“I’m a poet, not a historian. Everything I tell you is true, considered metaphorically.” – Rob
This is a book that I had to read with the endorsement of George R. R. Martin “it’s like a cross between Jurassic Park and Game of Thrones.” which just screams epic but this book is sadly not. There’s little to know World building, the battles and the war is confusing, there’s so many names and nicknames it makes you dizzy, with few memorable characters, and the dinosaur’s are just not used well. Not too say this book is God awful there’s some nice twist, there’s five main character’s and I liked almost all of them. This is a book thats heartbreaking because I wanted to love it so much. This book starts off with a battle that we do not know the reason behind it, who’s good, who’s bad, a hundred names and about two dozen places, I had to read scenes twice to understand what was going on, after this the book does get better and less confusing but it never recovers from those first 50 pages.
Plot: Karyl is a Dinosaur Lord who came fro humble beginnings he lucked you and found a meat eating dinosaur that mistook him for it’s mother. He rides it in battle to challenge an emperor who has elected a family member to a seat of power than someone from the province he’s from that recently died, this starts an all out war. Karyl is defeated by a trap from Rob who cares for dinosaur but has a huge wager on the battle that he now fears Karyl can win. Rob lets the enemy now of the trap beforehand and they kill Karyl but the fates and the Fae’s have other plans for him and resurrect him. He lives life as a vagabond until Rob finds him. Rob’s not really good or bad just goes where the money is and right now someone is paying Rob to find Karyl. They want him to lead an army of people who are mostly pacifist but they’re the greatest threat to the emperor who they oppose. Can Karyl work with the man who betrayed him? The emperor has a daughter Melodia who rejects her father’s ideals about ruling through fear and war. She wants to marry her cousin and the head of the military Jaume, a good man but someone who follows orders unquestionably, he’s also bisexual, and slept with his second in command until his death. Then there’s Duke Falk a former enemy making amends or plotting Jaume doesn’t trust him and beats him when he challenges him for head of the military , he also has eyes for Melodia.
What I Liked: There’s some really nice twist that I didn’t see coming, Karyl’s back story is really interesting and compelling, I really wish that it was the opening of the book, because we learn it mid way through. I liked Rob as a character and his interesting code, he has the best dialogue out of any character. Melodia as a character I really liked she starts off as really elitist but certain events humble her a you see how venerable she is, this character I didn’t really like until the half way mark. The execution by dinosaur was really cool and interesting, I wanted to see more scenes like this. LGTBQ character’s I say this but I wanted a lot more out of this. There’s a small amount of Spanish, much without translation, but it was fun using my two years of Spanish in college to decode the sayings, it wasn’t vital information most of the time it was insults. The cover art is great and really made me pick up the book.
What I Disliked: The beginning was so freaking confusing, way more confusing than you want your opening 50 pages, it does make sense later but it takes a while. There’s so many names and nicknames and the dinosaurs have different names as well as nicknames and weapons have names it was just a lot with not enough time spent. I think it’s something I have not appreciated how a good fantasy can come at you with all these names and make sense my favorite is Brandon Sanderson and I guess I need to appreciate him more. There’s is very little mention of how Paradise was created it makes mention of a time before with the real names of dinosaurs in a book, but nothing about how it was started. The war was really hard to follow with who all is involved and where the all the parties were at.
Recommendation: This is a book that I can not recommend, there are way better fantasies out there to occupy your time with. If your gonna to read it, Trigger Warnings: Rape, and violence to children. I do own the other two books in the trilogy and based on reviews I’ve read they get better, I’m stubborn and will read them eventually, after reading this one I’m in no rush. I sadly rate this book 2 out of 5 stars.