Aliera Carstair was happy enough with her life. She fenced, she had her cousin and best friend Caroline to think up awesome magical adventures with, and she was even more or less used to the nightmare that is high school. Then one of the most popular boys in school just HAD to ask her out. Then he just had to be a troll! Her cheap practice epee just HAS to really be a mystical sword and she just HAS to be a defender of the faeire realm against the Dark Lord. Now that all that nonsense has been revealed she doesn’t know who to trust and who the real enemy is.
I love this series (read my review of Foiled!) and hope the next volume comes out far quicker than the gap between the last two books. Jane excels at writing young female characters and Cavallaro’s art complements it so perfectly Yolen (if you haven’t already you MUST check out her excellent novels and her breathtakingly beautiful graphic novel The Last Dragon in YP FIC YOLEN). His art feels loose and fun, but with a lot of expression to really sell the humor and the emotions. I really loved Aliera, because she handles the insanity with a fun mix of acceptance and annoyance. She reminds me of any sort of dreamy maybe a wee bit nerdy kid that enters the teen years and isn’t sure what to do with that left over sense of magic. We’re taught to leave that with childhood, but it’s definitely something lost without much gained in return. Yolen really understands this transitional period and uses the theme to great effect.
I think Yolen really does a great job of giving a feeling of a huge magical world that we are just barely seeing and only having revealed a little at a time. This kept me interested to always know more, but not get bogged down by loads of exposition. She is very dubious of all this magic and fights to at every turn, which makes for some great humor. I also love all the trolls. They are dumb in the best possible way. They are classic comic bumblers and their antics amuse without seeming superfluously silly. Just the right amount of silly. So if you want a wonderful comic that is just the right amount of silly, check this one out.
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