Review: Curses! Foiled Agen
In our GC4K’s Book Club discussion of Foiled, much of the “complaint” was that the book was mostly a set-up for a future story. But for those who read Foiled, and wanted to know more about Aliera’s world, then they’ll be happy to grab the next installment, because the story continued and it was a good one.
Curses! Foiled Again
By Jane Yolen. Art by Mike Cavallaro
First Second, $15.99
The story opens by briefly giving the reader a crash course in what happened in the last volume. Aliera is a fencer. Her mom bought her a foil, a practice sword, for $2 at a tag sale. The foil is tacky. With a fake jewel. But as it turns out, the jewel is real and it makes Aliera Defender of Faerie. The cute guy in school is actually an ogre. And since Aliera saved his life, Avery is bound to Aliera. In this adventure, a meeting with Baba Yaga sets a new adventure in motion, where Aliera’s cousin Caroline is kidnapped and it’s up to Aliera to save her.
For readers looking for a light fantasy with a strong female character, this is the perfect title. Aliera is strong. She’s believable. She has a great rapport with the ogre, who is supposed to be evil but is now bound to her. He’s not even a scary looking ogre, and he’s quiet loyal to Aliera, but there’s much danger for the Keeper of the Faerie and now it’s hitting home, because her cousin Caroline, who is disabled and needs a wheelchair, has been kidnapped. It’s up to Aliera to save her.
Mike Cavallaro’s artwork makes this story come alive. Color is the first technique he uses to delineate between “real life” and the “faerie world.” The panels are very detailed and action-packed, making the fantasy world come alive as well as the characters.
For readers who enjoy a good fantasy with a spunky heroine, and for readers who want more—because the end seems to promise more—this is a good pick.
About Esther Keller
Esther Keller is the librarian at William E. Grady CTE HS in Brooklyn, NY. In addition, she curates the Graphic Novel collection for the NYC DOE Citywide Digital Library. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ. In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics and worked in the same middle school library for 20 years.
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