A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{October 4, 2010}   Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

Plot: Beatrice Shakespeare Smith, or Bertie, grew up in the Theatre alongside the characters of every play ever written for the stage. Some like Nate, a pirate from The Little Mermaid, and the fairies Cobweb, Moth, Peaseblossom and Mustardseed (from A Midsummernight’s Dream) love her. Others are less pleased by the chaos she creates by her very existence. After a particularly destructive incident, Bertie must prove her value to the Theatre or leave her home forever. Her task is made more difficult by the seductive air spirit, Ariel, who will anything to be free of the Theatre.

This is a little gem of a book. I picked it up mainly for the gorgeous cover but I was pleasantly surprised when I finally read it. It is both unique and enchanting. Mantchev has created a fascinating world, mingling magic and theater history. The tale is fast paced and combines prose and plays seamlessly. The dialogue is especially good, both witty and realistic.

But best of all are the characters. I love Bertie who is impulsive, strong willed and independent and whose power over words is literally magical. I love the faeries who are each playful and hilarious in their own unique way. And were I Bertie, I’d also be hard pressed to chose between the chivalrous, dedicated and surprisingly bashful (though slightly chauvinistic) Nate and the beautiful, seductive (but absolutely untrustworthy) Ariel. Mantchev has brought minor characters of the stage to vibrant life and given a fresh perspective on the cast of Hamlet.

The novel lets off at the beginning of a new adventure that promises to be even grander than the first. It will be very hard to wait for the paperback version of Perchance to Dream to come out.

For more on the series, check out Mantchev’s website.


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