Alyssa Tyler editor in chief
In honor of the long-awaited release for Samantha Shannon’s latest work, ‘A Day of Fallen Night’ I will be reviewing her arguably most popular book, ‘Priory of the Orange Tree.’ At a whopping 848 pages, this book is intimidating. I would almost argue that this book should be classified as a brick, or a weapon if one needed something to protect themselves. This book falls under the ‘adult fantasy’ category. Which includes fast and complicated world building, multiple LGBT relationships, assassins, and of course, dragons.
The book opens with Ead Duryan, an outsider in the Berethnet Court. Ead is tasked with secretively protecting Queen Sabran the Ninth, with her forbidden magic. Ead is a part of a group of mages in the south, who work to keep the wyverns (dragon) away. Particularly, the Nameless One.
While Ead is focused on protecting the queen, secretly of course, Sabran is forced to keep up with the 1,000-year legacy, where the Queen will give birth to one daughter, one daughter only. That daughter will grow to look just like her mother, and their mothers before her. This legacy, allegedly the only thing keeping the Nameless One at bay.
Those reading must be wondering who the ‘Nameless One’ is. This Harry Potter Voldemort like beast is known as the destruction of their world. The Nameless One was bounded by magic, by the first Berethnet, keeping him at bay until then. But he will rise again, and time is running out.
While there is court politics, secrets, and an extremely complicated religious system, across the dark sea is Tané. Tané has been training to be a dragon rider all her life. With nothing on her mind except becoming the best and working to be worthy of the honor. But the night before her life could change forever, she is tasked with making a choice that could tear her dreams apart.
The nearly 900-page book takes multiple different points of views. Ranging from Ead, to Tané, to members of Sabrans court. With some parts being more ‘boring’ than others (going from intense dragon training to court politics.) The book is still addicting to no other level. Once the reader starts to understand the world, the religion(s), the myths, the stereotypes, and everything else, it’s impossible to put this book down.
There is also no perfect character, that is one flaw in many fantasy books that I have a problem with. Such as Throne of Glass, A Court of Thornes and Roses, there is always the ‘perfect’ character. In this book, however, you want to punch and to hug the characters constantly. Even though they are characters in a high fantasy novel with magic, dragons, and other things, they are still human.
I must also preface; I do not give 5/5 stars lightly. For me to give this rating I must be absolutely in love with the writing, and it must be basically perfection. That being said, I do rate this book 5/5 stars. The world building is fast and chaotic, but the world is so interesting you work past that confusion. The characters are human, enough where you can relate to them. And the plot has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing the entire story.