Perchance to Dream: Theatre Illuminata #2 Hardcover – May 25 2010
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“The sequel to Eyes Like Stars, this is another rousing adventure of literary and theatrical whimsy, filled with sly twists and humorous moments. Bertie's continuing story deserves multiple encores and a standing ovation.” ―Realms of Fantasy
“Mantchev's highly imaginative prose bursts with lush imagery and literary riffs, and the party's encounter with the Innamorati, a traveling circus inspired by Cirque du Soleil, enhances the book's surrealism… fans of the first book will cry 'Encore!' as the ending sets up the third in the series.” ―School Library Journal
“The pace is fast and furious, and the secrets to Bertie's intriguing heritage unfold satisfyingly, but it's Mantchev's fresh, intelligent style that delights most… This fantastical romp--an absolute must for theater buffs--might stand alone, but it'd be a pity not to start with the first.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“All the world's truly a stage in Lisa Mantchev's innovative tale, Eyes Like Stars. Magical stagecraft, unmanageable fairies, and a humourous cast of classical characters form the backdrop for this imaginative coming-of age.” ―Suzanne Collins on Lisa Mantchev and Eyes Like Stars
“With an iron-willed girl hero whose magic is with words, and a universe that is also the ultimate theater, Eyes Like Stars is the most unusual fantasy I've read this year! I recommend it to anyone who loves drama, strong girls, and rowdy faery folk!” ―Tamora Pierce on Lisa Mantchev and Eyes Like Stars
“The delicious descriptions of the theater's strange powers are fascinating, the characters vivid, the dialogue smart and sassy, and Bertie's fiercely loyal fairy cohorts from A Midsummer Night's Dream bawdy and hilarious. . . . The palpable sense of urgency is also fueled by some well-staged romance, as well as by Bertie's quest to discover who she is and what she's made of. Brava! Encore!” ―Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review on Lisa Mantchev and Eyes Like Stars
“Bertie's determined efforts to become invaluable form the basic plot in this wildly imagined adventure…Mantchev clearly knows theater from all angles, and she uses inventive play-within-play formats to create a tumble of multiple, even metaphysical narratives filled with delicious banter and familiar characters from the dramatic canon. Many teens, particularly those with some theatrical background, will look forward to the sequel suggested at the end of this bravely flamboyant and wholly original romp.” ―Booklist on Lisa Mantchev and Eyes Like Stars
About the Author
Lisa Mantchev is the author of the Theatre Illuminata series, including Perchance to Dream and Eyes Like Stars. She grew up in the small Northern California town of Ukiah. She wrote her first play in the fourth grade, and has been involved in theater ever since. She received two scholarships to study drama at the University of California, Irvine. She won the Chancellor's Award For Undergraduate Research in Drama her senior year while studying in the Campuswide Honors Program. After graduation, she taught English at the Lycée Internationale de Los Angeles and created their Drama After School Program. In between report cards and drafting scripts for Winter and Spring productions, she wrote fiction. Her first professional short fiction sale was in 2002, and her debut trilogy sold in 2007. Mantchev makes her home on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state with her husband Angel, her daughter Amélie and four hairy miscreant dogs. When not scribbling, she can be found on the beach, up a tree, making jam or repairing things with her trusty glue gun.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
They are on a quest to find Nate, who was taken by the Sea Goddess at the end of the first story. The Company uses Bertie's magic - for she is now the Mistress of Revels, the Teller of Tales, and can write how their story is going to go. But she has to be careful, because what is written can happen in different ways.
Along the way, we meet several more characters, such as the Thief and Bertie's fathers. And while Bertie loves Nate, she is soon finding that she also has feelings for the air elemental, Ariel. But who does she love more? You'll have to read to find out!
This was a neat sequel to Lisa Mantchev's EYES LIKE STARS. I feel like this was slightly more of a love story and I enjoyed that. The book is so creative. The story and setting and action that this story brings into your head are so full of imagination and fun.
My favorite characters from the first book, the fairies, are back! And they are just as funny. I want my own little fairies to come provide comic relief for me!
PERCHANCE TO DREAM sets up the next book in the series nicely, and I can't wait to get to read it!
Reviewed by: Andrea
The fairies just as funny if not funnier in this book. I wonder how Lisa comes out with their personalities because they make me cry from laughing so much.
In Perchance to Dream, Bertie explores her feelings for both Nate and Ariel in more depth - she is torn between them because she loves each of them but in completely different ways. If you have read my review of Eyes Like Stars you know that I was Team Nate. Well this time around I can't choose because we get to see a different side of Ariel.
I can't wait for the 3rd novel to see how it is going to end. I have no idea how Lisa is going to finish the series which makes it even better.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Beatrice Shakespeare Smith never thought she'd leave the theatre, but here she is, on the road to save Nate, her pirate sweetheart, from the hands of the nefarious Sedna the Sea Witch, accompanied by her four fairy friends and the seductive air spirit Ariel. Armed with the magical powers of the Mistress of Revels, Bertie is able to write herself in and out of situations. But not even her power with words can prepare her for revelations about her parents' past, a battle over her heart, and the ultimate encounter with Sedna.
If I could eat just one book, I think this would have to be it. In Lisa Mantchev's hands, words aren't merely lines and swirls of black on white: they come alive, playing with one another, dancing like fairies themselves. The book is chock-full of wordplay and descriptions so rich you just want to roll them around and around on your tongue. Lisa's writing really sets the tone and setting of PERCHANCE TO DREAM into a world that seems to always be dissolving and changing at the corners of our eyes.
All the characters you loved from EYES LIKE STARS come back in full force in this stunning sequel. Bertie may be the tip of the love triangle, but she's far from your typical YA heroine: she is spunky and independent, and would never consider giving herself up for love. We get to see a lot more of Ariel than Nate in this Theatre Illuminata installment, which is deliciously swoon-worthy in a sensual and dangerous way. And Bertie's encounters with new characters--Sedna, the Scrimshander, various vagabonds she meets along her journey (including the traveling circus)--are excellent additions to the series, each one an almost surreal section.
For those who enjoy incredibly beautiful writing and a unique cast of varied characters, Lisa Mantchev's books are not to be missed. Lovers of EYES LIKE STARS may be slightly jarred by the lack of backstory and the completely different change of pace and setting, but you just might also be fall under Lisa's writing spell, as I irrevocably am.
The three fairies from A Midsummer Night's Dream continue to offer comic relief, e.g., when Peaseblossom falls in love with the marzipan groom on a wedding cake. A new character named Waschbar is part-raccoon and a thief, but only of unwanted things, he says. Bertie, now the Mistress of Revels, wins a magical journal from him that allows her to keep writing the script of their adventure as they go, although she tends to write in haste and leave out crucial elements, resulting in various complications.
Ariel, the wind spirit, comes along for the ride, and he persists in trying to charm Bertie, even as she worries about her sailor friend, Nate, who is in the clutches of Sedna, the sea witch.
This is a fairly episodic book, with characters and events popping in and out as if--well, as if Bertie were on a stage.
The author's efforts to make Bertie's theatrical world magical are sometimes fresh and beautiful, but other times are distracting or confusing. A scene in a market and another on a surreal circus train are lovely set pieces. Of course, the fairies will tell you that the best part of the circus train is that it has one car entirely dedicated to pies, in alphabetical order.
Bertie is still a bit hard to like, since she tends to seem selfish and to yell at her friends and family. But she can also be brave and determined. In this book, she does meet her father, who is not very good at being human, let alone a parent.
Readers looking for some romance will be pleased by how much Ariel and Nate care for Bertie, although we see more of the wind spirit than of the sailor in this volume. An ongoing plot point is that Bertie must deal with her feelings for both of them, and with the feminist suspicion that what she really wants is to stop having them claim her so that she can own herself.
Of course, Sedna makes a deliciously terrifying villainess.
Perchance to Dream is a little jumbly, and I found myself getting exasperated with Bertie in spots, but I do like the whole theatrical premise and the things Mantchev does with it. If you're new to this author's work, I would suggest you read Eyes Like Stars first!
I was not impressed by Perchance to Dream. Not at all. As soon as the book opens, the reader is thrown into the first scene without ado. That works in some instances, yet throughout the whole book I felt like I was being jolted from place to place with no explanation. The plot was not as tight as ELS's was and seemed jumbled and unplanned. The whole time I was reading Perchance to Dream I felt like I was in some madman's wanderings, with circuses and trains and sea monsters all happening within pages of one another. I couldn't follow the story, and by the middle of it I wanted to throw the book down. In ELS, the eccentricities of the scenes Bertie writes and the characters are charming and unique; in Perchance to Dream they become annoying and confusing because the whole book is an eccentricity. I do like the writing and style a lot, but the plotting and characterizations are just not the best. If you were a big fan of Eyes Like Stars, you'll probably like this; if you weren't so passionate about the first book, this won't change your mind.
Always the feisty ingénue, Beatrice Shakespeare Smith has taken her show on the road in PERCHANCE TO DREAM. The Mistress of Revels as well as the Teller of Tales, Bertie has the power to make events or scene changes happen by describing them in her magic journal. She can also spin stories into reality by voicing them out loud. But as she soon discovers, outside the safe cocoon of the Théâtre, nothing goes exactly as planned. In fact, despite her best intentions, everything starts to go terribly wrong.
For one, Nate --- the swashbuckling pirate from Act One who captured Bertie's heart --- has been captured by the Sedna, the Sea Goddess...and being a particularly nasty old crone, she refuses to let him go. Bertie, meanwhile, has vowed to rescue him with the help of her rambunctious fairies (Moth, Peaseblossom, Cobweb, and Mustardseed), a moody and especially smitten air spirit (Ariel), and a sneak-thief who kind of looks like a gigantic raccoon standing up. Add a hulking and mysterious birdman that (who?) swoops down on Bertie at the most inopportune moments (for a secret reason not even I will disclose!), and you have a motley caravan of characters who may not all make it to the end of the production if they have anything to do with it.
Now, about that especially smitten air spirit. For most of the book, Bertie is caught in a thorny love triangle between hunky Nate (in her dreams) and devoted Ariel (in reality), and while you might suspect the competition for their beloved's heart would grow tiring, it doesn't. Mantchev does a stellar job pitting the two against each other, so much so that it's hard to know who to root for moment to moment. The contest over which suitor Bertie will choose carries the action forward like an anchor, so any readers who might get briefly disoriented amidst all the scene changes, costume adjustments, script add-ins, and so on, can grab on and be willfully tugged along for the whirlwind ride.
Mantchev doesn't disappoint in PERCHANCE TO DREAM --- nor does she drop any balls she threw in the air in EYES LIKE STARS. Her rich and often humorous prose is once again filled with delightful references to Shakespeare's plays, from Romeo & Juliet to A Midsummer Night's Dream to Henry VIII. Her characters are as wonky and alive as ever. And as for the ending? Let's just say it's a showstopper.
One can only hope such raucous fun and games continue for the Grand Finale!
There was no plot structure here, purple prose everywhere I turned, and I can't even discuss the characters.
So read if you are already a fan of the series, but otherwise, I would skip it.