Emily (Books with Emily Fox)'s Reviews > The Priory of the Orange Tree

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2019-releases

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!
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Reading Progress

December 22, 2018 – Shelved
February 26, 2019 – Started Reading
March 1, 2019 –
page 236
27.83%
March 4, 2019 –
page 444
52.36%
March 18, 2019 –
75.0%
March 28, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-33 of 33 (33 new)

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message 1: by Liliana (new)

Liliana That cover is amazing!


message 2: by Sofia (new) - added it

Sofia | Bookstagram Nerdy Even Though this is a brick of a book i want it badly


Clio (Bemuzed) grr, no news about when my preorder will arrive. Also had one coming out on the 21st, just got news that I'll be receiing it tomorrow. Hope for a shorter wait for 'Priory'


message 4: by Varghese (new) - added it

Varghese Justin just started reading it ..


Amarinske It's good. I'm about 180 pages in and it's fascinating and the world is so rich. I'm glad I changed my mind from not interested to: ok, I want it now. One day after it came out (my edition released on the 19th)


message 6: by Verena (new) - added it

Verena Really want to read it! Because... dragons


message 7: by Mitsuha (new) - added it

Mitsuha I loveee dragons can't wait to read this!


message 8: by Alina (new) - added it

Alina Can’t wait to see what you think about it!


message 9: by Toon (new)

Toon Budeners All the reviews so far seem very positive, so I'm very curious what your take is :)


message 10: by Ellis (new) - added it

Ellis (whatellisreadnext) Thinking of picking this up tomorrow!!! Can't wait to see what you think of it


message 11: by JB (new) - rated it 2 stars

JB Lynn I'm currently reading this, as well. Admittedly having a tough time getting into this - still feels way too "info-dumpy" to me, and I'm a little lost with all the characters. (And I'm no stranger to massive epic adult fantasy novels.) Still sticking it out, though, but mostly just here for the dragons.


Amarinske JB wrote: "I'm currently reading this, as well. Admittedly having a tough time getting into this - still feels way too "info-dumpy" to me, and I'm a little lost with all the characters. (And I'm no stranger t..."
I had that in the beginning as well. To me it got better after about 25 pages, but the plot gets going after ~50-75 pages. I have no clue where in the book you are though.


Karla White I forgot I preordered it, and it showed up on my doorstep. I've started it and so far the writing has me hooked.


message 14: by Toon (new)

Toon Budeners A surprise, but a welcome one


message 15: by Karen (new) - added it

Karen I've just started it!


message 16: by JB (new) - rated it 2 stars

JB Lynn Amarinske wrote: "JB wrote: "I'm currently reading this, as well. Admittedly having a tough time getting into this - still feels way too "info-dumpy" to me, and I'm a little lost with all the characters. (And I'm no..."
I think I was about halfway through the book at that point. I'm down to about 125 pages left, and almost DNF'd this a few times, but figure I'll finish this since I've already put so much time into it. I'm listening to the book, and maybe that was a mistake. Just struggling to keep all the different POV's straight.


Katie Skinner I agree with the comment about the wars! They just didn't feel significant and happened so fast. The 'big' war only happening in the last 50 pages annoyed me slightly especially considering so many plot lines had to be wrapped up in that space as well ! x


Kennedy I have the same feelings about the character deaths and battles, interestingly! But like you, I can not pinpoint exactly what felt off about the battle scenes haha


message 19: by Lu (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lu Don't agree entirely about the characters, although maybe she could've taken a bit more of a risk with which characters died. But there's one particularly that broke me and loved the way it was written so at least I def didn't feel detached.

But I did have some issues with the battles, there's one major fight I was looking forward to that was /so/ underwhelming.


Jules I partially agree because I think that the thing with the characters is a pure matter of the author not taking huge risks with deaths, but I personally felt them anyway. Instead, regarding the battles, I'd say that they tend to go a little too as the characters planned them and it's rare to see something go wrong, especially in the last battle. I found it to be a bit too unproblematic if you get what I mean. Like, "we need to do this and this and this to win" and that, that and that is what happens. Anyway, don't get me wrong, I loved this book to death and I gave it 5 stars because they are overall minor flaws that didn't bother me that much and it's indeed a new favorite of mine. What really mattered to me were the characters and since we are talking of a character-driven story I think it was done beautifully. Also, I've read somewhere that this is a standalone but that Samantha Shannon is more than willing to go back to this world and write some more about it. I'm excited!


message 21: by Fateha (new) - added it

Fateha Ar I am so afraid of this book. This coming from a Brandon sanderson fan. I think it's because of this being a standalone and I'm used to reading series. Does this make sense?


message 22: by Alyson (new) - added it

Alyson I almost picked this up today, but the sheer size of it put me off!


Matthew Bryan It's not that I don't want people to enjoy books but it's frustrating to me that people aren't seeing all the major problems in Priory. I enjoyed the middle quite a bit but after finishing it, the more I thought about it the more I realize I'm lowering my rating from a 3★ to a 2★. The book just isn't well written at all and combined with how unimaginative the world is, I'm just so exasperated EVERYONE seems to be on the hype train for such a lukewarm book.


Chantal Lyons I'm really glad other people feel totally short-changed by the climax battle!


Marine Bernier I just finished POTO and I feel exactly the same !!!!!!


message 26: by Arlette (new) - added it

Arlette Krijgsman I see it hyped and unhyped, but I personally thought the world was rich enough for 4 stars at least. It offered more to me than, for example, Sanderson did.


message 27: by Kim (new) - added it

Kim I’m listening to it on audible and having a hard time keeping up with who is who. I think I need to get the book too to understand who all the characters are.


Natalia Margert part how they respected as her choice. This book was perfect and I am just happy everyone love and like gonna reread the shit out of it.


Jonny I just have finished the book and I agree with you: The battle at the end was quite... short and quite not epic at all, in my opinion.


Sherry Champeau niemer I just finished this book, and I agree the war at the end was very disappointing. I also found I had to go to The Who is who glossary a few times because I couldn’t remember all the characters. I also think the POV of Roos was not needed. I thought in general it was a good story though, and I recommend it.


Ishani I agree. I just finished the book, and I feel a little short-changed of a dramatic ending. I think the politics in the book was over-simplified as well. How was it so easy for countries who had a lot of animosity between them to suddenly become allies? I also wish we had gotten more insight into ‘The Nameless One’. After hearing about him for most of the book, I expected him to be much more formidable and frightening. What I did enjoy was the mythology that the author created, and I loved 4/5ths of the book - especially Ead’s character arc; there’s very much a full Hero’s Journey there, á la Campbell. It’s also thematically very solid and has an interesting take on dragons. I love the fact that women are very much at the helm of this book. So overall, despite its disappointments, I still think it’s a good book to read. Especially for someone who is craving fantasy.


message 32: by Courtney (new) - added it

Courtney Rodgers I was so bored by this book! I DNF it at 300 pages. The narrative was so dry! This happened. Then this happened. Once this happened.


Soumya Bisht Couldn't agree more. Most of the reviews said that the ending was terrible and while I do agree that the epic battle was somewhat underwhelming, the journey in itself was amazing. And the same goes with characters. I never felt really sad when any of them died because I was never really too connected with them. But none the less, I loved this book and the world.


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