I'm rather behind on posting my review of Foiled, considering I read it last week. The fairies have been pestering me to get it done, especially since I loved the book. I mean really. It's a Jane Yolen story, but it's also a graphic novel. Cool, huh?
So that right there is what made me pick it up. I was in the mood for something of hers, so I was poking around on that shelf in the YA section of the library. When I saw graphic novel + Jane Yolen, well, it had to come home with me. The illustrations are by Mark Cavallaro, someone I'd never heard of before but is now on my awe list. The drawing style is what you'd expect for a graphic novel, but he handled the story very well. I'll get back to what I thought was particularly neat about how he did this.
The story itself is about a high school girl who took up fencing when her mom brought home a used foil with a fake jewel glued on as a pommel that she'd found at a tag sale. Aliera has gotten rather good at fencing, like possibly Nationals good based on hints from her coach. She trains every day, except for Saturdays playing D&D with her home-bound cousin (medical condition). But all of this focus on her studies, training, and cousin time, doesn't leave much left for a social life. She doesn't really fit into any of the social groups at school, not even the jocks.
Everything changes the day Avery Castle walks into class and is assigned to be her lab partner. The girls all ogle and gab about how hot he is, while Aliera tries to protect her heart (thoughts framed in terms of fencing, of course). When he actually asks her out on a date and that she bring her sword (foil--as she corrected him), she finds out a lot more than she expects about herself and the world. Like magic. And fairies. And seeing in color.
Remember what I said about something special with the artwork? The color angle is what I was talking about. You see, Aliera is color blind. And to help illustrate that, most of the book is done in shades of this plummish purple with a little brown, black, and white. But mostly the purple.
While in Grand Central Station, something happens and she puts on her fencing mask, and all of a sudden she's seeing things in color. Not everything mind you. But fairies, and trolls, and fantasy things. Those really popped when set against the plum. Made me think Genius!
I won't say what she learned about Avery, but I will say she found out she didn't get that foil by chance. She was meant to have it. You'll have to read the book for yourself to find out why.