848 pages of utter brilliance.
There's a moment when reading a fantasy book that everything just clicks. You remember the characters from previous chapters and things start to knit together. Previously unrelating storylines begin to converge and it's so exciting.
The Priory of the Orange Tree did just that but to a level, I've never before read. The world within this novel is unbelievably vast with so much culture in each part. Not only this but those cultures also had opinions of the others, stereotypes that they believed. The layers and layers of history and information needed to create a religion founded on one family, histories that had alternative origins in other lands. I can't begin to fathom how this book was written. I've read history books with more inaccuracy I reckon. Every single detail was thought of from language to clothing, food and everything in between.
Then as you start reading you wonder how such a grand story can be contained in one book. There are so many characters and therefore so many arcs, surely not everything will be wrapped up by one book? Even if it is over 800 pages long. Shockingly, it will be wrapped up. And masterfully. The journey you went on in this book was indescribable. Each POV character had some kind of travel involved in their personal story where they met others and arcs converged, information was shared and pieces of the overall story fell into place. I dread to think about how much planning was involved in arranging this.
To make matters more impressive, I adored every character. Even the 'bad' characters I loved how they were constructed and their complex motivations. Undoubtedly Ead was my favourite. I thoroughly enjoyed her growth throughout the book and how she interacted with each character. She had a very strong moral compass but was willing to compromise for the bigger picture. Her history everything was simply fantastic. Then Sabran, a close second to Ead. What a compelling character. I felt for her, her kingdom everything. I feel I'm liable to start listing everyone and why I loved them now.
To make what is becoming a complete fangirl post a little easier to digest. I quite simply adored this book. Every aspect, every character. One of the most well constructed fantasy novels I've ever read. It felt like a five book series in one book with how much emotion and growth there was.
Just read this. I promise it will fly by and on page 600 you'll be wishing there was 600 more.
Name: The Priory of the Orange Tree*
Author: Samantha Shannon
Have you read The Priory of the Orange Tree*?
What did you think?
Thank you for reading,