Review: Fence Vol. 1 by C.S. Pacat

Fence Vol. 1Fence Vol. 1 by C.S. Pacat
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Combines Issues #1-5.

Nicholas Cox is determined to prove himself in the world of competitive fencing, and earn his place alongside fencing legends like the dad he never knew, but things get more complicated when he’s up against his golden-boy half-brother, as well as sullen fencing prodigy, Seiji Katayama.

Nicholas, the illegitimate son of a retired fencing champion, is a scrappy fencing wunderkind, and dreams of getting the chance and the training to actually compete. After getting accepted to the prodigious Kings Row private school, Nicholas is thrust into a cut-throat world, and finds himself facing not only his golden-boy half-brother, but the unbeatable, mysterious Seiji Katayama…

Through clashes, rivalries, and romance between teammates, Nicholas and the boys of Kings Row will discover there’s much more to fencing than just foils and lunges.

I had been seeing this around for quite a while, and when it popped up on Scribd, I was like – I gotta see what the fuss is about! And honestly, I get the craze – Fence is a sports-themed manga-style graphic novel about the competitive world of fencing. The main character, Nicholas, is the illegitimate son of a world-famous fencer, and his one goal is to reach a place where he is not ignored any longer. (Lots of daddy issues in that one) When he loses to a top fencer, Seiji, in his first competitive duel ever, he gets fired up, makes a plan and 6 months later finds out he is going to be roommate to Seiji in his new boarding school.

This first volume mostly introduces Nicholas’ backstory, his first duel, some basics of fencing, and stuff, along with his introduction to the school’s fencing club. We learn that it is a cut-throat world but the boys also become friends with each other. Nicholas’ and Seiji’s rivalry (at least from Nic’s side, Seiji honestly doesn’t even notice him) is hilarious at times, because you have these contrasting temperaments clashing with each other; Nicholas’ spark often irritates Seiji’s calm facade. Along with these two, there are many secondary characters to watch out for – there’s Harvard, the team captain, and cinnamon roll extraordinaire; Bobby, who is sunshine personified – I also particularly liked the fact that he wears skirts and hair ties and no one comments on it; Aiden – the school prince and breaker of hearts; and the cunning coach, who knows how to bring out the best in her students. The cast is well-rounded, diverse, and I am interested in seeing how their relationships evolve as the story goes on.

Is it diverse? It is implied that many of the characters are queer. There are many MOC characters, as well as a WOC coach.

View all my reviews

Buy links

Amazon | The Book Depository | Wordery

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