"The Priory of the Orange Tree" by Samantha Shannon cover showing a blue dragon wrapped around a tower.

Random Dragon Shirt Online Turns Out To Be One of the Most Popular Sapphic Fantasy Novel Covers

Whether or not you’re a reader, if books surround you all day, chances are you will come to recognize popular authors and books. Yes, even if you haven’t read them or have no intention of reading them. As the co-owner of Main Street Books and Second Flight Books in Lafayette, Indiana, Laura Kendall has seen a fair number of The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon copies bought up in her store and praised by readers online.

Recommended Videos

So, when Laura saw her brother wearing the book’s cover, she assumed he, like many other readers, loved the story. Well, that wasn’t exactly the case…

@bookendedbyowls the way I asked if this was a Priory of the Orange Tree shirt and he had no idea ? #sapphicbooks #prioryoftheorangetree #sapphicfantasy #fantasybooks #bookish #lgbtqbooks ♬ original sound – dazed

Nope. Her brother was very confused by that assertion. He admitted to buying the shirt for $4 online because it looked cool, which, of course, it does. In comments, Laura joked that this was due to his bi-wife energy. Because so many people in Laura’s comments loved the shirt, she had to clarify in a follow-up video that it was no longer available. She explained that Alieexpress took down the shirt listing but that it’s for the best “because it was almost definitely probably stolen.”

Like Shein, Aliexpress is extremely fast fashion and relies on labor exploitation and stolen designs to create so many products cheaply and quickly. While Bloomsbury doesn’t sell merch of this illustration, there’s plenty of amazing fan art of this work online. Laura did find the cover artist, Ivan Belikov, and shouted out his website and storefronts. Each illustration is just as breathtaking as the cover for Shannon’s book.

Laura later revealed that she hasn’t actually read the book herself because the book’s size—a whopping 848 pages—intimidated her. However, she has since purchased a copy for herself and her brother! Now that they’ve received their copies, they are buddy-reading it together!

If you’re looking for more sapphic SFF (including The Sapphic Trifecta), check out this list of nine-plus similar novels I made last year!

(via TikTok, featured image: Bloomsbury Publishing)

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Alyssa Shotwell
Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.