Author: Jane Yolen
Illustrator: Mike Cavallaro
You know those kids who just refuse to be squashed into one of the set cliques–and who end up being pretty alone because of that? Well, Aliera Carstairs is totally that kind of girl. Basically the only time she really fits in is when she’s fencing–and in that area, she excels. Aliera’s life changes in a significant way, however, when the oh-so-princely Avery Castle becomes her lab partner. Only, is Avery actually the princely person he appears? Or is he really something much darker and less chivalrous? It may be that Aliera can only see the truth when gazing through her fencing mask. . . .
For a graphic novel, Foiled is too super cool. The characters and story are quite solid and fun to read. (Well, it is a Jane Yolen story, so that’s a given, right?) I enjoyed the art, too. It’s not manga pretty or anything, but it gets the story and characters across well. I particularly liked the visual contrast that Aliera’s being color blind yet seeing otherworldly things (yes, this is a fantasy) in full color provides. It makes the fantasy elements really pop on the page. And it’s interesting that I didn’t even realize how monochromatic the art was until there was this sudden color explosion. Finally, I really loved the geekiness of the story. There are just enough hipster details–ones that most geeks would get immediately–to provide a nice flavor, but not so much as to be overkill. All the fencing details added a nice touch to the mix as well. Foiled is definitely a recommended read, especially for teens/young adults who tend to not quite fit the common cliques.