The Dragon Path is the old west, fantasy, science fiction, Chinese mythology coming together in a graphic novel of family, honor, and righting wrongs. This is a diesel punk novel that is if Avatar the Last Airbender, a wagon train of immigrant settlers, and Komodo dragons got together for a story. If you want adventure, humor, magic, and family in one spot, you probably want to read this.
Ethan Young made a straightforward story: a family/clan is traveling back to their ancestral land. The action is the trials they face getting there. Mostly that is fighting the Dragon clan, but sometimes there is internal issues as well. There are villains, heroes, aunts, fathers, dead mothers, battles, lies, mysteries, and lots of sand (lots and lots of sand). There is also magic and a monster. (Spoiler: who is not really a monster but a cat-bear-acorn critter that likes candy. But do not tick them off….)
One interesting fact is that there is the theme of “homeland” and “birth right” to a land. It is taken for granted that the people going to this land have the right. Of course, Young does show that one must work with the land, each other, and those around them to make the world better. Young’s theme of understanding in adversity is not “in your face” but is there. Understanding each other and learning from the past are also themes.
To tell the story, you tell the whole book. However, know that it is an interesting representation of cultures and images not always seen, within a familiar story format. And it is the illustrations that really push the book along. The text, while important and sets the action up, it is the art that moves the story. You see the vehicles, dangers, and action take place in colorful, anime and traditional graphic novel pages. Details can sometimes be minimal and other times busy. Everything is there to set up personality of characters and the story itself.
Best for ages 10 to 14, younger audiences could do, but sometimes the concepts might be a bit mature. And the “violence” is not graphic, but in a more classic fantasy way.