Of Pens and Swords by Rena Rocford

Those moments when fencing and ballerinas bring tears to your eyes…of pens and swords

Of Pens and Swords by Rena Rocford is a YA standalone contemporary where dreams are realized and friendships are tested.


Seventeen-year-old Cyra Berque wants two things in life: a date with Rochan and a chance to fence at the Olympics. But people with one hand don’t normally fence, and girls with big thighs don’t get the boy. Knowing that she wants to make the Olympics, Cyra’s coach sets her up with another coach, one who could take her all the way to the top, but the new coach costs more. Feeling her dreams slipping out of reach, Cyra agrees to tutor a ballerina with a rich father and a D minus in English. It’s triple the pay and triple the pain. The ballerina isn’t interested in passing classes―she wants Rochan, and she’s promised she’ll turn her D minus into a full-fledged F if Cyra doesn’t help her win the heart of Rochan.

My Review:

I have to say this is a pretty unique storyline. Fencing is a subject rarely in young adult books, so it was great to read about a new area.  But at the same time, it is a classic case of a rivalry between two groups: the ballerinas and our main character (fencer).

Cyra has a great sense of humor.  She has sass when it comes to the ballerinas and tends to be herself with those she meets. But like most contemporaries, she has a boy in her life that she likes but denies it to herself. I wasn’t a huge fan of him. He seemed all over the place, but then again, he was a victim.  The team-up in the middle of the book was really surprising to me. I wished the entire time that it wasn’t happening, but of course, it was.

The unexpected friendship was fun to see develop. It goes to show that once you get to know someone, they may not be as bad as you once thought. Financial issues and social status had a large roll in the development. I didn’t like the new girl at the beginning, but she became a heartbreaker in the end.  AND THE END IS SO SAD! 😦 It was such a depressing blow to read what happened. Unexpected in so many ways… so make sure you grab the tissues!

I gave this book a solid 4 out of 5 stars. The idea behind the book grasped me until the end.  It was a unique one involving fencing, drama, and unexpected plot twists in their lives. I definitely felt the feels by the end.  *tears* *lots and lots of tears*

More Book Information:

Published: 21 March 2016

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Pages: 174

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Happy Reading,


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