Aliera is a color-blind teenaged girl with the talent and dedication to be a chamption fencer, a big heart (she always keeps her weekly appointment to play games with her disabled cousin), and no clue how to handle her interest in the handsome yet self-absorbed boy who has taken an interest in her. When she puts on her fencing mask in public one day, her grey world erupts into the brilliant fantasy colors of her imagination.

“Foiled” is a wonderful manga graphic novel from author Jane Yolen and illustrator Mike Cavallaro. While fans of fencing will especially appreciate the knowledge and respect shown for the sport, even those who wouldn’t know a parry from a remise will be fascinated by Aliera’s tale of self-discovery. It is one of those rare works that is both realistic and fantastic, as it depicts the awakening of an American teenaged girl with honesty while also coloring an imaginative world that is both captivating and surreal. I don’t think I’ve ever used this adjective to describe a book, but “Foiled” is beautiful.

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