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Publisher's Summary

The boys of Kings Row bout with drama, rivalry, and romance in this original YA novel by The New York Times best-selling 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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2020 Sarah Rees Brennan, Johanna the Mad, and C. S. Pacat (P)2020 Little, Brown Young Readers

Critic Reviews

One of Buzzfeed's 10 Young Adult Books to Read Just in Time for the 2020 Olympics

One of BookRiot's Summer 2020 YA Books: Your Reading List is Hot, Hot, Hot!

Part sports story, part romance, this novelization of C. S. "Pacat's comic series is a laugh-out-loud funny dive into camaraderie and identity.... A satisfying but open ending will leave readers eager for the next installation in this worthy adaptation." (Booklist)

"Queer-affirming.... Fans of C.S. Pacat's graphic series Fence may wish to reenter this world in novel form." (Kirkus)

What listeners say about Fence: Striking Distance

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Audio Cuts Out

Great book, and solid narration. The character voices leave something to be desired, but that’s a personal taste thing. The main issue is that when I play chapter 11 the audio cuts off suddenly at the end, before the chapter is over. It skips 3 pages of the book.

4 people found this helpful

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I need book 2 now

I came here because CS Pacat, but this is amazing all on its own! I need book 2 now!

1 person found this helpful

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Laughing so hard

"Stop persisting in the delusion that you are good at fencing. You're very bad at fencing, I cannot stress that enough."

It's very fanfic-esque in plotline but I don't say that as a bad thing. I've listened to the line quoted above like ten times and I'm still laughing.

While performance and story are for stars, the whole book for five due to how delightful it is. Listen to this book. It's ridiculous and wonderful.

After you've listened to this book, good listen to On Other Land also by the author. Amazing.

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Not what I expected, but loved it alway!!

SPOILERS AHOY!!!
WOW I LOVE THIS BOOK AND THESE BOYS! Lord they are soooooo hopeless but also the cutest. Each POV had me laughing and on the brink of tears or screaming in glee or sometimes frustration (they can all be very dense sometimes). All four of the boys are absolute treasures.

All the POVs were great but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a favorite. Beautiful playboy Aidan Kane will live rent free in my mind forever. This boy and his slow gentle opening up and learning why Harvard meant so much to him made my heart ache. He is the definition they just need a hug characters. A boy with such hard abandonment issues he’s built walls around himself to stay safe. Until he realizes he actually built those wall with Harvard within them. And omg the scene where he chases Rosalina broke me and how you find out he actually does remember the names that matter. BUT JESUS CHRIST DO BOTH AIDEN AND HARVARD NEED TO GET A GRIP!! How dense can they both be! That last Harvard chapter killed me! Plus the fact that I must wait until May for a resolution may end me! These boys straight make out hard against a window with all the passion of people who have loved eachother the whole time, and STILL think the other one isn’t into it!!! GUYS PLEASE I-

I have some other thoughts besides the Aiden x Harvard part of the book. I loved Nikolas and Seiji’s relationship too they are both to sweet for this world and they suit each other perfectly if you ask me. Seiji for me was other light in this book I’d say he takes second place on my ranking of these lovely boys with Nick and Harvard tied for third.

Seiji is seems to clearly to be demonstrated as if he is on the spectrum, and I love the representation! Though I’m not on the spectrum myself, I know people who are It was really lovely to see! Also his call with his dad was another big heart renching moment taht ahd me really emotional.

In the end I love this book I sped through it! But there are a few things I didn’t like/missed. Main one is the obvious loss of the sports manga/anime vibe I got from the comics. With a lot of the fencing detail and information being lost in translation though mediums. So I must admit I missed that aspect from the fence comics. A few other peeves would be the “bro” talk some is endearing too much makes me want to aggressively tackle these boys and teach them new words then “bro”. Some of the plot line specifically Nicks and Seiji felt a bit weird and forced by nature of the story but were enjoyable reguardless.

In conclusion great book and I will be tuning into the next one! Even if I have to wait until blasted may >:(

Can’t wait to see what the author desides to next because boy oh boy am I invested now.