Imagine a fantasy world with dinosaurs instead of dragons.
I remember creating a world-building project which included dinosaurs in place of dragons. Apparently, I was already beat to it; and Milan’s book did make me feel satisfied that a writer handled it a lot better than I could ever have.
It takes place after a rebellion caused by the Aleman where there is intrigue within the Fanged Throne headed by an incompetent king named Felipe. In the other side of the plot, Karyl, a famous dinosaur knight is disgraced and must find ways to reclaim his former glory alongside Rob Kerrigan, a warrior-poet.
The pacing of the story did build up to great battles in each of the plotlines. There was an awkward sex scene in the book which did not really move the plot forward, rather it just informed the readers what they already knew.
Of course, dinosaurs are the central part of the book, being integral not just in the world but also in warfare, politics, and the environment. Dinosaurs are domesticated and Rob, a central character, provides that type of dinosaur husbandry for his army. They are instrumental in waging war not just in combat, but also their hides can be used for armor. It resembles the use of buffalo by the Lakota nation for food, shelter, drums, and arrows.
Another most important theme of the book would be war, since it influences the difficult decisions that the characters make as well as expose the inner machinations of the conspiracies and rebellions.
The world is based on Europe, and there are a lot of place-names that parallel with European nations, specifically during the Middle Ages since there are castles and there is still warfare conducted through a massive gathering as opposed to gun battles.
I thought that Karyl and Rob were quite Shakespearean characters who brought the story to life. Rob has a sense of poetry juxtaposed with his warlike exterior while Rob is able to adapt to any situation that he encounters.
I did think that Jaume borrowed too much from Jaime Lannister from the “Song of Ice and Fire” series. The only differences between them is that Jaume is more philosophical and talks more abstractly than the latter. Considering how George R. R. Martin himself said that The Dinosaur Lords is like Jurassic Park and Game of Thrones on the very cover of my edition, I did not think he had a problem with it.
As for Melodia’s POV chapters, they were pretty boring. The only interesting parts of them included showcasing parts of the Fanged Throne that are based on dinosaurs, such as the stuffed brachiosaur.
The names and the titles within this world represent a Hispanophonic perspective, which has to do with Victor Milan’s personal background as a Latino writer. It was quite interesting since fantasy tends to be Anglophonic, but in this case, the world has some resemblances to Europe somewhere during the Age of Discovery when the Spanish Empire was among the most powerful nations.
The dinosaurs are described either in infancy, adolescence, or adulthood in different ways based on any of their life stages. An adult male, for example, is referred to as a bull. Riders of dinosaurs also reflect this nomenclature, since they are called matadors. It can be difficult first time reading it, but it can be easy to understand along the way.
Eight Raptor Eggs Out Of Ten
If you want an interesting twist on the fantasy genre, I would suggest this novel.
Milan, Victor. “The Dinosaur Lords.” Tor Fantasy. 2015.