Jake and his family are making the long, dangerous journey out West to build a new life. Then tragedy strikes; the section of the wagon train with whom they are travelling is attacked and wiped out. But by what? Was it the native tribe who have rescued Jake – but Jake knows he saw a creature – a dragon. How could this be? And are his parents really dead. He is determined to discover the truth whatever it will take.
The cowboy adventure has been out of favour for some time but recently has been making a comeback – Wyrmweald (Stewart, Riddell), Space Cowboy (Stanchfield) are two examples. Here Dan Abnett takes up the theme in a novel for younger readers, KS2+. Dragon Frontier combines the traditional motifs of the western – the clash between the settlers and the indigenous tribes and the exploitation of the west, with the fantasy world of Paolini, where dragons take centre stage. The result is a brisk adventure that is the first of a series as Jake sets off on his quest to find his family while fulfilling his destiny as a rider of a Thunderbird. A straightforward contemporary style that offers no surprises, plenty of dialogue and characters that fit neatly into the conventions of the genres behind the narrative, ensure an accessible and very enjoyable introduction to the world of the Dragon Frontier.