Skye Melki-Wegner

Book - 2023

When the fallen star struck, it brought death and despair, ash and toxic rain. But some dinosaurs survived ... and were changed. Their minds grew alert. They learned to speak. To dream. To wage war. As the two remaining dinosaur kingdoms fight for territory, Eleri, the disgraced son of a prince, is exiled from his home for saving an enemy soldier. Banished to the merciless Deadlands, a terrifying desert full of tar pits, poisonous gas, and ruthless carnivores, he must join forces with a group of questionable allies--including the enemy soldier he saved--to avoid becoming prey. When Eleri and his fellow exiles discover the horrific truth behind the war, the unlikely heroes must do all they can to save their kingdoms from a lurking predator ...... and a secret plot that might destroy them all.

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jFICTION/Melki-Wegner, Skye
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Children's Room jFICTION/Melki-Wegner, Skye Due May 10, 2024
Children's Room jFICTION/Melki-Wegner, Skye Due May 29, 2024
Adventure stories
Action and adventure fiction
New York : Henry Holt Books and Company 2023.
Main Author
Skye Melki-Wegner (author)
First edition
Physical Description
294 pages ; 22 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Fifty years after a falling star wreaked havoc on the prehistoric landscape, two dinosaur kingdoms are locked in a never-ending war. Eleri, a young oryctodromeus, dreams of being a storyteller, not a soldier; but when he inadvertently saves a foe's life, he finds himself exiled to the dreaded Deadlands, a scorched desert left to lawless carnivores and offering endless ways to die. Eleri happens upon exiles from the enemy kingdom, and while they're all desperate enough to put aside their animosity, it's unclear how long the uneasy truce will last. When they learn of a traitorous plot to take down both kingdoms, they realize they'll have to work together to save their worlds and return home. The terrific series opener is packed with detailed dinosaur data and humorous asides, and the world building is well developed, with intricate mythologies, governments, and histories in place from the start. The growing rapport between species is a delight, and though the focus is on friendship and family, there are deeper meditations on morality and war. A treat for any dinosaur devotee.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In a fast-paced trilogy opener, dinosaurs have been capable of "songs and thoughts and language," dreaming, and waging war ever since they were exposed to the star-mist created upon impact of a cataclysmic asteroid 50 years ago. The Mountain Kingdom and the Prairie Alliance--two warring, herbivorous factions--have been at odds for decades. So when, in a moment of compassion, Mountain Kingdom princeling and storyteller Eleri, an oryctodromeus, saves the lives of Prairie Alliance soldiers, he's exiled by his peers to the Deadlands, "an endless sea of charred bones and barren wastes" that is home to innumerable carnivores. There he encounters other young exiles: airborne anurognathid spy Zyre, grumpy triceratops and Prairie Alliance soldier Tortha, gregarious genius ankylosaur Sorielle, and oracular sauropod Lerithon. The quintet form a tentative herd and endeavor to end the war for good, but their quest instead uncovers an insidious carnivore scheme. Melki-Wegner (The Hush) centers intrepid apparent rivals learning to trust and rely on one another while facing natural hazards and threats at every turn. The narrative's emphasis on--and carefully researched depictions of--lesser-known dinosaurs will undoubtedly spark interest among Jurassic enthusiasts, and the engaging adventure will entice readers to subsequent volumes. Ages 8--12. (Apr.)

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

Young exiles band together to save their warring clans from a deadly outside threat in this all-dinosaur debut. Fifty years after a Fallen Star laid waste to the planet but magically rendered the remaining dinosaurs more intelligent, the herbivorous residents of the Mountain Kingdom and the Prairie Alliance of Cretacea are gathering rival armies for a decisive battle--unaware that the carnivorous raptors of the Carrion Kingdom have formed an unprecedented alliance and are poised to descend in a killing frenzy on the battle's survivors. Expelled or estranged from their herds for various reasons, several young plant eaters, each a different type of dinosaur, meet by chance in the devastated Deadlands and discover the treacherous scheme. Can they put aside rivalries and conflicting agendas to pull off a save? Melki-Wegner provides helpful introductory notes on the large cast, which feels human in all but species ("Look, if we're gonna survive out here, we've both gotta play to our strengths," wheedles aspiring tale spinner Eleri, the small but agile oryctodromeus in the lead role). The story pits the doughty exiles against foes ranging from a horde of ratlike (and unintelligent) warmbloods to a towering tyrannosaur. Keeping the levels of explicit gore and violence low, the author propels her feathered or armored heroes through contrived but suspenseful and ultimately successful efforts to disperse the carnivores and end the original battle in a draw, leaving any resolution or reconciliation to future episodes. Prehistoric adventures with a (more-or-less) period cast. (map) (Adventure. 9-12) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.