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The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon feat. Somaiya Daud

Beware: dragons ahead! Join us as we dive into the epic fantasy world of The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, with our guest Somaiya Daud. (Transcript)

46 The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon feat. Somaiya Daud

In today’s episode…

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon is an epic fantasy set in a world with sharp divisions. For those in the West, dragons are their most hated enemy, and the only thing keeping them safe is a Queen’s dynasty that has lasted 1,000 years. In the east, sea dragons are gods, guarding and guiding the kingdom. When the enemy of humanity begins to stir, every nation must make a choice on how to fight it and what to believe. Told in third person, Priory follows the queen’s attendant, a prospective dragon rider, a loyal diplomat, and a disgraced alchemist to tell the story of a world at a crossroad.


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Episode highlights…


*1:18 Somaiya shares about Mirage, and her book tour

*4:03 Priory isn’t being marketed as YA, but we disagree

*7:35 Samantha Shannon’s careful world-building makes this book perfect

*12:00 The character of the Queen, Sabran was so nuanced, and we loved it

Things We Like A Latte

Danielle – Two authors/illustrators: Emily B. Martin (find her on IG @emilybeemartin) and Vashti Harrison (on IG @vashtiharrison)

Somaiya – The Syfy show, Killjoys

Amanda – The NYT article,Why Are Young People Pretending to Love Work? by Erin Griffith



*20:23 Pirates!

*21:30 We dig into the character of Niclays

*26:24 “This book would have changed my life if I had read it at age 14” – Danielle


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More ideas and resources for teachers and librarians…

Even though this book isn’t being marketed as YA, we think it will have a lot of appeal for teen readers. The length is daunting, and the pacing is slower than a typical YA novel, but if you have students who like fantasy then this is a great choice.

When it comes to grading and structuring independent/student-selected reading, book conferences can be a great way to “check in” with your students, without it feeling like a test. We love reading and talking about books, and it’s important for students to feel that joy too.

We also highly recommend Mirage by Somaiya Daud. If you aren’t already familiar with it, Danielle has some suggestions for how to use it in the classroom.

46 The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon feat. Somaiya Daud

Get in touch with us on Instagram and Twitter at @yacafepodcast or email us at We look forward to hearing from you!




Hosts: Danielle Hall (who blogs at

          & Amanda Thrasher (a booklover extraordinaire)


Guest: Somaiya Daud

Producer: Leila Hobbs

Music: Matt McCammon


Thank you to Bloomsbury Publishing for the ARC!

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