“This is one of the most inventive stories I have come across in a long time. Bertie lives in a theater where the casts of plays are real, bound by a magic book. This sweet and brilliant debut will have readers yearning for more.”
— Krys Tourtois, Schuler Books & Music, Lansing, MI
The fantastic first novel in Lisa Mantchev's Theatre Illuminata trilogy
Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the characters of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. The actors are bound to the Théâtre 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 Théâtre. 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. Nate, a dashing pirate who will do anything to protect Bertie, and Ariel, a seductive air spirit. The course of true love never did run smooth. . . .
With Eyes LIke Stars, Lisa Mantchev has written a debut novel that is dramatic, romantic, and witty, with an irresistible and irreverent cast of characters who are sure to enchant the audience.
“Lisa Mantchev's theatrical fantasy ‘Eyes Like Stars' pits a plucky orphan, Beatrice Shakespeare Smith, and her fairy attendants against the wiles of Ariel and a stuffy stage manager.” —New York Times Book Review
“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
“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
“Electric…delicious…fascinating…vivid…smart and sassy…bawdy and hilarious…Brava! Encore!” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“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
“Mantchev's first novel feels dreamlike…underneath is a solid story about the search for happiness and identity. Inside jokes will delight drama club devotees…but this passionate debut should attract a broader readership as well.” —Publishers Weekly