23 July 2011

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

All her world's a stage.

Enter Stage Right
Beatrice Shakespeare Smith (Bertie): Our heroine.

Nate:  A Dashing pirate who will do anything to protect Bertie.

Cobweb, Moth, Mustardseed, and Peaseblossom: Four tiny, mischievous fairies, and Bertie's loyal sidekicks.

Ariel: A seductive air spirit.  Disaster follows in his wake, but Bertie simply cannot resist him.

Welcome to the Theatre Illuminata, where the characters of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain.  The actors are bound to the Theatre by The Book, an ancient and magical tome of scripts.  Bertie is not one of the actors, but they are her family.  And she is about to lose them all because The Book has been threatened, and along with it the Theatre.  It's the only home Bertie has ever known, and she has to find a way to save it.  But first, there's the small problem of two handsome men, both vying for her attention.  The course of true love never did run smooth…

This book takes on a whole new meaning of "All the world's a stage".  Fascinating and creative, I'm shocked this book hasn't garnered more attention.  Think of a theater acting like a magical world all its own.  Think of just the main character, who dies her hair Cobalt blue, exchanges swears with a pirate, and resists the urges of an air spirit while trying to save the world which she knows.

All enchanting stuff.  Yet when I first started out (over a year ago), I wasn't very enchanted.  I'd tried a couple times to start it and stopped reading it.  This time, however, I wanted to read more.  I was suddenly fascinated by what would happen to Bertie and I wanted to know more about the world of the Theatre.  So I started where I'd left off before, about seventy pages in, and had a hard time putting it down!

Bertie's character was fantastic.
The idea of an orphaned girl living in a magical theatre world could have really come off as childish and very middle grade, but Bertie's smart mouth and her romantic interests kept it on a YA level.  Bertie was a classy girl and I loved her character.  Though I hardly understand her taste for seductive air spirits.  I'm going for Nate all the way.

The one thing I didn't get was the Theatre's place in time.  Maybe it was mentioned and it went over my head, but the mention of limousines makes me think very modern.  Also, I wasn't quite sure if the outside world knew that the Theatre was magical.  Other than those two things, however, the story was wonderful.

It was a very enjoyable story—I can't wait to pick up the sequel, even though love triangles are the bane of my existence!  I fell in love with the world, the excellent characters, and Bertie's story.

Just one thing about the covers though: I freaking love them.  I want these made into posters so I can hang them on my wall.  For real.  BUT!  They only feature THREE fairies!  What the fudge? There are clearly FOUR.  And this series oversight continues on EACH FLIPPING COVER.  So all of them are fantastic, except for that grievous mistake.  Jeepers.

Book Info:

  • pages – paperback, 352
  • published – July 2009
  • publisher – Feiwel & Friends
  • genre – fantasy
  • received via – Borders
  • rating – 4/5
  • series – Theatre Illuminata
    • Eyes Like Stars
    • Perchance to Dream
    • So Silver Bright