Thursday, April 7, 2016

Foiled by Jane Yolen, Mike Cavallaro

Rating: WORTHY!

This is the first volume in a joyous and nicely illustrated (by Mike Cavallaro) series. It's a small format graphic novel about a middle-grade girl named Aliera Carstairs who is the chosen one - chosen, that is, by the faerie world to protect them against the troll world, led by the Dark Lord. She meets a new guy in school named Avery castle, and despite the fact that he's hot-looking, he seems really uninterested in anyone but Aliera, although he doesn't say no to a kiss and a hug form whichever female wants to lay one on him.

Aliera is attracted to him but really not that interested. She'd rather go to her fencing lessons or enjoy an RPG with her cousin, who is sickly, but perky. This doesn't prevent her from accepting when Avery asks her out on a date - so it would seem. The venue is Grand Central Terminal, form which you rightly assume that Aliera lives in NYC. She;s late in arriving and wondering whether Avery is also late or has stood her up (her opinion of boys is lower than most). She has her fencing kit with her having just come from practice, and she puts on her fencing mask to protect her from a particularly bothersome bird (evidently the same bird which has been stalking her throughout the novel - something she would have noticed had she been more observant.

With the mask in place, color-blind Aliera, who sees more shades of grey than EL James, is suddenly aware of a second world superimposed over the first - a world of brilliant, rich color, which is focused entirely on fantastical creatures the like of which she'd only ever heard of in the more bizarre fairy tales. It turns out that Alierea is a defender of the Seelie - a faerie world which has chosen her as its champion. She can fight the bad guys with her épée, the one her mom scrounged up from a yard sale. That faceted blob of chromium infused aluminium oxide which Aliera had supposed was fake turns out to be, it would seem, a real ruby.

I really liked this story which I came to by way of volume two - so you can read them out of order without losing too much. I loved the story, I loved how feisty, relentless, and resourceful Aliera was, and I enjoyed the whole presentation. i recommend this and its sequel.