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Category / Fantasy


Explore the world of The Priory of the Orange Tree with Samantha Shannon!

The first book in a new series by Samantha Shannon has hit our shelves and we're in love! With a vibrant world full of dragons, empires and action, it is unputdownable!

We are excited to have Samantha available to take us on a private tour around the world of The Priory of the Orange Tree.

"The Priory of the Orange Tree is set in a world that is both like and unlike ours. One of the books I used to research it was The Time Travellers’ Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortimer. In a similar vein, I’d like to help the unwary traveller orient themselves in the fractured world I’ve spent the last three years building.

In CE 1005, the Kingdom of Hróth is the only country in the region known as the North. Ruled by the House of Hraustr, which triumphed in the War of the Twelve Shields, it is a land of deep forests, magnificent glaciers, and snowbound plains. Among its exports are forest glass and sunstone. If luck is with you, you might catch a glimpse of its famous rainbow lights in the sky.

Sail across the frigid Ashen Sea and you will find the Queendom of Inys, which has been ruled by the House of Berethnet for over a thousand years. Sabran the Ninth sits on its throne. Inys is where the faith of the Virtues of Knighthood was founded, and all other countries in Virtudom owe religious fealty to it. It is said that while the Berethnet bloodline endures, the Nameless One – the enemy of humankind – can never return. Express even a hint of doubt in this belief, and you may be charged with heresy.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon OUT NOW

Inys is the northernmost nation in the West. The other two countries in this region are the Free State of Mentendon and the Kingdom of Yscalin, both situated on the continent of Edin. Mentendon is sworn to Virtudom, but Yscalin has renounced the faith and pledged allegiance to the Nameless One. King Sigoso has not been seen in public for some time, but his daughter, the Donmata Marosa, continues to hold court in the forbidding Palace of Salvation.

Mentendon is ruled by the House of Lievelyn, a relatively young dynasty that took power from the Vatten family. Aubrecht the Second is its High Prince, and its heir apparent is the eldest of his sisters, Princess Ermuna.

Travel further into Edin and you will find yourself in the warm climes of the South. The Domain of Lasia – a land of lush forests and broad, crashing rivers – and is ruled by the House of Onjenyu, the oldest of the royal dynasties. Lasia is well-known for its exquisite sculptures and copper jewellery. Somewhere in the Lasian Basin lies the Priory of the Orange Tree . . . but you will find it on no map. 

East of Lasia is the Ersyr, a desert nation, rich in skystone. Except for the occasional oasis and the Wareda Valley, which abounds with roses, the country is dry. The Tablet of Rumelabar, which contains a riddle that alchemists have endeavoured to solve for centuries, was discovered in the Sarras Mountains. A small river, the Bratar, runs from these mountains and pours into the Sea of Carmentum. Glittering on the seabed are thousands of treasures from the former Republic of Carmentum, which collapsed during the Grief of Ages.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon is available in store & online now.

To see the rest of the world, you’ll need to board a sturdy ship in Ostendeur or Drayasta and cross the dark sea called the Abyss, which teems with all manner of strange creatures. Greatsquid and baleens may bump against your ship in the dead of night. Sometimes, if you listen hard, you may hear a syren calling.

The Sepul Peninsula has been virtually lawless for centuries, with its former capital, Kawontay, overrun by pirates. However, it’s also the only place you’ll be able to disembark in the East without the authorities detaining you. To keep out the Draconic plague, the Empire of the Twelve Lakes and its closest neighbour, Seiiki, have closed their ports to all outsiders. Should you make it into Seiiki, be careful not to go astray in the Forest of the Wounded Bird, or to climb too high into the foothills of the merciless Mount Tego. Instead, consider waiting on the black sands of Cape Hisan until dusk, when thousands of tiny sea creatures light up the shore. 

In the Empire of the Twelve Lakes, prepare to be dazzled by snow-capped mountain ranges, flower-peppered meadows, and of course, the lakes themselves. Stand by one for long enough, and you may see a pair of horns break the surface – a water dragon, unfurling from the depths. "

Immerse yourself in The Priory of the Orange Tree today! Available in stores and online now.

QBD Reviews: Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte 

Four Queens. A divided nation. A ruthless pickpocket. A noble messenger. And the murders that unite them.

Astrid Scholte's debut novel is an enthralling fast-paced murder mystery where competing agendas collide with deadly consequences. 

Keralie Corrington is a talented pickpocket. She steals for the black market in her quadrant. Her nation is divided into four regions, each strictly separated from the other. Four queens, one from each quadrant, rule as one.

When Keralie steals a particularly valuable item from a messenger, she discovers she's intercepted instructions to murder the queens. Hoping to find the culprit, Keralie teams up with Varin Bollt. But with Keralie and Varin each keeping secrets, everything is at stake. And no one can be trusted in a world full of ruthless thieves, black markets, a golden palace, daring heists, royal intrigue, noble messengers, forbidden love, four queens - each with a secret, and, of course, murder.

Four Dead Queens is released on March 4th 2019. To pre-order Four Dead Queens click here.

 

What an impressive debut! I was lucky enough to receive an advanced reading copy and upon seeing the cover and synopsis was instantly excited; devouring this wondrous story as fast as my eyes could take me. My imagination worked overtime attempting to create accurate images in my mind of the vastly different quadrants, all the while failing to truly grasp how these sectors are so geographically close together yet feel like they are from completely different worlds. I was taken from period costume with corsets and bonnets and a quadrant with no electricity to dermasuits and comm chips and technology so advanced it blew my mind! I was introduced to characters I immediately wanted to know more about and as the story progressed, was constantly surprised to discover new things about them I wouldn't have guessed.

This was a pretty cruise-y novel to begin with, an easy read that wrapped me up in the stunningly creative world Astrid has created until just past half way when the rugs started ripping out from under me with twists I never saw coming- much praise for an author who can still do that so successfully! I truly loved this book, a standing ovation from me as I (not so) patiently wait for Astrid's next masterpiece (please!)

~ Taegen , QBD Loganholme

QBD Reviews: Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

As singular entry in Brandon Sanderson's growing collection of novels, Warbreaker is a fantastic addition to what some may say are some of the best Fantasy novels written to date. Impressive in scope and execution Warbreaker explores a new form of ethereal magic known as Breath. It is this form of magic that sets up the premise of the story. Breath enables the holder to not only obtain talents such as enchanced colour sight and perfect pitch, but Breath may also be used to animate objects to perform tasks unimaginable. With a power such as strong as Breath one can imagine that it is highly sought after, and you'd be right.

In this story you will follow the lives of two princesses as they lives are turned upside down on a quest to save one another from the God King, a being of untold power who's Breath is to be rumoured as unmeasureable, in the ever colourful yet unfamiliar city of Hallandren. Come explore the reasons by Breath is so powerful, yet so very dangerous in Sanderson's stand-alone novel Warbreaker. You'll love it the twists and turns, I promise!

Fans of authors such as Terry Pratchett and Patrick Rothfuss will absolutely love this novel. It would also be suitable for teenagers with a growing ability to comprehend more mature concepts found in adult sci-fi and fantasy novels.

- Liam, QBD Carousel

Reviewsday: Armada by Ernest Cline

Pew Pew Pew!!!

Hurry reader we must find shelter from the laser fire….

Phew…that was close!

You might be wondering where these lasers are coming from…well perhaps it’s time to read Armada by Ernest Cline to find out! Cline’s second novel after his smash release Ready Player One will have you dodging destruction in this alien-infested sci-fi tale. Follow Zack Lightman as he begins to uncover the unsettling truth behind a government cover-up to protect the world from annihilation at the hands of the Europeans…I mean Europans, who’ve made it their sole purpose to destroy Earth and all its inhabitants.

A story fit for teenagers and young adults Armada pays homage to Cline’s personal favourite pop culture references and sources such as those created by the famous sci-fi directors Stephen Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick. Set your phasers to kill reader and pray to god you aim is better than a Stormtrooper's - this is going to be a fight you won’t soon forget.

~Liam, Carousel QBD

Reviewsday: Whisper by Lynette Noni

One Word Can Change Your World...

Lynette Noni shines with the first book in a new Young Adult series that I just couldn't put down. I needed to read the whole thing, needed to finish it as quickly as possible. This was also the first book of hers that I have read and I loved it.

Jane has been in Lengard for two and a half years now. A secret government facility that have been testing on her-- the only problem is she won't speak a single word. They don't know her name and call her only Jane Doe and treated as just another inmate. But things aren't always as they seem.

With just one word-- the first she has spoken in almost three years-- Jane learns about just what she is and what she can do. They tell her that she is special and that they can help her to control her powers, but can these people really be trusted?

This book had me on the edge of my seat as I read through it, I needed to know and every twist and turn just kept me even more engaged. This book felt like a few smaller stories weaved into one and done well, so if you're like me and you enjoy a book that doesn't feel like it drags... this is the book for you.

Fall in love with the strong female characters in this book, from Camelot "Cami" Ward-- a girl who has been through so much and still maintains her heart of gold, to Keeda-- the tough girl who you can't help but smile at. To Jane herself as she learns that it's not the past that defines us, and powers aren't what make us strong-- but how we use them.

All in all if you're looking for a new series that will keep you engaged and leave you will all kinds of emotions at the end, Whisper is for you. The only issue... that book number two isn't out yet.

5 stars!

~ Jordanna, QBD Chadstone