Hello my dear readers. After many weeks of putting it down to finish other books, I finally finished The Priory of the Orange Tree.
This isn’t a review of the book, that will come some time in the future, hopefully soon. Instead, I want to analyze one of the main characters that stuck out to me during the book; Sabran IX, the ruler of the Queendom of Inys.
Some of these opinions might be seen as controversial, and if you agree or disagree with me, we should talk about it in the comments, or send me a message on social media.
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My favourite thing about Sabran is that she is far from perfect and confident. She is very much a flawed character, and that is what makes her story so much more interesting.
She is a young Queen, but a strong ruler.
She has her fears about having children, and pursues immortality instead. She has fears that plenty of young women have.
Childbirth can be a scary thing for anybody, even a queen. If the power of immortality was at your fingertips, wouldn’t you think of pursuing it too?
Sabran has lived her entire life with other voices in her head, making decisions for her. She is the Queen, but she’s had advisors and other nobles limiting her freedom of thought.
Because of this, we see her doubt. We see her unsure of herself when she has a moment of privacy that the reader gets to explore. On the surface, she is a strong, more than capable queen. When we can tear wear the tough exterior, she is scared, she is unsure, she is exhausted.
It can’t be easy being a Queen, and when you’ve had a parentless existence like she has, you can imagine how lonely it can be.
Marriage is one thing Sabran tried to avoid when she was young. She didn’t want to marry, she wanted to be immortal instead.
When love finally comes her way, it’s as if she dives into it head first. She opens herself up to it, and she enjoys it. All of her fears are put to the side, and she accepts the beautiful things that love can bring.
That’s when her world is torn apart.
Sabran finally accepts love. She realizes the good it can bring, and how happy it can make her, and then it is ripped from her.
Her husband and her child are taken from her. The two things she was terrified to go through with were torn from her, her fears come true.
The emotional and mental destruction that would bring on anyone. She spent years avoiding them, and it is almost as if her fears made it a reality.
When Sabran realizes her feelings for Ead, it’s as if her pieces are put back together, slowly, but much stronger.
She allows herself to feel again, despite all the pain and fear it has brought her.
This time, she finds the love of her life. She finds her other half, and even when she falls into more emotional moments, where Ead is in danger, she keeps a strong head and does what needs to be done.
She may love Ead, but she knows when she needs to be a lover and when she needs to be a fighter.
It’s never directly stated, but it seems like Sabran’s ancestors have always suffered from depressive episodes.
It’s fairly well known, and Sabran experiences a few throughout the book.
What I like about her, is that she comes back from these dark moments, and she steps up when the time is right.
A thousand years of “destiny” and “prophecy” are on Sabran’s shoulders. She believes she is the sole reason that the end of the world is alive. She believes if her lineage ends, the Nameless One will rise and destroy the world.
When a High Welters, the strongest of the dragons besides the Nameless One, comes to her doorstep, she doesn’t hesitate in confronting it. She knows she could die with one swipe of its tail, but she confronts it as if she could kill it with her gaze alone.
As we make it further into The Priory of the Orange Tree, the entirety of Sabran’s religion is tested more than once.
The truth to the origin story of her religion is proven wrong, and then wrong again.
Despite this, she is understanding, and she is open minded. She could remain ignorant, sticking to her beliefs of what her and her people have been taught for hundreds of years.
It would be the easiest thing for her to do, but she is willing to accept the truth to it all, and learn from it.
Sabran’s character is far from perfect. She’s a bit of a bitch at times during the start of the book, but as we get to know her more and more, we understand why.
We understand her thoughts and actions more and more, and we realize she is an amazing character.
Sabran is definitely my favorite part of The Priory of the Orange Tree. She provides a wonderful emotional thread to the story, and it’s always refreshing to have a character that acts with her mind and heart, instead of just her heart.