Fence vol. 1 by CS Pacat (website, Twitter); illustrated by Johanna the Mad (Twitter)
Her Grace’s rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Genre: contemporary literature/YA
I read it as a: graphic novel
Source: public library
Length: 112 pp
Published by: BOOM! Box (31 July 2018)
Nicholas Cox is something of an outcast, the illegitimate son of a retired fencing champion. He wins a scholarship to Kings Row Boys School, where he will fight to earn a place on the fencing team. Failure to make the team will result in losing his scholarship. To his horror, he discovers that not only is his half brother Seiji Katayama attending Kings Row for fencing as well, he is also his assigned roommate. Nicholas and Seiji have only met in competition, where Seiji defeated Nicholas by a huge margin. Volume 1 leaves off with the tryouts for the fencing team still ongoing.
I really enjoyed this one. I don’t often read graphic novels, but I picked this one because it fits the bill for two Read Harder tasks, and I like fencing. Not that I’ve ever done it myself, but I think it’s cool, and I have a friend who used to be a competitive fencer. It is maybe one of a handful of sports I can watch without wanting to scrape my eyeballs out of my face through my ears. I generally hate sports.
I liked the diversity in this book, though it seems that every student at Kings Row is queer, which kind of throws the stats off a bit, I think. But still, I love the way they all interact with each other. Seems believable for a boarding school. Also, there are lots of kids who are people of color, not just all rich white snots.
I loved the tidbits of fencing information scattered throughout. I know nothing about it at all, so that was just interesting to me. An educational graphic novel, this.
There is a lot of simmering romance between several characters, mainly members of the fencing team. I saw that a lot of people ship Nicholas and Seiji, but unless there’s something I missed, they are half brothers so that totally grosses me out. Pair them up with anyone else, but I’ll skip the incest, thanks.
I plan to read all the rest of this series. It was a delightful surprise for me.
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