“You wear so much armour by daylight that, by night, you can carry it no longer. By night, you are only flesh. And even the flesh of a queen is prone to fear. In darkness, we are naked. Our truest selves. Night is when fear comes to us at its fullest, when we have no way to fight it. It will do everything it can to seep inside you. Sometimes it may succeed – but never think that you are the night.” ― Samantha Shannon, The Priory of the Orange Tree
I will admit right off the hop the only reason this book did not receive a 5 out of 5 is because the world building left me quite confused at times.
I think Shannon did a brilliant job of creating a diverse world, with so many cultures, peoples, and customs. Some of my favourite characters in fiction come from this book, but I found it a bit tough to follow at the beginning because of it all.
There was so much history, so many character names, so many stories that I found it hard to get a grasp of it all.
Once I put the pieces of the puzzle together and started remembering the names, the relationships, and the stories, it all started coming together.
I thought Shannon built a beautiful and diverse world in Priory, and it was just the surface. We get to see several places where there is nothing but a mere chapter of information.
The world of the Priory is definitely one I would want to dive into again.
There isn’t much romance in the beginning of the book. There is marriage and rumors of a love affair, but it doesn’t come across as romance to me.
The romance comes in the second half of the book, in two same-sex relationships.
I will admit that this is the first book I have read where there were same-sex relationships, and I think I picked a good place to start.
The romance doesn’t happen in an instant. It doesn’t even happen after a few chapters. The romance happens over chapters and chapters, between characters that I didn’t think would fall in love.
It felt so natural though. Shannon does a perfect job of taking two characters and making them fall in love. First with the small moments in life, until bigger and bigger moments occur.
It is a true fantasy love story and the realest romance of any book couples that come to mind.
The Characters’ Change
Almost every single one of the main characters are tested throughout Priory. Whether its their beliefs, their physical capabilities, or their wits, they are tested again and again.
Too often characters from books stay the same. They don’t change throughout their stories, or they change in ways that don’t make sense. Priory is different than that.
Priory allows the characters to grow from their experiences. Shannon writes characters that adapt based off of their circumstance, and turn into smarter, better, stronger people.
They change in believable ways, whether in an instant, or more slowly.
Shannon does a lot well with Priory, but this was one of the best aspects of the story.
Magic is both important and hidden in the background in this story. It is a secret art that is looked down upon.
Though dragons are real, and the bonds between them are common, the use of magic itself is very limited.
Even when it is used, we don’t get much of an explanation of it. There are no hard set rules, but it is explained well enough that we understand what can be done.
The Final Thoughts
I love The Priory of the Orange Tree. I love the world, the characters, and I love Shannon’s writing style.
I don’t often come across books that seem to capture the human essence so well, and because of it I have gotten a hold of the rest of the books by Shannon.
What did you think of The Priory of the Orange Tree? Let’s talk about it in the comments, and make sure to follow me on social media.
Hello my dear readers. After many weeks of putting it down to finish other books, I finally finished The Priory of the Orange Tree.
This isn’t a review of the book, that will come some time in the future, hopefully soon. Instead, I want to analyze one of the main characters that stuck out to me during the book; Sabran IX, the ruler of the Queendom of Inys.
Some of these opinions might be seen as controversial, and if you agree or disagree with me, we should talk about it in the comments, or send me a message on social media. Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook
My favourite thing about Sabran is that she is far from perfect and confident. She is very much a flawed character, and that is what makes her story so much more interesting.
She is a young Queen, but a strong ruler.
She has her fears about having children, and pursues immortality instead. She has fears that plenty of young women have.
Childbirth can be a scary thing for anybody, even a queen. If the power of immortality was at your fingertips, wouldn’t you think of pursuing it too?
Sabran has lived her entire life with other voices in her head, making decisions for her. She is the Queen, but she’s had advisors and other nobles limiting her freedom of thought.
Because of this, we see her doubt. We see her unsure of herself when she has a moment of privacy that the reader gets to explore. On the surface, she is a strong, more than capable queen. When we can tear wear the tough exterior, she is scared, she is unsure, she is exhausted.
It can’t be easy being a Queen, and when you’ve had a parentless existence like she has, you can imagine how lonely it can be.
Marriage is one thing Sabran tried to avoid when she was young. She didn’t want to marry, she wanted to be immortal instead.
When love finally comes her way, it’s as if she dives into it head first. She opens herself up to it, and she enjoys it. All of her fears are put to the side, and she accepts the beautiful things that love can bring.
That’s when her world is torn apart.
Sabran finally accepts love. She realizes the good it can bring, and how happy it can make her, and then it is ripped from her.
Her husband and her child are taken from her. The two things she was terrified to go through with were torn from her, her fears come true.
The emotional and mental destruction that would bring on anyone. She spent years avoiding them, and it is almost as if her fears made it a reality.
When Sabran realizes her feelings for Ead, it’s as if her pieces are put back together, slowly, but much stronger.
She allows herself to feel again, despite all the pain and fear it has brought her.
This time, she finds the love of her life. She finds her other half, and even when she falls into more emotional moments, where Ead is in danger, she keeps a strong head and does what needs to be done.
She may love Ead, but she knows when she needs to be a lover and when she needs to be a fighter.
It’s never directly stated, but it seems like Sabran’s ancestors have always suffered from depressive episodes.
It’s fairly well known, and Sabran experiences a few throughout the book.
What I like about her, is that she comes back from these dark moments, and she steps up when the time is right.
A thousand years of “destiny” and “prophecy” are on Sabran’s shoulders. She believes she is the sole reason that the end of the world is alive. She believes if her lineage ends, the Nameless One will rise and destroy the world.
When a High Welters, the strongest of the dragons besides the Nameless One, comes to her doorstep, she doesn’t hesitate in confronting it. She knows she could die with one swipe of its tail, but she confronts it as if she could kill it with her gaze alone.
As we make it further into The Priory of the Orange Tree, the entirety of Sabran’s religion is tested more than once.
The truth to the origin story of her religion is proven wrong, and then wrong again.
Despite this, she is understanding, and she is open minded. She could remain ignorant, sticking to her beliefs of what her and her people have been taught for hundreds of years.
It would be the easiest thing for her to do, but she is willing to accept the truth to it all, and learn from it.
Sabran’s character is far from perfect. She’s a bit of a bitch at times during the start of the book, but as we get to know her more and more, we understand why.
We understand her thoughts and actions more and more, and we realize she is an amazing character.
Sabran is definitely my favorite part of The Priory of the Orange Tree. She provides a wonderful emotional thread to the story, and it’s always refreshing to have a character that acts with her mind and heart, instead of just her heart.
This week’s topic is the 10 books most recently added to my bookshelf. It’s pretty straightforward so I’m just gonna start…and these are in no particular order, just the most recent books I received/bought
The Alloy of Law
By Brandon Sanderson, and a Mistborn world book. I am excited to get to it, but I have to finish the original trilogy first.
The Dark Tower
By Stephen King. Many consider this a classic and a great book, so I wanted to see what it was all about.
Wizard’s First Rule
The first book of a large series by Terry Goodkind. I’ve heard this is the best book in the series, so I can’t wait to step into another fantasy world.
The final book in the Marie Lu series. I started reading this series years ago, and I can say I am quite happy with the way it all ended.
Lost Causes of Bleak Creek
I’ve mentioned this book quite a bit too, but I am excited to get a chance to read it.
Sword of Destiny
A Witcher book. My brother bought the first one, and I got the second one. I’ve heard they are good and gruesome, which are both okay in my eyes.
A classic, and some would say a great book. My girlfriend picked it out for me at random, but I am always willing to read a classic story.
The Priory of the Orange Tree
Months ago I had seen this book all over Twitter, so I thought I’d finally get a copy of my own when I saw it in my local bookstore. I honestly don’t know what it’s about, but I am excited to crack it open.
Dnd Monster Manual
For any DnD player or DM, this book is a good source of information for the game, and a good source of inspiration for any writer.
Top 10 Games to Play in your Head by Yourself
I’ve said how excited I am about this book several times, but I just want to reinforce it one more time…I am excited for this book!