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  • The Priory of the Orange Tree

  • By: Samantha Shannon
  • Narrated by: Liyah Summers
  • Length: 25 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (1,195 ratings)

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The Priory of the Orange Tree cover art

The Priory of the Orange Tree

By: Samantha Shannon
Narrated by: Liyah Summers
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Summary

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.

©2017 Bloomsbury (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about The Priory of the Orange Tree

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Shame about pronunciation

Anyone making it as far as my review, please note you should listen to this audiobook straight away and if you don’t get on with it, you can ask for a refund within seven days.

With so many new unusual names, places, and other organisations, in true brilliant Samantha Shannon style, it was essential to get an excellent narrator. Sadly despite pretty good accents mostly, this narrator does not have what it takes with frequent mispronunciations of certain words that take your head out of the book whilst you work out what it is supposed to be. ‪Wish I’d gone for actual book. Hard to listen to. Eg ‘drought instead of draught (draft). ‘Her conversation’ instead of ‘her conversion etc. Shame.‬

This is the email I sent to audible -
Hi I usually buy a lot of books and then gradually get through them. You will see that from my record.

Sadly the Priory of the orange tree has the worst narrator I have heard in a long while. For all the reasons listed on the many bad reviews.
Eg
POMndah instead of PomANDer
Intelligent (sah) Instead of ‘intelligenzia’
Atonomist instead of anatomist
Acrostic instead of agnostic
Drought instead of draught (draft)
She does some quite good accents, but her male voices are very poor and the key voice of the Dragon just sounded like someone taking the mick.

Is there anyway you can let Samantha Shannon and the producer know that she should re-record this as it will just continue to get terrible reviews and I’m sure people will get refunds? I loved her other books, the bone season series, but cannot get past the terrible pronunciation by this awful narrator. Her dialogue is 3/5 but her pronunciation of some of the words is 0/5, and her ability to appear as though she has never even heard some of the (regular English) words before, is unbelievable.

I note this is the first book on audible that this narrator has done, I hope it’s the only one. I will be avoiding her like the plague

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264 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Worst narrator ever

The men sounded just the same as the women, it’s that bad in places! I wish this could be recorded again.

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90 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story let down by poor narration

The narrator constantly mispronounced words e.g. heretic and edict and gave one character an American accent which felt very out of place. Its a shame because the story was otherwise very enjoyable.

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72 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

really looking forward to this but

the narrator is coming across as amateurish which has detracted from the story. we have stopped listening to it.

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67 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I really don’t like the narration!

This is the worst audio book I’ve downloaded. The readers diction is at times really bad, and then goes back to bein’ ok. It makes it quite hard to listen to! I wish I’d read it!!

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56 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Awful narration

Managed a force myself through a few hours of the awful narration before giving up entirely. I'll go and buy the book so I don't have to listen to the terrible accents and constant mispronounciations...

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47 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Promising story, couldn’t get past the narrator

I really really wanted to listen to this story but I just couldn’t get past the poor narration.

I found it hard to differentiate between characters. You would jump between main characters but as the voices were all the same it was hard to tell that the focus had changed.

A number of words were pronounced wrong which grated a bit

That said I persevered for 10 hours and the story does seem good. I will definitely pick this up for my kindle so I can continue the story

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39 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • AF
  • 13-05-19

Disappointing!

A mediocre story which never quite allowed me to suspend disbelief. Maritime and battle scenes in particular were shoddy. If the world had been as well described as the protagonists costumes, it would have much better.
The narrator had a lovely voice but awful character accents which killed it completely for me. Hearing a court noble speaking in an East Yorkshire accent to an Eastern Emperor with a John Wayne drawl was excruciating!
In the end, the only reason I finished it was out of sheer bloody mindedness and the expectation of expressing my pain in this review.

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37 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

One of the biggest let downs

This is probably going to be an unpopular review due to the fact that, for reasons I honestly can't fathom, this book gets listed on everyone's favourite fantasy reads of 2019 list. But, if I'm brutally honest, I hated it. 

I honestly have so little to say that is positive about it. The character development, if there was any character development at all, was so bad that I genuinely got excited whenever one of them looked like they might die. My key issues with the characters are as follows:

We have a queen that is so politically inept that I could walk up to her, tell her I intend to betray and overthrow her kingdom and would very much appreciate it if she just let me get on with it, and she would still look shocked when it happened. Her lady in waiting is far too perfect; there seems very little she doesn't know or can't do. There's an alchemist who is so thoroughly unlikable that the fact he is being pushed as a main character we are supposed to feel sorry for is borderline insulting and then we have one of the most selfish women in the world who would gladly break the laws of her land if it meant personal gain. 

there's also the fact that dragons are revered as gods but seem painfully incapable of doing very much of anything to stand up to a determined human. That just lessened the impact of things pretty early on.

And we are supposed to care for these people rather than just feel frustrated and completely uncaring for their struggles. I just couldn't. I didn't have that level of feeling as a reader to overlook so many thoroughly unlikable or uninteresting characters.

Niclays had a story that started out so very interesting, and I honestly thought his story line would be the one saving grace in the whole book and, to an extent, it was. His was, by any stretch of the imagination, the most enjoyable aspect. It was just him as a person that was so difficult to like or care about when things went bad. He is pretty much miserable at the world because his conniving ways were caught and he was punished for it. 

The end did somewhat save certain characters for me as far as unlikablility went, but it was only my 'must not DNF a title' mentality that kept me through to the end. I certainly didn't feel the ending was in any way epic enough to warrant such tedium that led up to it. 

I felt the plot was a bit all over the place and nothing overly dynamic seemed to happen, or if it did it certainly didn't stay dynamic for very long. It became very apparent that I was only reading this so I could actually finish it as very little, if anything struck me as engaging or as a thing that made me want to get home so I could continue on with it.

I know everyone raves about the F/F romance in it and, to be honest, it didn't feel that special. It just kind of happened without any wonderful build up that I expected. It felt genuine as it went on but it just felt forced early on.

The narration was also very lacking in my opinion. The vocals on display simply didn't have the depth to engulf a wide cast of characters. This either led to some being a bit samey or some being incredibly overly-theatrical. One character (a main one) just had a very whiney, whinging, sound to him. Another, an incredibly powerful person just had a high-pitched, pantomime villain sort of voice that made it impossible to take her seriously. And the dragons ... I could rant for ages about the dragons. They just fell into the 'voices you'd put on to try and entertain a child before bedtime' so theatrical and over the top were they.

All in all ... yea, I really didn't enjoy this one. Which was a shame as I expected so much given the hype surrounding it.

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19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Stick with it, it's awesome!

I absolutely loved this! I got confused at first, but absolutely brilliant when I stuck with it. Magical story with strong female characters and fabulous narration!

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11 people found this helpful