by Victor Milán
Series: The Dinosaur Lords #2
Published on July 5, 2016 by Tor
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Paradise is a sprawling, diverse, often cruel world. There are humans on Paradise but dinosaurs predominate: wildlife, monsters, beasts of burden, and of war. Armored knights ride dinosaurs to battle legions of war-trained Triceratops and their upstart peasant crews.
Karyl Bogomirsky is one such knight who has chosen to rally those who seek a way from the path of war and madness. The fact that the Empire has announced a religious crusade against this peaceful kingdom, the people who just wish to live in peace anathema, and they all are to be converted or destroyed doesn't help him one bit.
Things really turn to mud when the dreaded Grey Angels, fabled ancient weapons of the Gods who created Paradise in the first place come on the scene after almost a millennia. Everyone thought that they were fables used to scare children. They are very much real.
And they have come to rid the world of sin...including all the humans who manifest those vices.
THE DINOSAUR KNIGHTS is the second in Victor Milan's lush, exotic tale about knights. Knights riding dinosaurs.
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I am happy to report that I enjoyed The Dinosaur Knights more than the first book. How much more? Well, that’s up for debate.
The story picks up soon after the end of The Dinosaur Lords following our main heroes in their various travels. And here is where I started losing interest in those characters.
To be fair, I wasn’t terribly invested after the last book in more than a couple, namely Melodia and Karyl, but even those soon lost their shine. I simultaneously felt I was reading an account of past events while also being in each scene. Everything felt. . . disconnected for me. I just couldn’t get behind these characters. Melodia had the chance to grow but I felt she was used instead. Karyl is still just. . . there. I couldn’t care less about Jaume anymore. And Rob increasingly got on my nerves. It doesn’t bode well for a series when I can’t get behind any of the characters.
It’s funny, my favorite scenes were with Shiraa. Karyl’s former mount, the dinosaur had a couple scenes in the first book (yes, that’s right, you’re reading from a dinosaur’s point of view) and she had a few more in this one.
Can we just have a book from the dinosaurs’ perspectives?
But Milan didn’t lose any of the fabulous battle scenes I saw last time around. If that’s what drew you into this series, then you’re in good hands. Dinosaurs in battle seems to be a strength here, as does the intricacy of the world-building. The Dinosaur Knights goes deeper into the world than before in a way that made me wish for a guide of some kind to continue keeping track of each new reveal.
I did feel this book ventured more into Game of Thrones territory than the last one. The battle scenes were more abundant and featured plenty of gore. I was thankful that the sexual content was less frequent as there was plenty of objectifying of the sexes on its own and I really wasn’t a fan of how it was handled in the last book. Frankly, I’m not much of a fan of how Milan handles female characters in general except maybe Melodia. She appears to be the only one that’s given any sort of personality and plot purpose.
Finally, it’s more of a minor thing but the amount of typos and errors in this book (a finished copy, not an advanced reader copy, mind you) got on my nerves. I haven’t read a book with this many in a long time so it stands out.
As a sequel, I actually did enjoy this more than the first book. It moved quicker, likely due to all those action scenes, but it continued some of the patterns I’m starting to recognize in Milan’s writing. I’ll likely read on to the third book but will see how that goes before deciding if this series is worth continued investment. If you’re looking for a unique epic fantasy then this is a good series to check out.