“Foiled” by Jane Yolen

Remember when I reviewed Dragonflight a little while back, and we had a great discussion in the comments about better books for tween and teen girls where the main character has a relationship with another girl and is not defined by the boys around her? Foiled, a graphic novel by the prolific writer Jane Yolen, is one of those better books.

Aliera attends the smallest high school in New York City. She fences, hence the pun of the title. She doesn’t always get along with her parents, but she has a good relationship with her cousin. They play a D & D like game every weekend and talk about what’s going on with Aliera, like fencing tournaments and cute boys at school. Not much goes on with the cousin, as she’s confined to a wheelchair with rheumatoid arthritis.

When Aliera gets asked out on a date by the ridiculously named cute boy Avery Castle, things begin to get weird in that “hey, magic is real!” way. And they do not unfold in a predictable or saccharine manner. Aliera is funny, charming, and easy to relate to. Her fencing skills are cool. The art, by Mike Cavallaro, is manga influenced, and easy to read and engage with. This book sets the stage for further books, so it’s a beginning rather than a complete story. I will definitely read the next book in this series, and would recommend this one unreservedly for tween and young teen girls who like fantasy.

2 Responses to ““Foiled” by Jane Yolen”

  1. Jessica Snell Says:

    This is funny, because this review came up in my queue before your “Firefly” one, and I thought, “it sounds like she’s talking about books that would pass the Bechdel test if they were movies” - and then you brought up the test in your next post! Like you, I don’t think movies and TV shows are worthles if they don’t pass, but it’s pretty amazing how many of them don’t.

  2. Jessica Snell Says:

    Ergh. “Worthless”. Sorry.