We’d like to wish a very happy publication day to Samantha Shannon - her standalone, epic high fantasy novel, The Priory of the Orange Tree is out today in all good bookshops from Bloomsbury Books. The novel has already brought in some spectacular reviews.
'The new Game of Thrones' Stylist
'Puts Samantha Shannon in the same league as Robin Hobb and George R.R. Martin. Shannon is a master of dragons' Starburst
'Epic fantasy with added dragons. A blockbuster' Guardian, Best Science Fiction and Fantasy
An enthralling, epic fantasy about a world on the brink of war with dragons - and the women who must lead the fight to save it.
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.
“A tour de force, and my new absolute favourite epic fantasy” – Laini Taylor, author of Strange the Dreamer
“I have been waiting my whole life for this fantasy. It's the kind of book you never want to end. Utterly unique, wild, and rich. Sheer perfection” – Lisa Lueddecke, author of A Storm of Ice and Stars
“The new Game of Thrones. Escapism at its finest – Shannon, we salute you” – Stylist.co.uk
“Allow me to introduce your newest fantasy obsession … Remarkably fresh and frankly fearless … Works so well as an intricately realised and feminist fantasy that one might even be tempted to dub Samantha Shannon 'The female George R.R. Martin' … As with the best of fantasy, The Priory of the Orange Tree feels less like a book than it does an experience, a true sojourn into a rich and terrible new world” – Hypable
“The Priory of the Orange Tree is a brilliant, daring, and devastating jewel. Samantha Shannon has crafted an incredible world full of depth and danger, with characters I would follow to the ends of the earth. It was a privilege to read, and I'm in awe of her talent. I can't wait for the rest of the world to experience this book” – Victoria Aveyard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Red Queen series
“An entirely fresh and addicting tale … A celebration of fantasy that melds modern ideology with classic tropes. More of these dragons, please” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A masterpiece of intricate world-building with the depth, complexity, heart and soul of a timelessly relevant classic. Brilliant, diverse, feminist, subversive, thought-provoking and masterfully told, The Priory of the Orange Tree is epic fantasy at its finest. The scope of the book is staggering, as is Shannon's deft command of language ... An absolute must-read” – Karen Marie Moning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Highlander and Fever series
“Nothing short of extraordinary. An audacious, ambitious, sprawling epic, set across a world like no other, The Priory of the Orange Tree takes everything you think you know about high fantasy, rips it apart and remakes it ... Nothing short of game-changing ... An absolute masterclass in story telling, from one of the most exciting and innovative fantasy writers alive today. With it, Samantha Shannon has set the bar stratospherically high. This is the book of 2019” – Melinda Salisbury, author of The Sin-Eater's Daughter
“The Priory of the Orange Tree feels like a feminist successor to The Lord of the Rings- something I don't say lightly. Epic and awe-inspiring in its scope, its rich, diverse world captivated me. I loved each complex narrator, all wonderfully human heroes and anti-heroes, and adored sinking into the world Samantha Shannon has created with such heart and beauty. This deserves to be as big as Game of Thrones ... An expertly woven saga that feels very relevant for the contemporary world we live in” – Laure Eve, author of The Graces
“An epic fantasy destined to be a classic. A world crafted with such intricacy and detail, I had to remind myself it was not a real place. The Priory of the Orange Tree is one of those rare novels that captures your imagination so completely you will read it over and over, until the cover cracks and the spine breaks” – Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of Beautiful Creatures and author of Unbreakable
“Move over, Tolkien – you had a good run, but it's high time fantasy had a Queen” – Holly Roberts, bookseller
“There is no doubt that Samantha is the real thing … A born storyteller” – Observer
“Shannon's brilliance is that she is not afraid of change, both for her characters and her setting … A name to watch” – Independent
“Samantha Shannon has a hugely inventive talent and an imagination with seven league boots” – Susan Hill, author of The Woman in Black
“An astonishing achievement. The roots of Shannon's world lie in real history, but its branches stretch far into the imagination. Many authors can paint different names onto familiar concepts; Shannon goes further, building new religions and histories and conflicts, with all the rich detail necessary to bring them to life” – Marie Brennan, author of The Memoirs of Lady Trent
“The Priory of the Orange Tree is the Platonic Ideal of a fantasy novel. A rich and stirringtale of magic and queens, swords and dragons, assassins and sorcerers, it is thronged with women: strong women and queer women, gorgeous women and powerful women, brilliant women and dangerous women. Men, too, of course. This story of good and evil, struggle and triumph, love and loss and return is beautifully written: complex but clear, and utterly immersive. I loved this book” – Nicola Griffith, author of Hild
“Shannon satisfyingly fills this massive standalone epic fantasy with court intrigue, travel through dangerous lands, fantastical religions, blood, love, and rhetoric” – Publishers Weekly
Very many congratulations, Samantha, from all of us here at DGA.