The Dragon Path

Scholastic/Graphix. May 2021. 208p. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781338363296.
Gr 4-7–A prince sets in motion the fulfillment of a prophecy. The Wong Clan is returning to the Old Land via the Dragon Path. Before too long, the Wong Clan’s roadpods (motorized buildings) are ambushed by bipedal, draconic humanoids known as the Dragon Tribe. Clan leader Lord Wong orders that Prince Sing be protected at all costs. But when it looks like the Dragon Tribe’s leader is going to take down Sing’s aunt Hu, the young prince leaps into battle and narrowly escapes death when Ming the Mystic and a giant unicorn-cat named Midnight come to his rescue. The pair take Prince Sing back to the Old Land, and the truth about his heritage and purpose is slowly revealed. But the Dragon Tribe still has the rest of the Wong Clan hostage—and they have a missing piece of the puzzle. Who will win the next battle? Young’s detailed visuals feature textured lines and a distinct, earthy, desert sunset palette. Dropping readers right into the action, Young offers little exposition. But the fast pace, epic battle scenes, and narrative flashbacks carry the archetypal “chosen one” plot. The art style, steampunk technology, and creatures give off He-Man meets Faith Erin Hicks’s The Nameless City vibes. The human cast is coded as Chinese, and the cultural specificity makes this title a standout.
VERDICT Fantasy fans will dive right into this world and clamor for more. A strong purchase for all graphic novel collections.

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