassins and sorcerers, it is thronged with women: strong women and queer women, gorgeous women and powerful women, brilliant women and dangerous women. Men, too, of course. This story of good and evil, struggle and triumph, love and loss and return is beautifully written: complex but clear, and utterly immersive. I loved this bookNicola Griffith, author of Hild

Shannon satisfyingly fills this massive standalone epic fantasy with court intrigue, travel through dangerous lands, fantastical religions, blood, love, and rhetoric ― Publishers Weekly

Review

1) A tour de force, and my new absolute favourite epic fantasy - Laini Taylor, author of Strange the Dreamer 2 ) I have been waiting my whole life for this fantasy. It’s the kind of book you never want to end. Utterly unique, wild, and rich. Sheer perfection - Lisa Lueddecke, author of A Storm of Ice and Stars 3) The new Game of Thrones. Escapism at its finest – Shannon, we salute you - Stylist.co.uk 4 ) Allow me to introduce your newest fantasy obsession … Remarkably fresh and frankly fearless … Works so well as an intricately realised and feminist fantasy that one might even be tempted to dub Samantha Shannon ‘The female George R.R. Martin’ … As with the best of fantasy, The Priory of the Orange Tree feels less like a book than it does an experience, a true sojourn into a rich and terrible new world - Hypable 5)A magnificent epic … Crammed with subversion and feminism, and written with tough, poetic assurance - Metro 6 )The Priory of the Orange Tree is a brilliant, daring, and devastating jewel. Samantha Shannon has crafted an incredible world full of depth and danger, with characters I would follow to the ends of the earth. It was a privilege to read, and I’m in awe of her talent. I can’t wait for the rest of the world to experience this book - Victoria Aveyard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Red Queen series 7) Sensual … Majestic … Blending politics with high adventure and the epic with the intimate, the narrative builds like a tidal wave before sweeping towards an awesome, climactic finale - Daily Mail 8)An entirely fresh and addicting tale … A celebration of fantasy that melds modern ideology with classic tropes. More of these dragons, please - Kirkus Reviews, starred review 9) A masterpiece of intricate world-building with the depth, complexity, heart and soul of a timelessly relevant classic. Brilliant, diverse, feminist, subversive, thought-provoking and masterfully told, The Priory of the Orange Tree is epic fantasy at its finest. The scope of the book is staggering, as is Shannon’s deft command of language ... An absolute must-read - Karen Marie Moning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Highlander and Fever series 10 ) Nothing short of extraordinary. An audacious, ambitious, sprawling epic, set across a world like no other, The Priory of the Orange Tree takes everything you think you know about high fantasy, rips it apart and remakes it ... Nothing short of game-changing ... An absolute masterclass in story telling, from one of the most exciting and innovative fantasy writers alive today. With it, Samantha Shannon has set the bar stratospherically high. This is the book of 2019 - Melinda Salisbury, author of The Sin-Eater’s Daughter 11) The Priory of the Orange Tree feels like a feminist successor to The Lord of the Rings - something I don't say lightly. Epic and awe-inspiring in its scope, its rich, diverse world captivated me. I loved each complex narrator, all wonderfully human heroes and anti-heroes, and adored sinking into the world Samantha Shannon has created with such heart and beauty. This deserves to be as big as Game of Thrones ... An expertly woven saga that feels very relevant for the contemporary world we live in - Laure Eve, author of The Graces 12) An epic fantasy destined to be a classic. A world crafted with such intricacy and detail, I had to remind myself it was not a real place. The Priory of the Orange Tree is one of those rare novels that captures your imagination so completely you will read it over and over, until the cover cracks and the spine breaks - Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of Beautiful Creatures and author of Unbreakable 13) Move over, Tolkien – you had a good run, but it's high time fantasy had a Queen - Holly Roberts, bookseller 14)There is no doubt that Samantha is the real thing … A born storyteller - Observer 15)Shannon’s brilliance is that she is not afraid of change, both for her characters and her setting … A name to watch - Independent 16) Samantha Shannon has a hugely inventive talent and an imagination with seven league boots - Susan Hill, author of The Woman in Black 17) An astonishing achievement. The roots of Shannon's world lie in real history, but its branches stretch far into the imagination. Many authors can paint different names onto familiar concepts; Shannon goes further, building new religions and histories and conflicts, with all the rich detail necessary to bring them to life - Marie Brennan, author of The Memoirs of Lady Trent 18) The Priory of the Orange Tree is the Platonic Ideal of a fantasy novel. A rich and stirring tale of magic and queens, swords and dragons, assassins and sorcerers, it is thronged with women: strong women and queer women, gorgeous women and powerful women, brilliant women and dangerous women. Men, too, of course. This story of good and evil, struggle and triumph, love and loss and return is beautifully written: complex but clear, and utterly immersive. I loved this book - Nicola Griffith, author of Hild 19) Shannon satisfyingly fills this massive standalone epic fantasy with court intrigue, travel through dangerous lands, fantastical religions, blood, love, and rhetoric - Publishers Weekly

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Bloomsbury Publishing (10 September 2021); Bloomsbury India
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 848 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1526648717
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1526648716
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 590 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 198 x 129 x 12 cm
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ United Kingdom
  • Importer ‏ : ‎ New Delhi
  • Packer ‏ : ‎ Bloomsbury Publishing India Pvt Ltd New Delhi 110070
  • Generic Name ‏ : ‎ Book
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,544 ratings

About the author

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Samantha Shannon is the New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author of The Bone Season series. Her work has been translated into twenty-six languages. The Priory of the Orange Tree is her fourth novel and her first outside of The Bone Season series. She lives in London.

samanthashannon.co.uk / @say_shannon

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
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Top reviews from India

Reviewed in India on 6 March 2019
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2.0 out of 5 stars The only thing I enjoyed, was the cover.
By TheDeadPoet on 6 March 2019
Edit: Back in early 2019, when I received this book, I commented that it might just be the best fantasy-read of the year. I was, unfortunately, proven wrong. This isn't to say the book was poorly written or that it lacked world-building, my biggest issue with the book as I read it was that there was simply too-much world-building without anything actually ever happening.

We are introduced to a plethora of characters and worlds and continents but none of it seems to matter as in the grand scheme of things, everyone and everything seems to be running on the spot. I suppose the best way to express the opening chapters of this book is to say that there's a lot of activity but very little progress/achievement. Many of the characters seem to be the embodiment of medieval tropes with the only difference being the female-characters have taken over the more traditional and patriarchal roles bestowed upon male-characters. But again, they are let down in my opinion by the sheer drudgery of the plot.

I've been reading long enough to know that there are novels which pick-up in pace at a much later stage. I've read my share of books that began with a crawl but soon hit a stride that'd best Usain Bolt in a sprint. The Priory of the Orange Tree seems to be one such book, however, the only issue I have is that even the crawling first-act doesn't really offer me anything that'd make me want to persevere. So, in this instance, I believe it's more a case of me not being right for this book rather than the other way round. The cover-art is definitely one of the best I've ever seen, but as of right now, the cover is the only reason why I've retained this book in my library-shelves. And who knows, perhaps one day in the future I might finish reading it. And I'll re-edit this section again.
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Reviewed in India on 16 March 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars review for THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE
By Pretty Little Bibliophile on 16 March 2019
The Priory of the Orange Tree is a massive book – with more than 800 pages, at first glance it tends to intimidate the reader, but once one starts reading it, there is nothing that can hold him back from flipping the pages.

I am absolutely happy that I read this book – it was a thrilling ride and I for one, loved every bit of it. I read The Priory of the Orange Tree along with my bestie @per_fictionist .

The world created by Shannon in this high-fantasy novel is as vast and powerful as that of any other ones every created. The author has painted a world with her own magical pen, and rendered the reader speechless. In this divided world, there are various people – those of the West hate all wyrms, not distinguishing the good ones from the bad ones, while the people in the East, worship them. it is from these two opposing sides that we see the protagonists – Tane is from the East, an aspiring dragon-rider, and Ead Duryan is from the West, tasked with protecting the Inysh Queen, Sabran, who is the last in her line. What makes the world so rich is the effort the author has put in, and given such depth – there are so many myths and legends among these people, that it is as if you as the reader are living it, and learning about their rules and customs.

The author has portrayed the female inter-relationships beautifully. It is nice to see these women, strong in their own rights, support and help each other. Everyone has a demon and everyone suffers alone, but again, each of them are string women who do not give up – they are selfless, young but idealistic. They make mistakes, but are not afraid to accept them and learn from them. Seeing as how fantasy is in such demand right now, I see this as something really powerful for the author to have done – women empowerment starts from among the women themselves.

Another amazing representation is the lesbian relationship which I perceived as the major romantic relationship among the various others. This representation is impressive – from not knowing of one’s sexual orientation to realizing it and accepting it fully despite what society thinks, to being confused to following rules set by society, the novels covers a myriad of aspects.

Speaking of characters, I have to admit that I also share Gayatri’s feelings regarding Sabran – at first I was just as different towards her, for she seemed like any other pampered royal, unknowing of the harsh reality of the world. But her character arc, as the novel goes on, is definitely very noticeable and all of this makes her human and thus, very much relatable to the reader. She suffers, both due to internal and external reasons, but it is all overshadowed by her truest desire to help her people and be a good queen to them.

Eadaz du Zala Uq Nara, or Ead Duryan as she is rather known, is a member of the Priory of the Orange Tree, assigned to protect the Berethnet queen, Sabran IX. Her relationship with the queen is dynamic and changes as the story progresses.

Tane is also another woman who grows throughout. A Seiikinese from the East, her greatest desire is to be a dragon rider. It is also through her dragon Nayimathun, that we get the closest glimpse to these magical and awe-inspiringly majestic creatures.

Apart from these three women, Margaret Beck, sister to Arteloth Beck (who is friend to both Ead and Sabran), is a wonderful woman. Always supportive of her friends, she is not afraid to go into the midst of war to do her share in helping the wounded and also, for the betterment of the future of course. The male leads are also very modern – they are spportive and can accept these bold women as their equals without being intimidated. They also made me admire them. Loth and Kit were two amazing men. I will miss what Kate and Kit might have been. The author has truly done an amazing job with the characters and made the entire read an utter delight.

The fantasy element – with the Eastern dragons, the wyrms, Fyredel and his siblings and of course The Nameless one, the story reads like magic too. The issue of immortality, the three trees, and the unsettling yet amazing family histories are all crazy and yet make up the backbone of the story. The other theme of politics is also intriguing and absolutely captures the reader’s attention.

The altering narratives were not at all abrupt – the writing is done with fluidic grace and one just glides through. However, I felt that the end was rushed through – that the denouement was reached without much struggle.

It was an amazing book. I took exactly 5 days to complete it. With its beautiful and page-turning churn of action, high fantasy, romance, and politics, I rate this book a 4.5/5 stars!
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Reviewed in India on 23 March 2019
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Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Overhyped and underwhelming
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 April 2019
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Isobel
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Magical, worth every penny.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 March 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Magical, worth every penny.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 March 2019
Many people describe The Priory Of The Orange Tree as a feminist book. Depending on your definitions of what feminism is that could be true or it couldn't, but to me Priory displays the truest and most desirable form of equality; a universe where neither men nor women put each other down or limit each other because of their gender. Priory has raised the standard of how women, non-straight relationships and fantasy religion should be portrayed forever. Even better, it does so without having to make a big deal out of it. If you've ever wished, just once, for a fantasy world that can be gritty, epic and hardhitting without throwing in scenes of sexual violenc as displays of power or killing off wives to give their husbands a reason to be moody, this is the book for you.

The world was completely fleshed out, breath taking and unique. Instead of taking the same generic medieval tropes to make each of the kingdoms vague imitations of England and Scandinavia, it's clear that Shannon researched world history and used it as an inspiration point to spring an epic fantasy universe that felt familiar yet new, and completely authentic. Her style of writing is beautiful and descriptive and for the first time in years it made reading a book over 800 pages a joy instead of a struggle.

There is a huge epic cast of different and unique characters. At first this is intimidating, and it takes quite a while to get all the names straight in your head, but once you do it's well worth it. Priory is a book you have to dedicate yourself to; if you want an easy, light read then you shouldn't be looking towards a piece of writing as complicated as this one is. If you take the time and the attention to understand the world and everything going on in it however, it will be one of the best bookish decisions you can make.

I do have quite a few issues with Priory which do hurt my admiration of it. I really feel like this book should have been around 600 pages. For pretty much half of the book, Ead sat around playing handmaiden to Sabran. Despite the fact that I adore her character just as much as the others, we sacrificed a lot of page time to her doing nothing, while the exciting and different side storylines were given short and fleeting chapters. Either some of this waiting around should have been cut out, or the other characters should have been given some more time. The biggest example I feel makes this obvious is Tané. Her being a dragon rider is surely one of the most exciting and interesting parts of the book, yet she gets next to no page time and even less time spent actually being with with her dragon. On that note, for a story about dragons, it feels like there's barely any interaction with them for most of the book. I really wish we'd have gotten more of an understanding of their society and how Eastern dragons view Western dragons.

The entire thing however, so so magical and dear to me that I could let big things like this slide. I love Priory with all of my heart and I hope Shannon releases more books in this universe!
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Amanda Almeida
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutamente incrível
Reviewed in Brazil on 6 April 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutamente incrível
Reviewed in Brazil on 6 April 2019
Esse livro me prendeu pela capa, me prometeu uma fantasia épica, e me deu tudo isso e ainda mais.
Sim, já vou começar rasgando seda e, é provável que mesmo escrevendo páginas elogiando ele, não seja suficiente.
Em meio a tantas fantasias medíocres e histórias que reciclam fórmulas de outras famosas, The Priory Of The Orange Tree era o que eu estava precisando.
Vou começar elogiando a escrita da Samantha Shannon. Como eu ainda não li nada dela? Depois desse livro eu coloquei a outra trilogia da autora na minha lista. Sei que as histórias são completamente diferentes, mas agora eu preciso conhece-la melhor e finalmente dar uma chance para Temporada de Ossos.
Ela conseguiu me prender desde a primeira página, e eu sei que se estivesse de férias, provavelmente devoraria esse livro em 3 dias, no máximo.
Eu fiquei triste cada vez que precisei parar ele, seja por causa do trabalho, ou do sono que já estava tomando conta de mim. E mesmo morrendo de cansaço eu ficava com a história na cabeça, martelando teorias e imaginando tudo o que poderia acontecer depois.
Porém, uma boa escrita não é suficiente para um livro ser bom. Existem muitos autores bons, mas com histórias que simplesmente não funcionam para mim. O que não é o caso de TPOTOT (vou ter que começar a abreviar o título haha)
O livro tem 4 protagonistas.
Ead: Uma maga do Priorado da Laranjeira que se infiltra no reino de Inys para proteger a rainha Sabran e garantir que nada atrapalhe os seus deveres como governante da Casa de Berethnet.

Tané: Uma garota de origem simples que sonha em entrar para a alta guarda do mar, mas acaba cometendo um erro que pode colocar esse sonho por água abaixo.

Niclays: Um alquimista decadente e ambicioso que foi expulso do reino de Inys pela própria rainha atual, e que busca desesperadamente o segredo da imortalidade.

Loth: Um amigo de infância de Sabran, que é mandado para longe do reino, já que alguns acreditam que os dois tem um caso amoroso, e isso pode atrapalhar os planos dela gerar uma herdeira, e em consequência disso, acordar um perigoso inimigo.

Todos tem grande peso e importância para a trama, e em vários momentos as suas histórias acabam se entrelaçando.
Apesar dos protagonistas masculinos, o livro é dominado por mulheres. Desde o começo a força e empoderamento feminino, está muito presente, e foi uma das coisas que mais me agradaram.
Muitas vezes eu caio na armadilha de livros que prometem isso, mas não cumprem, ou colocam somente o que é conveniente para o desenvolvimento da história. E isso não aconteceu aqui.
A autora nos presenteia com mulheres fortes, ambiciosas, e principalmente humanas, e isso não se resume somente as duas personagens principais. O livro apresenta muitas outras mulheres com esses mesmos aspectos, e a autora não diminui uma para enaltecer a outra.

Outro aspecto incrível de TPOTOT é a ambientação. No começo do livro a autora menciona que se inspirou em vários lugares do nosso mundo para criar o fictício, e para mim ela trabalhou muito bem esse aspecto. Eu consegui imaginar facilmente os cenários enquanto estava lendo, e inserir todos os elementos que ela descreve durante a narrativa.

Mudando um pouco para o desenvolvimento da história. O livro tem ação do começo ao fim, porém nada cansativo que faça a gente enjoar de ver ação e desejar saber um pouco mais sobre os personagens e o mundo. A Samantha soube equilibrar perfeitamente todos esses detalhes, nos dando tudo na medida certa.
Nada fica para o final, não ficamos presos em picuinhas bobas para encher a história, e muito menos descrições excessivas somente para dar volume ao livro.

Nada disso que eu disse acima parece suficiente? Apesar de ser, ainda tem mais, muito mais.
Batalhas épicas, dragões (muitos dragões) representatividade, crítica ao fanatismo religioso, e claro uma boa dose de romance.
The Priory Of The Orange Tree é a fantasia perfeita para os amantes desse gênero. Além de todos os aspectos que citei, ele é um livro único, ou seja, nada de enrolação para prender os leitores em uma série grande e cansativa.

Finalizo dizendo que por enquanto The Priory Of The Orange Tree foi a minha melhor leitura do ano, e que estou genuinamente feliz por ter tido a chance de conhecer essa história incrível.
Espero que não demorem para trazer ele para o Brasil e que outros leitores possam ter a chance de ler e sentir o mesmo que eu estou sentindo agora.
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Tales of a Librarian
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything a bi girl who never found herself in SFF growing up could ever wish for
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 February 2019
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3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 March 2019
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