Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.
The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milán is probably one of the most original fantasies I’ve seen for a long while! Like Mr. Martin says on the cover, it really does seem like Jurassic Park + Game of Thrones from what I read. I must admit that I was never a child obsessed with dinosaurs, so I suspect I am not the target audience of The Dinosaur Lords, but I’m glad to have found out for myself what everyone was talking about!
Note: I received an advanced copy of The Dinosaur Lords from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milán (The Dinosaur Lords #1)
Published by Tor Books on July 28th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 448 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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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 planteaters like Brachiosaurus; terrifying meateaters 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 batsized 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…and the weapons of choice are dinosaurs. Where we have vast armies of dinosaur-mounted knights engaged in battle. And 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.
How is the writing style?
Honestly, I struggled with the writing right from the beginning. I will admit I was starting The Dinosaur Lords at about 1 am, but it’s not like I was drunk! I had to slow down and spend a fair bit of time following some of these sentences and parsing out all the speciality words. I’m a fan of throwing the reader in without a lifevest, but it still has to be an enjoyable reading experience as I discover what is going on. I didn’t find The Dinosaur Lords to be an enjoyable reading experience unfortunately.
The point-of-view is third-person limited, past tense from a guy named Rob Korrigan’s perspective. He works with the dinosaurs so that should be fun for readers more obsessed with them than me ;-).
There are also really gorgeous chapter header illustrations of a similar style to the cover with that sketchy look to them and wow I love them!
General tone of the beginning
The Dinosaur Lords starts with a prologue with a young dinosaur herder running into something big and creepy and then jumps right into a battle between nobles where dinosaurs are the deciding factor. It’s clear that there is going to be a lot of war and what you’d expect from A Song of Ice and Fire, for example, but with dinosaurs! Also something really really creepy is hiding in the background.
Setting, genre, etc?
The Dinosaur Lords actually has an author’s note at the beginning stating that this is not Earth, never was and never will be Earth and is not an alternative Earth. I find this both reassuring because shoving humans and dinosaurs into the same time period on Earth in problematic, and intriguing since it seems like he’s trying to hint at the background of this place called Paradise. For now though, The Dinosaur Lords is firmly adult high fantasy, just with dinosaurs.
- My current read, leave me alone! (~5 stars)
- Reading in the near future *hides from TBR pile glare* (~4 stars)
- Hoping to get back to eventually (~3 stars)
- Probably not getting back to but someone else will like it (~2 stars)
- Don’t really want to push this copy on anyone else (~1 star)
The Dinosaur Lords is going to end up a 2 star for me since I’m just not feeling it. The writing doesn’t click with my brain apparently and I do enough puzzling through scientific articles every day that I don’t want to read something so strenuous at the end of the day ;-). I’m curious whether the Game of Thrones comparison continues to work throughout, since that would be another reason for me to avoid, given my dislike of fantasy with that focus, haha. And for any of you wondering how I can love dragons and not like dinosaurs, it’s all about the magic!
Have you read this one yet? Are you inclined to check it out?
The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milán
© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.