This review is my first impressions based on the first seven chapters that I was able to read in the early extract.
“All the world is a cage in a young girl’s eyes.”
I have been anxiously waiting for the publication of The Priory of the Orange Tree since it was first announced, and I am super excited to have gotten an opportunity to read the early exclusive extract (which is the first 7 chapters of the book)! I love adult fantasy, and once I learned that this was a standalone with dragons, I knew it was a book that I needed to read! While this was not the effortless fantasy read that I was hoping for, I am still really interested in reading the full book.
I found the opening chapters to be lyrically written and instantly engaging. It was largely plot driven with the anxiety and fear of the unknown outsider’s appearance, and the worldbuilding trickled in slowly. But after the first chapter I started getting increasingly more confused as more characters and perspectives were introduced. It took me quite some time to even realize there was a perspective and country shift, and it took me until about 50% or so to settle into the narrative style and really understand what was going on. This is definitely a “me issue” because I often struggle with multiple POVs, and unfortunately for me the eARC formatting really exacerbated my confusion for this one. (Again, I read an early extract and there often are significant changes made prior to final publication; the MOBI formatting issues are not something that will be present in the final book.)