All her world’s a stage.
Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater.
She’s not an orphan, but she has no parents.
She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own.
That is, until now.
Enter Stage Right
NATE. Dashing pirate. Will do anything to protect Bertie.
COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARD SEED, and PEASEBLOSSOM. Four tiny and incredibly annoying fairies. BERTIE’S sidekicks.
ARIEL. Seductive air spirit and Bertie’s weakness. The symbol of impending doom.
BERTIE. Our heroine.
Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book—an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family—and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.
While I can say that I liked Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev, I unfortunately cannot say that I loved it. The characters were very interesting, and I would have enjoyed reading more of the relationships between Bertie and Nate, and Bertie and Ariel. It felt like there was a lot of history there but they were barely touched upon. The four fairies are truly Bertie’s only constant companions and they added a light-hearted vibe to this story. The pages were richly imagined with beautiful and vivid backdrops, but I often found myself lost and confused. It was like there was a whole other book that should have come before this one. This book takes place entirely within a magical theater, and although Bertie is taken on a wild adventure, she never actually steps foot outside. The Théâtre Illuminata was an incredible character of its own right, with scenery that practically comes to life and the actors (Players) who are in truth each character from each and every play imaginable. But we don’t know anything about the Théâtre. The author gave such little information about how or why the Players can never leave that I honestly kept pushing on in hopes of discovering more. Some secrets are revealed by the end of the book, but I had just as many questions as I did in the beginning.