Théâtre Illuminata, #2
Fantasy, Young Adult
Feiwel & Friends
January 1st, 2010
Act Two, Scene One
Growing up in the enchanted Thèâtre Illuminata, Beatrice Shakespeare Smith learned everything about every play ever written. She knew the Players and their parts, but she didn’t know that she, too, had magic. Now, she is the Mistress of Revels, the Teller of Tales, and is determined to follow her stars. She is ready for the outside world.
Enter BERTIE AND COMPANY
But the outside world soon proves more topsy-turvy than any stage production. Bertie can make things happen by writing them, but outside the protective walls of the Thèâtre, nothing goes as planned. And her magic cannot help her make a decision between –
NATE: Her suave and swashbuckling pirate, now in mortal peril.
ARIEL: A brooding, yet seductive, air spirit whose true motives remain unclear.
When Nate is kidnapped and taken prisoner by the Sea Goddess, only Bertie can free him. Bertie’s dreams are haunted by Nate, whose love for Bertie is keeping him alive, but in the daytime, it’s Ariel who is tantalizingly close, and the one she is falling for. Who does Bertie love the most? And will her magic be powerful enough to save her once she enters the Sea Goddess’s lair?
I enjoyed Eyes Like Stars quite a bit, for its complexity as a coming-of-age novel and for the awesome stagecraft fantasy world the author built. But I read it in March of 2011, and I forgot nearly everything about the story by the time I picked this one up. As it turns out, that was a problem, as the second book takes place moments after the first book ends.
I enjoyed it, but I was lost through a lot, and didn’t feel as drawn into the world as I had with the first book. The fantastical world is even more fantastical, and you really need to read book 1 immediately before book 2 to understand most of what’s happening.
I do recall Ariel being more capricious in book 1, where he’s a solidly romantic (even spurned) character here. There’s a bit of progression with the love triangle, although Bertie’s sheer distance from Nate makes me favor Ariel. Or maybe Nate just seems too good to be true (you know, because he’s a pirate of the best kind).
As for theater references, they continue in spades- Shakespeare, Gilbert & Sullivan, etc. The faeries continue being a sort of mischievous Greek chorus in the story, providing humor as a counterpoint to Bertie’s small tragedies. I just wish I was as drawn in with Perchance to Dream as I was with Eyes Like Stars.