The Priory of the Orange Tree Review

 

 

The Priory of the Orange Tree

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GoodReads:
A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens.
The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction – but assassins are getting closer to her door.
Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.
Across the dark sea, Tané has trained to be a dragonrider since she was a child, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.
Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK | Amazon US

**The links to the book used in this post are Affiliated links, should you click on my links and use them to purchase this book, it will gain me some monies, and will cost you nothing, but gotta disclose this first.**

 

My Review

Finally! A post not scheduled from me lol though I set most of this up before I left. I hope you all are doing great and staying warm (or cool) this holiday season.

Onto my review though!

I was so frustrated reading this because I kept having to put it down to read other things with set dates like the fabulous blog tours I’ve been doing. And, well, I hated putting this book down because I loved it so much from start to finish.

Shannon gives us this incredible world with an intricate history and magic system. This is everything I wanted from a fantasy novel and what I wish ‘Game Of Thrones’ had been more like if I’m honest.

You’re kept on this really decent flow, the pace never slumping once it hits its momentum so though she be a THICC book, the only time you realize it is when your wrists start to hurt when you’re holding a physical copy.

Ead was hands down my favorite character but omg I loved them all! Especially a certain cranky old man who is pretty much my spirit animal.

I loved the different lands and rulers, the facets with the different beliefs especially on their dragon views and I ADORED the concept and execution of the dragons and the Eastern and Western differences in them.

Shannon not only gives us one of the best books of the year but one of the best books I have personally ever read.

The Sapphic love story was flawless, the backgrounds for each character well thought out and their development astounding.

I have nothing but good things to say about this book, the cast and its author.

I do know some people flight it started off slowly and I can see where they are coming from but I do feel after that there seems to be settling in with the pacing and Shannon keeps it going well.

Maybe I wish there had been more dragons but this was a story about people and then dragons. This was a story of heart and beliefs and fear, and all of it wrapped up in a glorious dragon fantasy world.

I can’t thank Samantha Shannon enough for writing this book and it’s definitely a five cups of hot chocolate read for me.

WWW Wednesday

 

 

It’s time for the WWW Wednesday meme brought to you all by Taking on a World of Words

 

What Are You Currently Reading?

The Priory of the Orange Tree

GoodReads:

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

Time to finish this amazing book! I’ve loved it every time I’ve picked it up to read, and I’ve just put everything else on pause for the moment because I want to finish this before I go on holiday…on Friday. But! I’m already halfway done, my goal is to try and read about 200 more today and try to fit in some of another book, but, I’ll skip the other book for now if I have to. I HAVE A NEED TO FINISH THIS!

 

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

The Penelopiad

GoodReads:

Now that all the others have run out of air, it’s my turn to do a little story-making.
In Homer’s account in The Odyssey, Penelope—wife of Odysseus and cousin of the beautiful Helen of Troy—is portrayed as the quintessential faithful wife, her story a salutary lesson through the ages. Left alone for twenty years when Odysseus goes off to fight in the Trojan War after the abduction of Helen, Penelope manages, in the face of scandalous rumors, to maintain the kingdom of Ithaca, bring up her wayward son, and keep over a hundred suitors at bay, simultaneously. When Odysseus finally comes home after enduring hardships, overcoming monsters, and sleeping with goddesses, he kills her suitors and—curiously—twelve of her maids.
In a splendid contemporary twist to the ancient story, Margaret Atwood has chosen to give the telling of it to Penelope and to her twelve hanged maids, asking: “What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to?” In Atwood’s dazzling, playful retelling, the story becomes as wise and compassionate as it is haunting, and as wildly entertaining as it is disturbing. With wit and verve, drawing on the story-telling and poetic talent for which she herself is renowned, she gives Penelope new life and reality—and sets out to provide an answer to an ancient mystery.

I read this yesterday and looooooved it. I, however, am a huge addict for new/different takes on myths and legends. Not to mention I do love Atwood, but, I went in reading this for what it was instead of who it was by. It was fantastic and darker than I thought, and, again, loved it. Review to come on this!

 

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

The Orange Grove

GoodReads:
Blois, 1705. The château of Duc Hugo d’Amboise simmers with rivalry and intrigue. Henriette d’Augustin, one of five mistresses of the duc, lives at the chateau with her daughter. When the duc’s wife, Duchesse Charlotte, maliciously undermines a new mistress, Letitia, Henriette is forced to choose between position and morality. She fights to maintain her status whilst targeted by the duchesse who will do anything to harm her enemies. The arrival of charismatic tarot reader, Romain de Villiers, further escalates tensions as rivals in love and domestic politics strive for supremacy.

In a society where status is a matter of life and death, Henriette must stay true to herself, her daughter, and her heart, all the while hiding a painful secret of her own.

An author request I’ve really been looking forward to reading, and yes, yes, another from the backlog, I want to try and get to this, we’ll see how I do with Priory.

Also, I would like to finish this

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (The Tales of Dunk and Egg, #1-3)

GoodReads:
A century before A GAME OF THRONES, two unlikely heroes wandered Westeros…
A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS compiles the first three official prequel novellas to George R.R. Martin’s ongoing masterwork, A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE.
Before Tyrion Lannister and Podrick Payne there was Dunk and Egg.
A young, naïve but courageous hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall towers above his rivals – in stature if not experience. Tagging along with him is his diminutive squire, a boy called Egg – whose true identity must be hidden from all he and Dunk encounter: for in reality he is Aegon Targaryen, and one day he will be king. Improbable heroes though they be, great destinies lie ahead for Dunk and Egg; as do powerful foes, royal intrigue, and outrageous exploits.
A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS brings together for the first time the first three official prequel novellas to George R.R. Martin’s ongoing masterwork, A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, set in an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne, and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living memory.
Featuring more than 160 illustrations by Gary Gianni, one of the finest fantasy artists of our time, this beautiful volume will transport readers to the world of the Seven Kingdoms in an age of bygone chivalry.

I just forgot about it really as I started reading more 2019 releases and more YA this year, so, I’ll get to it lol I left it about 14% in.

 

What are you reading? What are you hoping to read before 2019 ends?

Tag Time: Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Thank you Jamsu for tagging me!

I am a pretty big Buffy fan so this made my day lol

Buffy: A Character Who Lives A Double Life

June from Marie Lu’s Legend books. Is she on the side of the Republic? The Patriots? The Colonies? Haha I mean I know but still, watching her try and navigate as a double agent is awesome and so much fun.

Willow: A Badass Witch
A Badass Witch…I mean does Ead count? I mean she gets accused of it so we’re going with it, I love Ead from The Priory of The Orange Tree.
Xander: A Character who Just Provides Comic Relief

Altair from We Hunt The Flame gives me absolute life and makes me chuckle so much. I’m actually pretty hard to make laugh while reading a book but Altair’s hilarious.

Dawn: Favorite Sibling Relationship
Fred & George Weasley from Harry Potter. I adored their twin relationship…pardon me while I go sob in a corner now.
Angel: An Extremely Broody Character

Alec Lightwood…I mean he grows out of it, eventually, but he was a broody little shit at times.

Cordelia: A Character Who Undergoes Major Growth

Hesina from Descendant of the Crane. She starts out as a seeker of truth, but she comes to realize sometimes the truth is more than we can handle.

Spike: A Character With A Redemption Arc

Balthazar from Bad Breed The Necromancer’s Bride/ Gaslamp Gothic series. I cannot think of a character more deserving of this atm, and he’s pretty great.

Giles: A Parental Figure

Oshe from Kingdom of Souls was such a breath of fresh air, a supportive father who loved his. daughter and had no reservations on showing affection. More of this, please?

Faith: A Character With Questionable Alliances

Draco Malfoy, I mean, let’s be real, I question even his choice in goons.

Tara: A book With LGBTQIA Romance

The Veiled Threat, a kickass female Elven Pirate Captain and a pretty awesome Princess. Need I say more?

I tag
Everyone.
HOARD THE TAG, LOVE THE TAG, MAYBE SOMEDAY USE THE TAG.

Ed Book Fest Day 3

Hey everyone!

So last night was my final day attending the Edinburgh International Book Festival. I’m now poor and more than that, I hate going around Edinburgh when it’s full-blown festival season.  [Road rage while walking is REAL for August in that city, folks]

Who did I go see?

The lovely Samantha Shannon again

AND

Holly Black!! [I have loved her books since I was like 15, which is half my life guys!]

Kirsty Logan did a great job panelling, asking questions and making sure that they were the sort of questions that could apply to both authors.

Also, I’m pretty sure there’s some conspiracy that makes all authors really super at reading out loud.

[In general, I sound like a really unimpressed chipmunk, so like, obviously my author dreams are out the window, but I digress.]

The authors were asked about how they do their worldbuilding to introduce the readers to their worlds.

Samantha starts us off with the answers, talking about it’s a balance as you have to avoid info-dumping but you still need to give a way for the readers to submerge into the world. There’s also the difference with Fantasy in that a lot of times you don’t need to understand the beginning of it, so as she read the book to her family who did not read a lot of the genre they had so many questions on the first page alone. This part cracked me up as she said they kept interrupting asking who the stranger in the sea was, why was he in the sea, and so forth. Seriously, my sides hurt from that panel.

Holly agreed on the info-dumping and that you have to try and not bring the story to a halt while explaining things to readers. The plot must go on!

When asked about their writings of female characters in the Fantasy genre, I mean we know that it’s still pretty male-dominated but the women are slowly taking over but Kirsty had them speaking about what it was like, did they make the conscious choice to have their female protagonists or did it come naturally.

Also as they discussed the fantasy genre and talked about the dominating protagonists of it, Kirsty Logan gave us this gem:

Pale, Male, and Stale.”

Such an accurate description of the genre.

Samantha Shannon wrote a book she wanted after watching Lord of the Rings, as we know Arwen is more prevalent and gets to be a badass in the movie versus in the books so when she read the books and was so disappointed, it spurred her to write the book she wanted to read.

Holly, on the other hand, said it was obviously a conscious choice to make female protagonists but it wasn’t one she did for any reasons other than…

I’m a lady, writing about ladies.”

And honestly, that’s fair enough, because that’s why I write female characters in my own hobby writing.

Holly then goes on to say she was about halfway through the book when she realized that the characters were almost all girls when reading The Priory of the Orange Tree. And her reaction was brilliant haha as was Samantha’s response of,

It’s because I tricked you by adding some men.”

They talk veered toward their discussion of characters, we went into the ‘strong female’ archetype and dissection of it with Samantha while Holly said she loved characters who make mistakes but of course for women characters, as they discuss ‘strong female character,’

Women [are] often punished for making mistakes.”

And it’s true, many times male characters do not face the same scrutiny and backlash that women characters do.

I won’t give you a rundown of everything but suffice to say we also covered retellings, their purposes depending on their reason of writing the retelling and their story origin ideas and processes. This includes writing a standalone compared to writing series books and diversity in characters.

And I think I’ll leave you all with these thoughts and end it here, for now, I will go into a post of my own about ‘strong female characters’ and diversity of characters and worlds another time built off this discussion!

Here are some pics of the books I had signed!

I was SO excited to have Holly Black sign these, and I LOVED that she was happy to see these editions and even complimented me on my upkeep of them despite having moved about 14x with them.

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This was my second time getting a book signed by Samantha Shannon so I brought along my charity shop find of The Bone Season and talked with her a little, mostly telling her I already had Priory signed and I accidentally dropped it on my foot and almost died. I wanted to be way more …normal while talking to her but it was like 10:15PM, I was barely coherent.

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Cymera Coming Up!

If you all remember I signed up to volunteer for Cymera Festival in Edinburgh, I didn’t get a chance to this year -hopefully, I will next year!- but I am still attending!

This picture is their logo, I had nothing to do with it, please no one sue me!

Who am I going to see?

Mythical Creatures With…

I’m going to see Alexandra Christo, author of To Kill a Kingdom and Lesley Glaister, author of Aphra’s Child for my first event which is chaired by Eris Young, Sarah Marie Griffin was going to attend this event as well but she’s unable to, however, it’s still a fantastic lineup!

My other event is…

Samantha Shannon: Priory of the Orange Tree

Samantha Shannon, chaired by Akemi Dawn Bowman! I’m so excited for this one as well! There were so many I wanted to go to and I’m still going to try and head to a couple of more last minute so I can try and score stuff for friends from authors they wanted!

I really hope I can, my friends are amazing and they deserve some goodies from authors!

Seriously, speaking of, go check out Michelle’s blog at Michelle Likes Things because she’s amazing and so is her blog and she made my week this week. That is all.

If you’re a book blogger/reader/writer or just going to Cymera please feel free to say hi to me! [I’ll be the one with the very poofy dark auburn hair and resting bitch face while clutching my copies of Priory and TKAK.

I won’t be able to post about the actual festival until Sunday as Saturday night I’m going out with my friend who is here and the hubs.

Speaking of the hubs, this is a bit off topic but he’s awesome, he found Vol. 2 of George Buchanan’s memoirs, a British diplomat in Russia around the time of the Revolution, I had vol. 1 but didn’t even know how to find vol. 2!

February Wrap-Up

Ugh, February is only a few days shorter than the other months but it feels like it just sped by in two weeks, amiright?

So I’ll put what books I read, include the links to their Goodreads if you’re interested, that way that saves this post from being HUGE. Anything with () Means I don’t have a blog review/it isn’t up yet, but the rest do and you’re welcome to click on my reviews page to go scope them out!

I’ll also talk about my February book haul and my March aspirations, I’m finishing a book tonight so I’ll reserve the review for that until March 1!

What Did I Read This Month:

Stalking Jack the Ripper


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Boneseeker: Here Walk the Dead


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Hashtag Authentic


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Betty Church and the Suffolk Vampire


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Eden Chip


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The Spitfire Girls


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The Hound of Death


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In Search of a Witch’s Soul


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Bloom: A Monster Love Novella


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Dead Man’s Blues


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The Parlor Girl’s Guide (To Hell, apparently)


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Serving the Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain


(Review to come in mid to late March)
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Infinite Dark Volume 1


(No Review, thriller comic, good, but not much to it)
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Seraphin


(Very whimsical children’s story/Children’s Picture Book, apparently someone else thought this had some Pedophile message…I didn’t really get that, but like they were just friends?? And also they never say that anyone is a kid?? Idk, maybe I’m misreading! It was just a man and his friend who built his house and a musical instrument and had tea together by the fire…..so…maybe I’m missing subtext, idk again. )
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Star Collector Volume 1


(Western Manga, love manga but this one was missing some depth to the characters)
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Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage


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Storm Front


(Review to come tomorrow!)
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February Book Haul

 

Favorite Read this Month?

A tie between La Belle Sauvage and Serving the Servant!

Also, The Priory of the Orange Tree showed up as I was belatedly writing this!

Highlights:

-I did my first Bookstagram Challenge! Posting my final picture after this! [#Februarylibrary19]
– I’ve hit nearly 150 followers on my blog!
– This is my 50th Post
– I’ve signed up for my first Blogtour(s) (Coming to you April-May)
– I found out I’ll be receiving my first physical review copy all thanks to Kal @ Reader Voracious spreading the word about an amazing book, Anna Undreaming!
– I got my first blog tag(s)! THANK YOU GUYS!
– I’ve started my spreadsheets and a new notebook to keep things tidier this week (you’ll notice Kal’s blog is linked right to those amazing spreadsheets as she is spreadsheet Queen)
– This month was a nice easy ride compared to next month!