Jane Yolen – Foiled
83. Foiled by Jane Yolen, Mike Cavallaro (2010)
Length: 160 pages
Genre: Graphic Novel, Young Adult, Fantasy
Started / Finished: 13 July 2010
Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? Saw it mentioned in an Unshelved Book Club comic.
fencing mask obscures your sight,
but not in this case.
Summary: Aliera is a nationally-ranked fencer, but between school and fencing practice, she doesn’t have a lot of time for a social life, other than weekly role-playing game sessions with her disabled cousin. Her fencing coach has always told her to “protect her heart,” advice that’s she may be following a little too well… until she meets Avery. He’s a new transfer to her school, and he’s almost too good to be true. Attractive and charming, he’s the object of desire of every girl in school – and he’s interested in Aliera. However, on their first date, Aliera puts on her fencing mask, and can suddenly see that there is an entire world of strange creatures hidden from normal view, and that no one – including herself – is quite who they had seemed to be.
Review: Foiled is the first in a planned two-book graphic novel series from Jane Yolen, and it’s a brilliant and engaging start. I’m a little burnt out on fairies at the moment – I’ve read a lot of Faerie books over the past year, and the fey were never my favorite supernatural creatures anyways – but Foiled had me totally captivated, and I’m eager to see where the story goes next, and how all of the issues Yolen sets up here eventually pan out. I was actually a little disappointed to hear that this is only planned to be a two-book series; I think there’s enough potential here to provide the meat for a longer and more robust series. I’d certainly read it.
Aliera’s a believable teenager but also a highly relatable narrator. Fencing is woven throughout the plot as a supporting structure (each of the chapters, for example, are titled with the name of a fencing move that follows the structure of the bout and obliquely describes the action of the chapter), although it’s described well enough that readers who have never picked up a fencing foil will be able to follow along just fine. The art was similarly spectacular: Carvallaro’s drawings are clear and detailed, the panelling and flow are creatively done, and the contrasting use of graytones and colors is both extremely clever and occasionally totally gorgeous. Overall, I thought Foiled was clever, sharp, and attractive to read, with an interesting story that’s left me anxious for the sequel to be published. 4 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: Definitely recommended for fans of YA fantasy, particularly urban fantasy, and for graphic novel fans who are interested in a creative and fun use of the medium.
Links: Jane Yolen’s website
Other Reviews: YA Book Nerd
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.
First Line: I want to tell you this story.
Cover Thoughts: Love. The fact that Aliera’s in grey with the rest of the cover in color didn’t initially grab me, but makes so much sense now that I’ve read it. Plus, the title and two of the little stars in her eye are shiny, and we know how I feel about that.
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