Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Foiled by Jane Yolen Illustrated by Mike Cavallaro YP FIC YOLEN

Aliera Carstairs knows that fencing and life are different, but there is one point in which they are exactly alike: you have to defend your heart. Aliera has always been a great fencer but that hasn’t made her the most popular girl in school, so when an impossibly handsome boy joins her class and begins paying a lot of attention to her she starts wondering if Prince Charming is too good to be true. After a first date that reveals that he’s quite the opposite of a prince and that she has secrets even she wasn’t aware of, Aliera ‘s going to find out that her fencing and her life have far more in common than she ever thought.

I have to say the supernatural twist really caught me by surprise in this comic. About 2/3s of the comic is completely realistic until the sudden switchover, so it was a very effective surprise. There is lots of foreshadowing, but I thought Aliera’s interest in role-playing games and fantasy was just there to make her character more interesting. The art is really good with a style that reminds me of indie comics, but with more polish than those comics tend to have. It is entirely in tones of gray until the surprise fantastic elements show up in color, so the art really serves the story’s themes. This one is an absolute surprise gem for fans of girl comics. It is funny, smart, and the art is wonderful. If you like it I also recommend the previously reviewed The War at Ellsmere (YP FIC HICKS).

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