The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milán
Release Date: July, 2015
A world made by the Eight Creators on which to play out their games of passion and power, Paradise is a sprawling, diverse, often brutal place. Men and women live on Paradise as do dogs, cats, ferrets, goats, and horses. But dinosaurs predominate: wildlife, monsters, beasts of burden-and of war. Colossal plant-eaters like Brachiosaurus; terrifying meat-eaters like Allosaurus, and the most feared of all, Tyrannosaurus rex. Giant lizards swim warm seas. Birds (some with teeth) share the sky with flying reptiles that range in size from bat-sized insectivores to majestic and deadly Dragons.
Thus we are plunged into Victor Milán’s splendidly weird world of The Dinosaur Lords, a place that for all purposes mirrors 14th century Europe with its dynastic rivalries, religious wars, and byzantine politics…except the weapons of choice are dinosaurs. Where vast armies of dinosaur-mounted knights engage in battle. During the course of one of these epic battles, the enigmatic mercenary Dinosaur Lord Karyl Bogomirsky is defeated through betrayal and left for dead. He wakes, naked, wounded, partially amnesiac-and hunted. And embarks upon a journey that will shake his world.
The first 18 chapters (about 166 pages) were released on NetGalley as a ‘read now’ preview. I haven’t yet read anything by Milán (or under any of his other pseudonyms), but I do note the names he lists in the acknowledgments from the writing group he’s in, and I do enjoy several named, so I was hopeful – and anyone who loves a crocheted Triceratops head must be cool.
Each chapter is started with an excerpt from ‘The Book of True Names’ which tells us what a tricornio or morión is, which certainly adds another layer of enjoyment from the book, along with the pretty illustrations of what the dinosaur looks like.
The novel opens with a boy overlooking his herd – only his herd are Stegosauruses. This sets the tone rather well before jumping into war-talk, of which one would assume this novel will primarily be from the cover. People who war with dinosaurs as their mounts – which is pretty epic.
The words are dense in an epic-novel sense,thick with world-building and history and everything there to make you fall in love with a world and sense of life. Rob seems like an engaging protagonist – not the darkly-brooding sort that has become increasingly popular of late – and surprisingly excellent female characters.
Basically, I can’t wait to read the whole novel – bring on July!