- Title: Curses! Foiled Again
- Author: Jane Yolen
- Artist: Mike Cavallaro
- Publisher: :01
- Pages: 176
- ISBN: 9781596436190
Aliera Carstairs is back.
This time she’s got her cousin – and best friend – Caroline in tow, and the stakes are higher than ever. The realm of Seelie, the fairy kingdom of which Aliera is the hereditary defender, is under attack, and only Aliera and Caroline can set things right.
Caroline, fragile and wheelchair-bound, may seem like more of a liability than an asset, but Aliera knows there’s more to her quiet cousin than meets the eye.
Curses! Foiled Again is Jane Yolen at her best, reunited with her partner in crime, the fabulously talented illustrator Mike Cavallaro.
Read my review of Foiled Again the first volume in this series.
I quite liked Foiled Again the first book in the series, and although I didn’t think it was amazing I liked it enough that when I spotted this one on the shelves at Gosh, when I was down in London last week, I immediately picked it up.
I can’t put my finger on exactly what is different about this the second volume, but Curses! Foiled Again was even better, taking what I liked about Foiled Again (the characters, the artwork, and that is just so much fun) and giving me more.
Aliera Carstairs, still can’t fully accept her new role, as the hereditary defender of the realm of Seelie, the world she can see only when wearing her fencing mask, even though that world is under attack and she is the only one that can help.
She certainly can’t accept Avery the troll boy, her old friend and romantic interest after his actions in Foiled Again! Even though he is promised to help her.
But when her best friend and cousin Caroline is kidnapped and taken into Seelie, will the stubborn girl (like a lot of teenagers Aliera can take stubbornness to an artform!) accept her role at last, and take help and friendship where it is offered? She’s not quite a fully fledged kick-ass heroine just yet, although she is getting there, and is more than capable of looking after herself.
As I said at the start, there was something about Curses! Foiled Again that seemed to work that little bit better than Foiled Again.
It could be because I’m more settled in the story, and know what’s going on, because there were some curve-balls in that first volume, that don’t feel present here (although there are a couple of twists, they aren’t that surprising), but I think it’s mostly down to more of Yolen’s great characters and Cavallaro’s superb artwork.
The two things really go hand-in-hand because Cavallaro really captures and adds to the characteristics present in Yolen’s writing, and the rest of the artwork is gorgeous doesn’t hurt! Like in the first volume the real work is rendered in quite muted colours (although no less gorgeous) but when Alieria’s mask is down and the faeries come out to play, the bright colours zing off the page!
The story is developing nicely and I can’t wait to see where, Alieria, Avery, & Caroline’s stories go next.