Fence: Striking Distance

Fence: Striking Distance
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
September 29, 2020
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The boys of Kings Row bout with drama, rivalry, and romance in this original YA novel by The New York Times bestselling author Sarah Rees Brennan--inspired by the award-nominated comic series by C.S. Pacat and Johanna The Mad. Sixteen-year-old Nicholas Cox is the illegitimate son of a retired fencing champion who dreams of getting the proper training he could never afford. After earning a place on the elite Kings Row fencing team, Nicholas must prove himself to his rival, Seiji Katayma, and navigate the clashes, friendships, and relationships between his teammates on the road to state championships--where Nicholas might finally have the chance to spar with his golden-boy half-brother. Coach Williams decides to take advantage of the boys' morale after a recent victory and assigns them a course of team building exercises to further deepen their bonds. It takes a shoplifting scandal, a couple of moonlit forest strolls, several hilariously bad dates, and a whole lot of introspection for the team to realize they are stronger together than they could ever be apart. The first installment of this enticing original YA novel series by Sarah Rees Brennan, rich with casual diversity and queer self-discovery, explores never-before-seen drama inspired by C.S. Pacat's critically acclaimed Fence comic series and boasts original cover and interior art by Johanna The Mad.

Editor review

1 review
highly compelling, character-driven YA LGBT contemporary
Overall rating
Writing Style
FENCE: STRIKING DISTANCE is a charming YA contemporary fiction that takes place at a boys' boarding school. We follow different members of the fencing team in alternating chapters. The team is not really a winning team, but they have so much potential. Their coach is trying to get them to work better as a team- a feat that may seem impossible- with some team-building exercises.

Throughout the book, we get individual character insights into their pasts, their presents, and their motivations. This deep internal dive into each individual is what makes the writing so highly compelling. Each of the boys is easily endeared to the reader when we see the world through his eyes- even when they seem difficult at first. I loved getting these perspectives and really studying each character. Brennan really has a gift for presenting such unique and full characters with such depth. In these dives, we fall in love with each of the boys and truly grasp who they are.

Regardless of whether readers have read the comics, FENCE: STRIKING DISTANCE is a highly compelling and character-driven YA contemporary that deserves a read. Prepare to fall in love with these young men and cheer for them as they fence, love, and grow in this enchanting read.
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