Foiled by Jane Yolen. Illustrated by Mike Cavallaro (Canada) - (USA)
(Foiled, Book 1)
Pages: 160 pages
Finished: June 23, 2010
First Published: Apr. 13 2010
Publisher: :01 First Second
Genre: YA, fantasy
I want to tell you this story.
Acquired: Received a review copy from the publisher, First Second Books.
Reason for Reading: Jane Yolen is a wonderful author, so versatile! though I am partial to her mythological/folk tales works. Seeing that she had written a graphic novel I was so excited to read this.
Aliera Carstairs is a loner who doesn't fit in at school with any of the cliques; she doesn't even stand out enough to get picked on by anybody. She's rather a broody thing but she does have one passion and that is fencing. Everyday after school she goes to fencing class and is told she is very good and can go "far", which means The Nationals. Aliera has a rather strange practice fencing foil that her mother picked up for her at a Chinese lady's tag sale for $2. Not your typical foil, this one has a great big fake jewel wonder glued (she's tried to remove it) stuck to the end of the handle. Whatever, fencing is an expensive sport.
Aliera is colourblind and the majority of the book has been drawn and coloured in black,white,and various greys going up to a bluish tint. This not only shows Aliera's colourless world but also her broody attitude. Aliera does have a secret dream, she plays this out in her imagination when she is fencing and when she plays RPG with her wheelchair bound cousin, it is here she becomes Xenda of Xenon, expert swordswoman.
Imagination meets reality when Aliera puts her fencing mask on in the subway and suddenly she can see colour but not from our world, from the world which lives parallel to ours which is full of fairies, dragons, strange creatures and dragons and a queen who tells her she is a Defender of her world and gives her her first mission.
I loved Foiled! The story within the book is completed and finalized by there are many hanging threads and an obvious ending to let the reader know there will be another book, perhaps even a series. Aliera is a great main character, one that is easy to relate to. She is somewhat shy (though I'd really just say she's quiet). She stays out of everyone's way but thinks a lot. She's got some great comeback's and oneliners in her thoughts. But push her too far and she'll let loose like nobodies business and tell you exactly what she thinks. Aliera is not to be messed around with. She may be broody a good part of the time but she is also bold and brave and the one that can be counted on in an emergency. A delightful book, which more than met my expectations. Certainly looking forward to the next one! Recommended!