The original edition of The Priory of the Orange Tree is only one book. The German publisher decided to split the original book into two German editions because of the huge number of pages, the English edition has. It was the great looking cover that made me want to read it. But I am not as excited about it, as I had hoped for. Yes, I enjoyed reading it, and, yes, I had my reading pleasure. But I cannot say that I am as excited about it as many of my blogger friends have been. 

Der Orden Des Geheimen Baumes-Die Magierin*
by Samantha Shannon
Königin Von Inys Dilogy #1
Translation Wolfgang Thon
Original Title The Priory Of The Orange Tree**
Publisher Penhaligon on September 21, 2020
Genre Fantasy
Pages 539
Format Hardcover
Source Penhaligon

A queen. A dragon rider. A magician. They can only cope with the ancient enemy if they work together. Should Queen Sabran of Inys die childless, the dragons will return. Because their family is the only obstacle that holds back the beasts. But assassins are getting closer and closer to her. Fortunately for her, her maid, Ead, is actually a mage from the Priory of the Orange Tree who protects her. At the same time in the far east of Seiiki, where dragons are worshiped like gods, a young dragon rider, Tané, saves the life of a shipwrecked man – and thus damned herself. (personal translation by ©Vi at Inkvotary). 
Ead is protecting the Queen. Queen Sabran is still not married or has given birth to a daughter. And that makes her vulnerable. With her magic, Ead can keep every harm away from the court and the Queen but not everyone in the palace likes the way how Sabran is reigning over her people. And when Eads secret is unveiled and the Queen loses her unborn daughter, everything is at stake. Eads life, the queen’s life, and that of many others.

The writing style is gentle, wonderful to read, and describes a life that reminded me very much of the old Asian lifestyle. It took me a while to get used to the author´s very opulent writing style and to get involved with the story. But after the first half of the book, the story got faster in pace, there was a lot of action, and I got caught up in a game of hatred, betrayal, and intrigue. The story ends with a cliffhanger during a scene that ensures that you want to read the second book as well. 

The plot itself is divided into different storylines, which are brought closer to the reader in different chapters. The novel bounces back and forth between the past and present of the story and it´s clear that at some point in book two they will come together to end it. A nice tactic to show the reader how it all got to a certain point in the novel and how it all started.

There are many characters in this book to deal with as a reader. They are all connected in different ways. 

Ead is the main character who stands out. Not only because, as a stranger, but she also leads a life in a place where she does not want to be and where she is only because of the duty to which she feels obliged. But also, because she believes in a religion that is forbidden in the palace. To keep her secret, she must hide her magical abilities and do everything possible to stay safe and alive. The way in which the author shows her conflict, how she does her job, and how she sees her world is brought to the reader in a wonderful way. 

Well, I´m not as excited about this book as any other reader. And during a few chapters, I wondered why they had to be so long. But in the end, I can say I even enjoyed reading it, and I hope that the second book will be as entertaining as the first. 

Happy reading

*This book was kindly provided to me by Penhaligon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you. Therefore, the cover of the German edition is shown first in this review. 
** Note for all international readers: This book has been split into a dilogy by the German publisher because of the huge number of pages the English edition has. The English edition was published by Bloomsbury London on February 26th, 2019.

Deutsche Rezension

Der Schreibstil ist sanft, wunderbar zu lesen und beschreibt ein Leben, das mich sehr an den alten asiatischen Lebensstil erinnerte. Ich habe eine Weile gebraucht, um mich an den sehr opulenten Schreibstil der Autorin zu gewöhnen und mich auf die Geschichte einzulassen. Aber nach der ersten Hälfte des Buches wurde die Geschichte vom Tempo her schneller, es passierte viel Action und ich wurde in ein Spiel aus Hass, Verrat und Intrigen verwickelt. Die Story endet mit einem Cliffhanger während einer Szene, die sicherstellt, dass mach auch das zweite Buch lesen möchte. 

Die Handlung selbst ist in verschiedene Handlungsstränge unterteilt, die dem Leser in unterschiedlichen Kapiteln nahegebracht werden. Der Roman springt zwischen der Vergangenheit und Gegenwart der Geschichte hin und her, und es ist klar, dass sie irgendwann im zweiten Buch zusammenkommen werden, um diese zu beenden. Eine nette Taktik, um dem Leser zu zeigen, wie alles zu einem bestimmten Punkt im Roman kam und wie alles begann. 

Es gibt viele Figuren in diesem Buch, mit denen man sich als Leser auseinandersetzen muss. Sie sind auf unterschiedliche Art alle miteinander verbunden. 

Ead ist die Hauptfigur, die heraussticht. Nicht nur, weil sie als Fremde ein Leben an einem Ort führt, an dem sie nicht sein will und wo sie nur wegen der Pflicht ist, zu der sie sich verpflichtet fühlt. Aber auch, weil sie an eine Religion glaubt, die im Palast verboten ist. Um ihr Geheimnis zu wahren, muss sie ihre magischen Fähigkeiten verbergen und alles tun, um in Sicherheit und am Leben zu bleiben. Die Art und Weise, wie die Autorin ihren Konflikt zeigt, wie sie ihren Job macht und wie sie ihre Welt sieht, wird dem Leser auf wunderbare Weise nahegebracht. 

Gut, ich bin jetzt nicht so begeistert von diesem Buch wie alle anderen Leser. Und während einiger Kapitel fragte ich mich, warum sie so lang sein mussten. Aber am Ende kann ich sagen, dass es sogar mir Spaß gemacht hat, es zu lesen und ich hoffe, dass das zweite Buch so unterhaltsam sein wird wie das Erste. 

Samantha Shannon
Samantha Shannon ©Louise Haywood-Schiefer

Samantha Shannon is the New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author of The Bone Season series. Her work has been translated into twenty-six languages. This is her fourth novel and her first outside of The Bone Season series. She lives in London.



  1. I started this book once but others came in the way so it's on hold for now. But I do plan on returning at some point.

    1. It is a good book. But it took me some time to read it...


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