Thursday, September 16, 2010

To Dream, to Live

I recently read Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev, I had read the previous book in the series, Theater Illuminata, Eyes Like Stars. As a fan of Shakespeare I fell for her twists and turns of his plays. It's not simply a twist of the plays, or a view of what he didn't write, it is his characters come to life.

The main star of the show here is Beatrice Shakespeare Smith, Bertie as she prefers to be called. Bertie has lived at the Theater for as long as she can remember but unlike her playmates, the mischievous faires Peaseblossom, Moth, Mustardseed, and Cobweb from A Midsummers Night's Dream, and her two romantic interests, Nate from The Little Mermaid and Ariel from The Tempest, and the odd Ophelia from Hamlet, Bertie is just a human girl, as far as she knew till the end of Eyes Like Stars.

*spoiler alert for Eyes Like Stars*

In of Eyes Like Stars Bertie is told that she must prove that she is useful to the Theater or she will be cast out. She decides to put on a show, she re-works one of the plays, changes up the setting. But it quickly changes into a piece that Bertie had been working on, How Bertie Came to the Theater. Something that Bertie had been toying with to try and remember how she came to live with them. Here we learn Bertie's secret, she is Ophelia's daughter, and she is also the Mistress of Revels and Teller of Tales. She finally finds her place at the Theater.

But for woe she has a job to do, one that she only insists on doing that is. She must go and find her Nate. In the midst of everything in Eyes Like Stars, Nate is kidnapped by the sea goddess Sedna. Of course Bertie feels that she is to blame since she accidently called Sedna. Not to mention Ariel trying he's tricks to make Bertie forget Nate.

In Perchance to Dream, we open on Bertie, Ariel, and those mischief loving fairies traveling on the caravan. They pick up a few friends along the way to finding Nate and the sea goddess, Sedna. We also find out who the Mysterious Stranger (aka Bertie's dad) is. I found this to be a great read, full of twists and turns, mystery and romance. Be what I loved the most was watching as Bertie learned how to be herself. That there is a part of her that is just her's. I felt that I watched her grow into herself.

I would definitely recommend this series to any young reader and a few older ones looking to renew their love of Shakespeare.

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