Today, Tuesday, July 28, is the release date here in the U.S. for a new book by author Victor Milán called The Dinosaur Lords. Ever since the cover was revealed in the Fall of 2014, with brilliant artwork by Richard Anderson and a short blurb from George R.R. Martin across the top, The Dinosaur Lords has been a long anticipated book. Knights riding dinosaurs into battle is an idea and image that has sparked excitement among a lot of fans of fantasy fiction.
My first thought was like everyone else, thinking how cool the idea was, but also thinking that it would have to be done well in order for it to work. If you get real technical, the word dinosaur is not even 200 years old; so how can an author make that work in a piece of fantasy fiction set in a world based on 14TH century Europe? After reading an excerpt consisting of the prologue and the first two chapters, I’ve found that Mr. Milán definitely makes it work. Even though he uses the actual scientific names of the dinosaurs (such as the familiar Stegosaurus, Allosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops, just to name a few), he makes it work with a text within his secondary world called The Book of True Names. By using the actual names of the dinosaurs it helps the reader have a clear visual of the creatures that grace the pages.
The Dinosaur Lords is the first of a trilogy, with the second installment currently named The Dinosaur Knights, yet to be released. This could be the start of something new in the fantasy genre. Though Victor Milán would not be the first to include dinosaurs in a work of fantasy fiction, he is the first to actually have dinosaurs without making them something different, and actually calling them by their names. The only other piece of epic fantasy fiction that I can think of that used dinosaurs is Ricardo Pinto’s The Stone Dance of the Chameleon series, but they were not called dinosaurs in the books. In those books the beast known as a Huimur was a lot like a Triceratops, and there was another creature, called an Aquar, that was akin to another type of dinosaur, but I don’t know which to compare it to. You can see pictures and excerpts from the books at the author’s website here and here.
The Dragon Ingredient
The Secondary World
Inspirations of Fantasy