I need this!!!! View all 44 comments. View all 16 comments. Mar 09, Angelica marked it as to-read. Me, trying to jump on this book's bandwagon before it's way too late: for all the hype it's receiving this book better pay my bills, cure my depression, and usher in an era of world peace. View all 20 comments. Shelves: adult , dragons , fantasy , lgbtqiap. I'm just putting this down for now, because I just can't immerse myself in this story for some reason! But I promise to try again before the year is over! View all 15 comments. Apr 30, Spencer Orey rated it really liked it.
I liked this, didn't love it. But wow did I sure race through it! There's enough here that if you're thinking about reading this book, go for it. It's a compelling fantasy story and the world is intriguing. I do think it had the potential to be much better. It's a reeeeeally long book and there are a ton of things to like here, and also some very uneven things that I can't quite let slide. This book isn't necessarily doing a lot I liked this, didn't love it. This book isn't necessarily doing a lot of things that feel new, but it's taking tropes of the high fantasy genre and using them in interesting ways.
I appreciated that. Let's start with what I loved: There are cool dragons. There's a growing sense of urgency as the end of the world approaches. And the world itself is well put-together, offering some great threats like an evil draconic plague that infects people. My favorite part of the book by far was the religious politics. There are three or so religions that have completely different understandings of one central event of the last years.
All are convinced that they're right and that the other religions are wrong. I love the idea that years is so long that confusion about what happened generates important mythology. As we learn more about the real story, I was a little saddened to lose that mystery. Things are explained a little too cleanly, and the characters who have their entire worldview shattered seem to respond to it fairly well. I actually would have liked more characters who refuse the truth and hold onto the old view of things. Also the matriarchy was interesting, and the gender dynamic in Virtudom was intriguing.
It was too bad it wasn't able to be way different than our world though? Like an actual feminist kingdom in this world would have been super refreshing instead of this vaguely British thing where all our ideas about medieval patriarchy and oppression exist but where women can be Knights too. I have two large critiques: First, the second half of the book feels like three or so sequels got crammed into pages.
Some of that makes it very exciting but mostly it just feels uneven and oddly paced. The first half is, if anything, a little too slow, building on court intrigue and the mystery of the looming apocalypse. Then the second half is a real sprint to the end. Suddenly, previously long geographic distances shrink and characters are able to jump far across the world at just the right time when it's convenient to the story.
Chapter lengths become kind of random too, and we don't shift as much between PoVs. That said, I absolutely appreciate getting the full story in one volume. No waiting 5 years to figure out how things will end. We get one complete tale. That's great. It's absolutely great that there are central queer characters here acting in the world. That said, they're the kind of queer characters that feel safe to straight people: they're monogamous, committed to one and only one person, and they don't really talk about the experience of being queer in this world to anyone except in very contained moments of coming out.
I appreciate the representation but would have liked to see things go further. I've said this before, but there's a lot of room for fantasy to explore how queer identity could be different in different fantasy settings. Sexuality and gender roles were vastly different in different times and places in the history of our world, and there's a lot of room to explore that in fantasy in particular. Since there is a generally progressive throughline present in this story like with rulers thinking about modernization and how to create alliances without relying on marriages , there seemed like there was a lot of room for a better and more nuanced identity politics.
Oh well. Anyway, if you've been looking at this book and wondering if it's worth reading, I say yes. I have no idea if there's going to be a sequel, but I'm curious about how the world at large responded to the end of the book, especially what happens to the three religions after they see that they've all been wrong.
Happy reading! View all 14 comments. Mar 18, Emily rated it liked it. Okay, so. I finished this behemoth. Was it good? I don't know. I enjoyed it for the most part. But overall it is waaaaaaaay too long, and the plot is a bit of a mess. The word that comes to mind is inelegant. Given how much space Shannon has to set the stage for an intricate plot, I was left pretty disappointed on that front. What this book does well: the love story. Despite the fact that this book has four perspectives, Ead's story is clearly t Okay, so. Despite the fact that this book has four perspectives, Ead's story is clearly the tentpole for the whole book.
We get a beautifully told romance between two complicated, well-developed ladies. I loved it. But alas, the plot. The plot isn't bad per say, but it's also nothing to get excited about. The down beats, which are certainly essential to a story, were a bit too slow. And in a book that's over pages, that can make reading a slog at times.
The biggest disappointment, for me, was that almost every climatic moment--almost every big twist, every big emotional scene--was sloppy. I think this book falls for the idea that a completely suprising plot twist is the same as a good one. That's a common misconception. A good plot twist is one that doesn't feel contrived, and still either surprises or delights the reader--to a degree.
I would prefer a well set-up plot twist that I guessed earlier in the book than one that feels contrived. The twists in this felt contrived. The amount of explaining that happened post-twist is, to me, indicative of a lack of coherent set-up. The timelines for the emotional climaxes didn't make sense. And what left me feeling the most frustrated was that so many of these things were very easily fixable.
One example, at a sentence level, that stuck out to me and seemed representative of all of my issues with the plot edited slightly to remove spoilers : One character is looking down at their lover, who has a wound on their face that has been stitched up. Another character enters, hugs character one, and then says "It's over. He's dead. It's about another character.
Why would you use a pronoun here? It's very easy to just use a name. The pronoun, given the context of the scene, invites confusion. I also have some On the one hand it's incredibly refreshing to see women just casually treated as capable and strong and competent. Love that! Love that it's just there and doesn't need to be commented on!! A rarity in high fantasy books. On the other hand, that also just Hear me out. It's also worth noting that the language used in this religion is verrryyyyy reminiscent of the chivalric tradition.
Basically, the set up for this society reeks of a misogynistic patriarchy. But that's not what we get! Instead, it's a matriarchy with lots of badass ladies. There's some discussion of how the queens are often reduced to their wombs, a teeeeensie bit about how women often act at the gatekeepers and enforcers of patriarchal structures. But there's not much. The logic of the world, in this specific instance, just didn't make sense to me. I think Shannon was trying to push back against the notion that you HAVE to depict the oppression of women in high fantasy, which I think is a very admirable goal.
But the world doesn't work. The set up would make sense if Shannon wanted to subvert some of the tropes that are unfortunately all too common in high fantasy, but she doesn't do that. The history of this particular society feels incongruous with its contemporary culture, and we aren't given any additional context to bridge that gap.
I still largely had fun while reading this. The magic was interesting, if the language was weird star rot?? That's really what you're going to call a magical substance???? The love story kept me reading, but ultimately this left me feeling conflicted. I'm settling on three stars though I debated giving it two , because I did mostly have fun. But the issues this book had were pretty glaring, and I think it's worth noting just how long it took me to finish this book View all 25 comments.
So glad I wasn't the only one. Sherry Champeau niemer I agree I was confused about that sentence as well. Jul 06, PM. View all 7 comments. Where do I even begin with this book? Firstly, thank you to Bloomsbury for sending me an early copy of this book to read. But also how could you do this to me? Now I have to wait another month for everyone to get their hands on this so we can talk about it! I have to confess, though, that some larger, high fantasy WOW. It takes the right kind of world-building and characters, mixed with a good plot, to keep me going.
And wow does this deliver. In the East they are revered as gods, while in the West they are feared due to the haunting history of the Nameless One, an evil dragon who has been locked away for a thousand years in the Abyss and kept there by the bloodline of the Queendom of Inys, ruled by the Berethnet matriarchy. Stay with me. It sounds like a lot, but when you're reading it it flows so naturally and you quickly adjust to all the characters, where they are from, etc.
Plus it has maps! As with all fantasy novels, a chain of events sparks action in our main characters' lives that drives them across kingdoms and oceans, encountering pirates and mythical beasts, and towards and away from one another in both physical and metaphorical senses. It's got lots of action, great dialogue, court intrigue, dragons and more. Plus there is great romance as well as amazing platonic female friendships that you really don't see much in high fantasy.
Like, a majority of this book is just about kick-ass women taking charge and working together to save their world. Needless to say, I loved this story. It's hard to pick a side but I love that choosing sides was beside the point all along. It's just a wonderful journey to go on with these characters, and I can't believe how much they'd grown on me by the last page. I can see myself returning to this story again in the future, and even though this is a standalone novel which I appreciate , I hope Shannon returns to this world to expand on the stories we only get glimpses of in Priory.
View all 9 comments. Feb 11, Mariah rated it it was amazing Shelves: read-in , own-hardcover , tbrreleases , own-kindle , favorites. I digress. From the very beginning this book pull I just need it said that I've been calling this book "The Priority of the Orange Tree" for months, thanks for coming to my Ted Talk. From the very beginning this book pulled me in and I held on for dear life. The world building felt natural and progressed at a pace that kept me interested in the plot but not overwhelmed. Shannon weaved a beautiful web from Eastern and Western mythology, and infused it with this badass womanly energy that makes me so excited to see the ripple effect.
What I found so interesting in this book is that usually, when I deal with a POV change I'm annoyed because I wanna see everything play out, or I like one character better, but in Priory everything was just so well timed and executed to perfection. Can I also say, props to the author for making this standalone and a self-contained story in itself and not dragging it out in book after book just to cash grab like a lot of authors choose to do. And there is so much beauty in the fact that this is one gorgeous tale on its own. It is magical, and powerful, and dramatic, and an adventure from beginning to end.
I think there is something so unique in fantasy that is unlike any other genre, where anything is possible and we are not bound by the boring and often stifling constrictions and preconceived notions. If there are dragons and wyrms and magic than why not Queendoms, and societies where the women are the ones trained to fight, and it is just as common for a man to marry another man than it is for him to marry a woman.
I really don't want to say too much about the story because I find so much joy in walking into a brand new world. But I looked back on my updates while I was reading this and this is what I experienced: goosebumps, edge of your seat excitement, awe when faced with such beautiful storytelling skill, surprise as nothing went down how I thought it would, shock because HOLY. View all 24 comments. Mar 22, Mary S. Shelves: fantasy , adult , mythology , dragons , sociology , mental-health , feminism , literary-fiction , all-time-faves , politics. With stunning, breathing and unforgettable characte 4.
With stunning, breathing and unforgettable characters, this book captures your imagination and traps you in its world. Shannon's astonishing achievement is her ability to build new religions, histories, and conflicts and to exquisitely bring them to life.
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. None is intended as a faithful representation of any one country or culture at any point in history. A dangerous pastime. There is great power in stories.
They are knowledge after figuration. Still unwed, Queen Sabran IX must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—for it is believed that as long as a Berethnet rules in Virtudom, the monster beneath the sea will sleep History is to repeat itself and none are ready to stand united. Let them come with their swords and their torches.
Let them come. No woman should be made to fear that she was not enough. A woman is more than a womb to be seeded. That doesn't mean they're not prejudiced regarding other topics, however—they just have different quirks. It's a topic I hold dear, as international relations are becoming more a part of the day-today life—so as to not lose our identity but learn to accept others' different ones : 5 Religion: There're religious conflicts, living gods, the power of belief, the shunning of science, and reshaping of religions.
If you're a very religious person who has difficulties with religions coming from anywhere other than a holy being or being used for gain etc, then you might have a little problem. Though, do keep in mind that this is a fictional world, and besides, no one can deny the power faith holds on the masses and the uses people have put it into in history, for good or bad.
Speaking of history. They can twist any teaching to justify their actions. And Shannon captured this exactly to my liking—It deserved an applause. And mine, inevitably, overflows on to a page. The prose is exquisite and the storytelling genius ; it's detailed like G. Martin's and the focus is on being in the moment and submerged in the current scene rather than on plot advancement. The battles and combats which are my specialty are sometimes unmatched , and sometimes rarely a little lacking unfortunately.
But perhaps it's long enough and no one wants more strategy and detail They needed you gone, so they I believe I would marry this book, were I a book myself. To put it in one word: she's inspiring! A girl with a dragon's heart.
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And I loved her, dearly. It is not any one thing. There is darkness in it, and danger, and cruelty. It can raze great cities with its rage. Its depths are unknowable; they do not see the touch of the sun. It is to be the living sea. Clay was a passionate man who was dealt a cruel hand, and turned ruthless to pay life back. He did it all only to return home.
Anything to return home. Do you not understand? Does nobody in this world understand, damn you? Is no one else haunted? But he is also a quick-learner, strong, brave, and determined. When you read one of my poems, you fail to see the weeks of careful work it took me to build it—the thinking, the scratched-out words, the pages I burned in disgust.
All you see, in the end, is what I want you to see.
Another suspect in the sights : Revista Pesquisa Fapesp
Such is politics. Sabran the golden-tongued, an unforgettable queen, a self-righteous fool, and a woman I would not change for the world. Captain Harlowe the privateer adept at survival. Estina the wise, clever, and bad-ass sailor. The Emperor , witty, charismatic, and irresistible. Aubrecht the charming puppy I wanna hug. Sulyard the precious passionate open-minded idiot.
Onren the amazing and memorable friend. Chassar the honourable and discreetly wicked man. And ooh I shipped Sarsun the sand eagle and Aralaq the ichneumon :P Relationships I'll start with romance: it's one of the best—not only does it develop gradually , but also the chemistry is so real that I shipped them from their first scene; I clapped in glee when it finally happened and was all emotional at the ending!
I accept yours. In fact, friendships are the author's strongest point! I think it's something like the United Kingdoms though.
Florida's orange crops have been quietly dying for over a decade as growers fight to save them
Hypocrites who have blind faith and see everyone else as heretics. They have fingers in every pie and there is no place in the world they refuse to go. It is the imbalance. Solid fragments of itself. With them, our ancestors could control the waves. Their presence allowed us to hold on to our strength for longer than we could before. What does that mean now that the jewels are out and about, being used? For as long as you live, I will live inside you, in your every thought and memory.
Let's just hope this is the wrong conclusion and it's not happening I see chaos, Sabran IX. Beware the sweet water. Maybe Sabran dies? Keep it in mind as it's sure to be the subject of the next book s. But what remains elusive is her legacy and Neporo's full story—a section of the story on the mulberry tree was lost and we don't know what became of her or who drove her descendants to hide the jewel in their side. Somebody did something! We also don't know why the dragon needed a human to wield the jewel. Specially not if the Imperial Dragon has seen the rotten water inside you.
Nope, she's coming He can do a lot of harm all on his own. Farewell until the spinoff! View all 92 comments. There were moments where I was like: This is fucking brilliant!! But other moments that were seriously disappointing. I need time to process all the feels. My rating might change. Review to come. View all 23 comments. View all 3 comments.
Buddy read with my dragon-riding mate, Azrah! Nor am I overly invested in the plot. For a self-proclaimed epic fantasy The dragons here were only interesting because they spoke in this book. What an irritating queen! I just expected a lot more from this and I feel rather disappointed. No promises, though. Mayim de Vries Sabran. I wanted to stab her with a blunt fork. Jan 20, Ben Alderson rated it it was amazing. Rich in everything you could want and need in a fantasy. Read it. View all 4 comments. Mar 12, Jennie Damron rated it it was amazing. Samantha Shannon has just written my favorite book of all time!
Yes, this is the best book I have ever read. If I could give this book 10 stars I would. The world building is just impeccable. The characters, all of them, are well developed and show growth as well as fragility. The Dragons are characters in and of themselves. I wish I could be like Tane and have my own dragon who I can ride across the world on. Ead is my favorite character. She is a warrior and fights for what she believes in and Samantha Shannon has just written my favorite book of all time! She is a warrior and fights for what she believes in and those she loves.
Her loyalty and since of right was utterly believable. I loved this book and I will read it again and love it all the more. This book is a masterpiece plain and simple. Mar 17, Lex Kent rated it it was amazing Shelves: lgbtq , favorites , f-f-adventure-fantasy , magic. The hype surrounding this book is real. I started reading this book on Saturday morning and only stopped reading it to sleep. And while I devoured this book page after page, now that it if over I almost feel at a loss as to what to do next.
I was so connected to the story and the characters that it feels a little crushing that it is over. While I raced to the end of the book, I now wish there was more story left to read. But that is what a really good book does to you so I have no complaints. Ma The hype surrounding this book is real. Make no mistake this is a wonderful, sweeping, epic fantasy book. And like those books, this book could have easily been broken up into a trilogy but we are lucky Samantha Shannon let us have it all in one book. I have to give her props for that. How many times have we all had to wait, sometimes years for another installment in a trilogy to come out?!
Not only that but it is financially better for an author to draw it out in multiple books. Instead Shannon let us have three years of her work all at once and I could not appreciate it more. I do have to be honest that the book takes a little while to get used to in the beginning. There are a ton of character names, places and things that are newly invented for this book.
I did not even notice when it happened but I suddenly knew all the characters and understood their world. I was in this magical world going on a grand adventure. Tane, a young woman who has trained her whole life in hopes of becoming a dragon rider. And two men named Loth and Niclays. Actually, the main romance in this book is lesfic.
While there is talk of some het characters in love and a gay male couple, the main romance was between two strong, kickass women in love. I would read passages and think how could someone actually come up with this in their mind? The whole book was really impressive. This is the kind of book that will stay with me for quite a long time. One of my first full 5 stars reads of View all 37 comments. Or in other words, High Fantasy redefined. Yes, High Fantasy made feminist. Made diverse. This beast of a book blew me away in more ways than one. And definitely, in more ways than I would have ever expected.
Rich in prose and world building, what moves the story forward are threads and threads of layered characters weaved together. The powerful and female protagonists are one of the stars of the show. Sabran, a young queen that refuses to wed and bear a heir. And Tane, who has been preparing her whole life for the dragon rider trials and who may have done something with great repercussions. The East and the West, two seemingly independent worlds that are tethered by one creature: dragons.
Where one society fears them, the other one worships them. Where one dreads their awakening, the other one knows no greater honour than to be chosen to dedicate their lives to them. As you see, it has the right elements to make a difference and a statement. And at the same time, even if incredibly compelling and attractive, this book is also very intimidating. Even once you've started reading. Yes, the Priory world includes a good share of known high fantasy elements. But it also defines them from a whole new perspective.
Lots of them, with complicated names and titles that belong to a hierarchy characteristic of this genre that at the same time, belong to foreign realm to the reader. I swear I am not complaining, but this just slowed my reading and understanding pace. I was definitely right, and even if this was a complex read that took me my time to savour, I regret nothing. Mar 05, Alice Oseman added it.
PRIORY does have fights and politics and history and dragons and magic , but its heart lies with the characters, whose flaws, desires, relationships, and struggles are so damn relatable. I just wanted all of them to be safe and warm. Thank you to Samantha and Bloomsbury for sending me a proof many months ago! View 2 comments. Just a paper lantern, thin and wind-torn, clinging to the flickering remnants of a soul. Yet when there was no more to climb, and she had looked up and seen nothing but the terrible beauty of the sky, she had found the strength to rise.
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Priory is set in a fantasy world split into the Eastern and Western countries. The Eastern Kingdoms are dragon lovers - they worship dragons as gods, and their most elite warriors ride dragons. The Western Countries hate dragons. The Queendom of Virtudom, the main country in the west, was built on the belief that the original heir of the Berethnet Line The continuing line of Queens in Virtudom Galian Berethnet, killed a dragon called The Nameless One a thousand years ago and so established the western lands free from the danger of the Draconic empire.
While a Berethnet sits on the throne, The Nameless One can never return. But now, the dragons are stirring. The Draconic Army is rising and Sabran, the current queen of Berethnet, needs to have a daughter in order to keep the Nameless One at bay. To say much more would put you into the realm of spoilers but here is some tidbits - a forgotten history, a secret society, witches, magic and a quest to save the world.
She plays so many roles in this book, but I adored her relationship with Sabran the most lets go lesbians!! A true Good Boy tm. He probably goes on the biggest journey in this book and he was SO much fun to follow. It was so refreshing to have a male character who has two!!
Anyway he is my mans I love him. He was a member of the court in his youth, secretly dating another man called Jannart who has since passed away. Now older, he is determined to return home to the west. Niclay's was a tricky character for me. I wasn't sure how to feel about him for His flashback scenes with Jannart made me soft.
Her relationship with her dragon was so sweet and reminded me of Eragon and Saphira which made me nostalgic. And this one really reminded me why. I love complications in fantasy revolving around time and information - like having to piece together information that has been lost to time and this book has A LOT of that which I loved. The world was excellent in this. Shannon did a great job of constructing all the different Queendoms and Kingdoms, and that isn't easy to do in an page standalone when you also have to fit characters and plot in.
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I respect her a lot for writing an epic world and fantasy as a standalone because it aint easy! SO many women!! Powerful women!! Legendary women!! Societies of women!! It was so, so freakin refreshing since so many high fantasies are dominated by men and male relationships and the worldbuilding relies on upholding patriarchal ideals thats just a fact so don't me. But this book definitely tries to subvert common expectations and tropes of the genre and it was so NICE.
I loved the female friendships and relationships and how every woman wasn't there to be Fucked like, wow it's a nice change of pace for high fantasy. This took me a hundred and fifty or so pages to get into. I think the beginning of quite confusing and there is too many characters and places and names thrown at you. It's hard to get your head around it all at first, and I didn't love that. The ending was also a bit of a letdown for me.
The major battle went down in just a few chapters, and I kind of struggled with how it was written? I was really struggling to picture the fighting and what was Actually Happening. I also thought the big bads went down WAY too easily and it kind of cheapened all the build up. The Priory of the Orange Tree lived up to it's hype for me.
Even though it wasn't a five star read for me, it was still really freakin great. Priory is a subversive fantasy that does a lot with it's page count. I fell in love with the powerful characters, the epic worldbuilding and the relationships in this one. Root binding will cause most citrus in pots to decline within a few to several years as roots circle, girdle, exhaust available nutrients, and become so densely packed inside the pot that water and nutrients may not penetrate.
Root binding is a common cause of stress, disease, pest infestation, and death in potted citrus. If roots are jarred or soil falls off while out of the pot, the tree may go into shock or die. When potted trees and plants are watered with city water, such as that coming in through landscape hoses or house faucets, some of the water evaporates, leaving minerals behind in the potted soil that tend to build up and become toxic to plants.
To address salt burn, soil in pots must be flushed periodically to dissolve and remove mineral build-up. This can be accomplished by leaving a potted plant outdoors all day in rain for a few days per year; or by soaking potted plants in fresh water city or otherwise for a few hours, such as in a large bucket filled with water up to the brim of the pot, then flushed by running water through the potted soil for several minutes. Trees grown in pots under eaves or in areas protected from natural rainfall generally need to be flushed at least once or twice per year to avoid salt burn.
This may occur in pots or beneath the soil surface in poorly drained landscapes. Watch for citrus leaves curling inward or appearing to change slightly in color as the lighter undersides become more visible, which indicate drought stress and early wilting and increase watering as appropriate. Maintain surface dressing of compost and amendments under mulch for potted trees, and consider using slow-release organic fertilizers if your potted trees and perennials show nutrient deficiencies.