Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black

Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black



Title: The Wicked King

Author: Holly Black

Pages: 322

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Published: 2019

Source: Bought

Rating: ★★★★.5

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

This review is a little bit late as I read The Wicked King almost immediately after it came out in January. If I’m honest, I’ve struggled to write this review because I really enjoyed it and I couldn’t really say much else other than ‘I LOVED IT’ for a good while.

I really enjoyed The Cruel Prince, which I reviewed here, and so I just had to read The Wicked King straight away because I really couldn’t wait. The Wicked King is full of more scheming, more angst and of course, more faeries.

When I read, I’m usually quite aware of how long I have left in a book as getting closer to the end of a book gives me an extra kick to get a book finished but with The Wicked King, I came to the last page without even realising. I enjoyed it so much and my only real issue was that it wasn’t longer.


Just like in The Cruel Prince, The Wicked King follows our main character Jude after the events of the first book. I was interested to see where the plot of this book and the characters would go too seeing as The Cruel Prince ended on a cliffhanger and it definitely did not disappoint.

The characters are much of the same we saw in The Cruel Prince so in this book, it was more a case of how the individual characters would deal with the events that transpired in the first book and how that would enable their characters to develop.

The two main characters in this book are Jude, with the book being told from her POV just like in The Cruel Prince, and Cardan. I enjoyed following Jude in this book more than the first one which I think is because we had already got to know her character before so I knew what to expect from her. I enjoyed getting to know Cardan more in this book as things were touched on in The Cruel Prince but I feel like we really got to know him more in The Wicked King. I would say that Cardan is a difficult character to judge and whilst he is cruel, he is also using that as a barrier to almost protect himself.The Wicked King by Holly Black, which has a cover with a gold crown being dropped into blue water, is placed on top of The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, which has a white cover with gold branches on it. Both are placed on top of an open book with two themed bookmarks and a special The Cruel Prince themed badge next to the books.

The pace of this book is so fast that I barely even realised how quickly I was actually reading it. As I mentioned above, I ended up getting to the last page without even realising how close I was too it. The Wicked King really did suck me into it’s pages and basically spat me back out in shock. I thought the writing was great and that the length of the chapters was perfect and that they contributed to making this book such a fast read.

The ending of this book….THE ENDING OF THIS BOOK. I’m not going to say anything about it except it ended on such a cliffhanger and I won’t even lie, I was flicking through the acknowledgement pages almost manically and internally saying to myself ‘there has to be more??’. I was mostly just in a moment of shock when I finished it following the events in the last few pages and just didn’t really know what to do. I am fully invested in this series now and must know what happens next immediately!

It might be worth noting that between reading The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King, I actually read the novella titled The Lost Sister that is from Taryn’s POV. I don’t think this necessarily contributed to my overall reading experience of the second book but it did give me a little more insight into Taryn’s character. It’s not essential to the reading of this series but if you’re as obsessed with this series as I am, then it’s worth a read plus it’s short!

Final Thoughts

After reading The Wicked King, I absolutely need the third book, The Queen of Nothing SO. BADLY. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and liked getting to know the characters better. Holly has done such a great job with the books in this series so far and both times, I have been left wanting more but The Wicked King really has me feeling that way after that ending. I actually went back and read the last 3/4 pages about 6 times because I just needed to process the end of it.

Just in case you missed the news – The Queen of Nothing will now be publishing in November 2019 instead of January 2020!



The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman



Title: The Devouring Gray

Author: Christine Lynn Herman

Pages: 389

Publisher: Titan Books

Published: 2019

Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review – Thanks, Titan Books!

Rating: ★★★.5

Branches and stones, daggers and bones,
They locked the Beast away.

After the death of her sister, seventeen-year-old Violet Saunders finds herself dragged to Four Paths, New York. Violet may be a newcomer, but she soon learns her mother isn’t: They belong to one of the revered founding families of the town, where stone bells hang above every doorway and danger lurks in the depths of the woods.

Justin Hawthorne’s bloodline has protected Four Paths for generations from the Gray—a lifeless dimension that imprisons a brutal monster. After Justin fails to inherit his family’s powers, his mother is determined to keep this humiliation a secret. But Justin can’t let go of the future he was promised and the town he swore to protect.

Ever since Harper Carlisle lost her hand to an accident that left her stranded in the Gray for days, she has vowed revenge on the person who abandoned her: Justin Hawthorne. There are ripples of dissent in Four Paths, and Harper seizes an opportunity to take down the Hawthornes and change her destiny-to what extent, even she doesn’t yet know.

The Gray is growing stronger every day, and its victims are piling up. When Violet accidentally unleashes the monster, all three must band together with the other Founders to unearth the dark truths behind their families’ abilities—before the Gray devours them all.

The Devouring Gray is a paranormal novel that follows four teens in a small town called Four Paths. The Beast is a dark legend in Four Paths and is starting to gain power, and fast. Mysterious things are happening in Four Paths and Violet, Harper, Isaac and Justin must figure out what is causing it.

I’ve been trying to write this review for a little while now and I’ve found that I’ve struggled with it. Why? I hear you ask. Well, it’s because I thought this book was just an ok read for me. I wasn’t blown away with it but I also didn’t not like it. I almost feel a little bit indifferent to it.


The Devouring Gray is a book that I was expecting to devour but that didn’t quite happen. As mentioned above, I felt that it was just an ok book. I did like reading it but that was it. The concept reminded me a little of The Raven Boys and Stranger Things, which I’m fairly sure it was compared to. Usually when books say ‘for fans of’, I don’t know how much to believe them but I can confirm that this one is definitely for fans of both of those things.

This book mainly follows the character of Violet who moves to Four Paths following the death of her older sister. Upon moving, she discovers the mysteries of Four Paths and that she comes from one of the four founding families.

The plot was quite easy to follow and whilst I wasn’t immediately gripped by it, I definitely did want to continue reading. I was intrigued by the monster in the Gray and the paranormal aspect of it. The Gray definitely reminded of the Upside Down in Stranger Things. It was definitely full of paranormal elements as well as superstition.

I think out of the four main characters, my favourite was probably Harper, closely followed by Isaac and Violet who I’d put at joint second. All of the characters are fighting their own battles within, as well as trying to protect Four Paths. These characters had flaws which is something I really liked about them because in this book, there is no ‘this person is our hero’. The characters are vulnerable but they’re also strong. I liked that Christine made her characters in that way so that they were more relatable.

I wasn’t a fan of any of the parents in this story. I found them frustrating and that they didn’t listen or value any of their children. Of course, that leads to scheming which was fairly vital to this story, but I thought it was worth mentioning that the parents in this book are fairly annoying. Other than the parents of the main characters and the main characters themselves, I didn’t really feel like there was much interaction with any other characters in this book. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but then the characters felt very contained within themselves and their group.

I liked Christine’s writing and felt that it suited the book quite well although I did think that the pacing of it was a little bit on the slow side. Although, it started to really pick up in the last 110 pages as things started to fall into place. I definitely think that those last 110 pages saved this book and made it more of a 3.5 star read for me rather than just a 3 star read.

Final Thoughts

I liked The Devouring Gray but after a month, I just feel a little indifferent to it. It was in no way bad as I did like it and the last 100 pages were a lot more fast paced but I just liked it. I didn’t love it and I definitely didn’t hate it, I just feel pretty ok about it. I feel guilty for writing such a short review, but I felt like there wasn’t that much for me to actually say about this book.

5 Reasons to Read the Caraval series

5 Reasons to Read the Caraval series

It’s absolutely no secret that the Caraval series by Stephanie Garber is one of my favourites to exist. I had been eagerly anticipating Caraval ever since I saw it being handed out at BEA 2016 (via twitter, of course I didn’t go). I waited patiently but when it arrived in the January 2017 Fairyloot, I basically devoured it and LOVED it, just as predicted. I was extremely lucky to receive an ARC of Legendary thanks to the team at Hodder and basically gulped it down. It was lovely to dive back into the series and be with all of the characters again. That’s just one of the many reasons I’m looking forward to reading Finale, despite it being the end.

To celebrate the release of the final book in the series, Finale, I decided that I would present to you 5 reasons to read the series in the hopes it’ll either give you the nudge to start these books or push you to read the next book in the series.

1. The Characters – The characters are one of the biggest draws for me to this series. I think every character is unique in this story and because of that, I find it difficult to pick a favourite character because I have different reasons for why I like them! I think the main characters, Scarlett and Tella are fairly realistic. They’re vulnerable and they do make mistakes but I like that about them.

2. The Magic – Of course, these books would have to feature magic because Caraval is magical! One of the first things I fell in love with when I read this series was the magic. It’s quite significant to these books as it’s always there. Caraval is surrounded by magic and I just love seeing it come to life in these books.

3. The Settings – I love the magical settings in these books as I think they really make the book come to life. All three books include a map which is so helpful as you can follow the characters and because it helps to imagine the settings more vividly. Caraval and Legendary are both set somewhere different but the game element of Caraval is key in both. I think the settings are part of what makes these books so magical.

4. The Mystery and Intrigue – The whole game of Caraval is a mystery up until the end. That’s what’s so intriguing about these books because you want to find out how the game will end. The magic and illusions of Caraval help to make this book so mysterious but you shouldn’t get too caught up in it, otherwise you may lose your head!

5. The Series is Over – While it does pain me to say that the series is over, it does mean that you now have the perfect reason to read them because all of the books are released. You know what that calls for? A READING MARATHONNNN!

Bonus reason: Not only is Stephanie a wonderful author but she’s also such a lovely person and she really deserves the support of the book community!

I hope you guys enjoyed this post. If you think of any extra reasons for why people should read this wonderful series, please leave them in the comments to encourage others to embark on the journey of Caraval!

Remember…it’s only a game.

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston


Title: The Princess and the Fangirl

Author: Ashley Poston

Pages: 370

Publisher: Quirk Books

Published: 2019

Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review – Thanks, Quirk Books!

Rating: ★★★★

Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, she’ll consider her career derailed.

When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks, and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. That’s easier said than done when the girls step into each other’s shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these “princesses” race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after.

‘The horizon’s wide and I have a kingdom to rule.’

The Princess and the Fangirl is the sequel to Geekerella, a book that I read back in 2017 and loved. I was a little worried that perhaps The Princess and the Fangirl wouldn’t quite meet up to the standard set by Geekerella, but it was just as good and it was so sweet.

One of the things that I loved about Geekerella when I read it was that it was such a quick and fun story that you can easily just slip into because it doesn’t require a lot of thought when reading it. The Princess and the Fangirl was exactly the same. It was a different story, but quite fun and I enjoyed it. It just made me happy and I love books that give me that feeling.


The Princess and the Fangirl is set over a 4 day period at ExcelsiCon, a convention based on the famous Starfield series/movie. ExcelsiCon is the same convention we attended in Geekerella so it was very nice to return to it but in this book, we see it from a different perspective. In The Princess and the Fangirl, we see it from the perspective of a fan/vendor and from the perspective of an actress. I thought this was quite a nice take because, as a fan, I obviously never get to see conventions in the eyes of an actor/actress, so this was interesting to read about.

This book follows two main characters, Imogen and Jessica. Imogen is the fan and Jessica is the actress, but they easily get mixed up as they look very similar. The Princess and the Fangirl really bounces off their likeness, especially when the new Starfield script gets leaked, and it goes on from there. As the synopsis above mentions, they switch places to find the person responsible for the leaks which exposes them to the sides of fandom that they both don’t get to normally experience.

I liked both Imogen and Jessica’s characters, but I did find Jessica to be a little bit annoying at times with how determined she was to hate conventions and fandom. I preferred Imogen’s character, but I do wonder if it’s because as a character, she’s a fan so I related to her a little bit more.

This book did include m/m and f/f romances which was really great to see. It’s nice to read a book and see diverse characters. Imogen and her brother also have two mums who are vendors, which I really loved.

The Princess and the Fangirl also featured the characters from Geekerella which was a lovely touch to this book. It actually made me feel quite happy as the characters were familiar and it was nice to see where they were a year on from the events of the first book.

The plot of this is fairly fast paced and the writing helps to keep it that way. The book is split into 4 parts based on each day at the convention. What I liked about this is that whilst the story was going on, what was happening in the background wasn’t sacrificed. When it was Saturday at the convention, there was definitely a lot of buzz whereas on the Sunday, you could actually imagine the convention winding down which made me feel quite sad knowing that it was coming to a close. I think Ashley did a really good job of conveying what people feel at conventions through this book.

This book is perfect for anyone who is part of a fandom or anyone who wants to or has attended a convention before. I’ve attended YALC/LFCC for the past two years and will be going again this year. This book brought back so many great memories for me as I thought back to my own convention experiences whilst reading about the convention in this book. I think Ashley really manages to capture the magical element of conventions and it translates onto the page so well.

Final Thoughts

I’d fully recommend reading The Princess and the Fangirl if you like fairly fast paced books, romance and a book that is just fun. Like I said at the beginning, I really enjoyed being able to fall into this book without having to really think about the story or anything because it is easy to follow. I would argue that it is predictable, but it’s a happy kind of predictable. If I’m totally honest, reading this book made me think of my own convention experiences and has me really looking forward to my next YALC. I love books that make you happy and this is definitely one of those books that does that!


The Cruel Prince by Holly Black



Title: The Cruel Prince

Author: Holly Black

Pages: 370

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Published: 2018

Source: Bought

Rating: ★★★★.5

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

The Cruel Prince was a last minute favourite read for 2018. It was one of the books I read for the readathon I hosted at the end of 2018, End of Yearathon.

I haven’t read anything by Holly Black before so I wasn’t too sure what to expect but I’d heard quite a lot of positive things about this book throughout 2018 since its release so I wanted to make sure I read it during the year it was released. Especially since the sequel, The Wicked King, was released in January so I knew I had to get to The Cruel Prince before that.

Oh boy, I really was not prepared for how much I’d enjoy this book. Don’t get me wrong, this book did have some aspects that I wasn’t too keen on, but by the end of the book I found that I had really enjoyed it and I really needed the next book that second. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to wait too long.


The Cruel Prince follows Jude, a human girl, who navigates through faerie whilst being seen as below everyone else. We follow her as she goes to school and balls and has to deal with the disapproval of faeries the majority of the time. During her time in faerie, Jude comes across some interesting information as Elfhame becomes increasingly closer to having a new ruler.

I liked Jude despite the fact that, at times, she was a little annoying. I thought that she was quite brave and that she was trying to do what was right. She has been through a lot in her life, such as witnessing her parents being murdered and then being taken away and raised by their killer, which is cruel in itself. Despite her experiences, I felt that she was a fairly strong and resilient character, as well as being fairly clever and using things to her advantage.

I disliked Taryn, Jude’s twin sister as I thought that she was pretty bad to Jude at times. Vivi, on the other hand, was pretty cool and I loved that she was fairly rebellious. Cardan and his group are friends are huge bullies. I wasn’t keen on a lot of ways they treated humans like they were so below the faeries. Some of the things they did really didn’t sit well with me and I found myself getting quite frustrated at them at times.

The Cruel Prince is set in Elfhame. I felt like I could imagine things fairly vividly, including Madoc’s estate as that’s where a lot of Jude’s time was spent. The map at the front of the book also really helped me when trying to imagine where places mentioned throughout the book were. Everything was described fairly well so that really added to my reading experience.

There was plenty of scheming throughout this book which I quite enjoyed. It involved different plots by different people and it was interesting to see how the different schemes were carried out throughout the book. It’s especially intriguing to see Holly’s faeries scheme as they are unable to lie so I think that does make the scheming seem even more clever at times.

I quite enjoyed the writing of The Cruel Prince and felt that it flowed really nicely. The chapters were fairly short which enabled me to read this book at a faster pace. Of course, this was aided by the story being so good. I thought that Holly’s writing worked so well with the plot and that she really kept the pace up throughout. Holly’s experience in writing about faeries really shows.3B5E7238-93A1-45ED-A945-0BC75D9ECF6E

Final Thoughts

As I said before, there were some aspects of this book that I wasn’t keen on, which is why I gave this book 4.5 stars, but I did end up really enjoying it. I don’t read that many faerie themed books (apart from Sarah J Maas’ books) and this was the first book by Holly Black that I have read. I found myself liking both her interpretation of faeries and her writing so that has definitely pushed me to check out more of her work in the future.


5 Reasons to read Heartstopper by Alice Oseman


Title: Heartstopper

Author: Alice Oseman

Pages: 288

Publisher: Hodder

Published: 2018

Source: Bought

Rating: ★★★★.5

Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore, and he’s sort of got a boyfriend, even if he’s kind of mean and only wants to meet up in secret.

Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him. That is, until the start of January, in which Nick and Charlie are placed in the same form group and made to sit together.

They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner…

Heartstopper is a graphic novel completely designed and written by author Alice Oseman. Alice has gained quite a lot of attention over the last couple of years but I haven’t read any of her books since I read Solitaire just after it was released. I hadn’t realised prior to reading it but Heartstopper is the story of Charlie and Nick who we meet in Solitaire.

Of course, it’s been a fair few years since I read it and I’ve read quite a lot of books in between but I like that Alice has done a prequel to Solitaire and given us the back story of these characters. I particularly like that she has done it such a visual way.

So without further ado, here are my 5 reasons to read Heartstopper…

1. The Art Style – The art throughout this graphic novel is simple but effective. All of the art is done using monotone colours but I don’t think that hindered the story at all. I think that the monotone colours helped to focus on the plot of the graphic novel more.

2. The Story – The plot was super cute. It was easy to follow and flowed really nicely from page to page. It mostly follows Charlie and Nick at school but it does stray away to over the holidays. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Charlie and Nick and following this plot into the next volume that is coming out in July.

3. The Characters – Both Charlie and Nick were likeable characters. I liked that Alice was able to really show their personalities and that for example, even though Nick is a rugby player and so are his friends, they didn’t adhere to the stereotypical image of rugby players.

4. The LGBTQ+ rep – Heartstopper tackles quite a few issues throughout and has good representation. One of the issues that it dealt with was bullying and how this affected Charlie. It also dealt with unwanted attention from another character and characters hiding their sexuality. Heartstopper also dealt with Nick trying to work his way through his feelings and his sexuality.

5. The Pace – The pace of Heartstopper is very fast which means that you fly through it but it’s quite memorable. It read so quickly that my only complaint is that it wasn’t long enough!

Bonus reason: Alice is currently putting out the comic on Tumblr too, so even after you finish it, you can carry on with Charlie and Nick’s story by reading the tumblr page.

I hope that if you were debating reading this, the above reasons have helped you to decide to read it. I personally enjoyed this graphic novel quite a bit and thought that the plot and art style was quite refreshing.

The Priory of Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon


Title: The Priory of the Orange Tree

Author: Samantha Shannon

Pages: 804

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Published: 2019

Source: ARC (Gifted, thanks to Bloomsbury)

Rating: ★★★★.5

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 all her life to be a dragonrider, 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.

If the sun burned out tomorrow, your flame would light the world.’

The Priory of the Orange Tree has been one of my anticipated reads since I first heard about it so I was absolutely thrilled when Bloomsbury sent me a copy. Admittedly, though I’ve wanted to read it ever since I received it, I had been putting it off because of the size of it. Let’s be honest, it’s the size of 2/3 books so I wouldn’t say it’s a particularly quick read. I also planned fairly badly.

The intention to read it before the end of 2018 was there, but wanting to reach my Goodreads goal before 2018 ended got the better off me and so I opted for shorter books instead. Really, I should have been starting this beast of a book as it took me a month to read it and I finished the last 30 pages the day it came out. I think that it can be a little daunting when you first face this book as it is 800 pages. I know I definitely felt a little intimidated by it and like I may struggle, but it was such a fantastic book that I’m glad I finally read it.

I’m going to try and write this without spoiling anything as I want everyone to go into this book with no spoilers, so if this review is quite vague, now you know why!


In Priory, we follow four characters PoVs as Virtudom is on the brink of war. These characters are Ead, Tané, Niclays and Loth as they all navigate through the South, East and West. The world building in this book was just fantastic. It was so rich and descriptive that I found it easy to imagine the settings. Of course, rich world building in an 800-page book is something you would expect but Samantha really delivered. I didn’t find it at all confusing like I was first expecting. It was incredibly easy to follow because the settings were all so different. You can really tell that Samantha did so much for this book, not just because of the size but because of the sheer amount of detail throughout Priory.

Out of the four PoVs that we follow in this book, I think that my favourite was Ead but I also liked Tané. Both were prominent and were the primary focus out of the four characters we follow. I really liked Ead because of how there were so many layers to her and because she wasn’t afraid to do what was right. Tané was similar in that respect but she was also focused on herself and making sure she was the best dragon rider she could be. I liked Loth as a character but  we didn’t go to his PoV as often as Ead and Tané’s. I felt that Niclays really went on a journey during this book, but I personally liked his chapters least out of the four as I just wasn’t as invested in his story as the others.

Other than the 4 main characters that we follow, there are plenty of other characters throughout this book and all are fully fleshed out with backgrounds. Two of my favourite characters were Sabran and Meg. Although I did think Sabran could be a little cold at times, I did quite like her. Meg was such a good friend to Ead and I loved her attitude throughout the book. She was quite a badass as and when she needed to be.

Relating to characters, there was LGBT representation of f/f and m/m relationships and exploration of sexuality in this book which was good to see.

The dragons are quite a prominent feature in this book, or perhaps I should say wyrms. There are good dragons and bad wyrms which is different  There were quite a few different creatures featured throughout, but my favourite was perhaps the ichneumon called Arlaq who is kind of like Ead’s pet.

Although I found the pacing a little slow for the first 400-450 pages, as everything started to fall into place I found that it really picked up and the last 350-400 pages went by much faster than the first half. One thing that did slow the book down for me was the long chapters which is why I have given Priory 4.5 stars as I did feel like the long chapters did slow down the first half for me alongside the slower pacing.

I have read all books in Samantha’s The Bone Season series so far and I know that those books also have long chapters. This isn’t necessarily a criticism of Samantha’s books or her writing but I find that for me, long chapters slow the pace down meaning it takes me longer to read which is exactly what happened with this book. Despite the fact it did have long chapters, I was still interested in the book and was left wanting to read more whenever I put it down.

Final thoughts?

I found The Priory of the Orange Tree to be an enjoyable read that was incredibly well thought out. The character development was great, the world building was incredible and the plot was easy to follow. Despite the fact that the first half of the book was slower than the second half and the long chapters, I did find this to be a satisfying read and a really fantastic standalone book. I would absolutely recommend this book.