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.
I cannot stress how sick I am of the term “All her world’s a stage.” It’s not bad enough that I had to hear it throughout the entire book, but I put it into the title as well. Here’s the actual quote:
All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts.
See, now isn’t that better? That’s the shortened version of the quote. If I recall correctly, it was a monologue said by Melancholy Jaques in AS YOU LIKE IT by William Shakespeare.
Getting to the book itself, I thought it was pretty good. One thing I didn’t enjoy though: slooooooow beginning. I was tempted not to read it because of the beginning, but I decided to anyway because I really liked the idea of it all. I have to admit, I thought it was a pretty great idea, even though it’s not the most original when you get to the core of it. There were certain parts of this book where I was completely lost, and I didn’t understand the whole thing with Ariel. I didn’t feel that she was neccesary most of the time.
All in all, I think that was my biggest problem with this book. It was lackluster. The idea sounds really cool, but the way Lisa Mantchev writes it makes it hard to enjoy fully. I do admit that I really liked Bertie at times, and her four little faeries were really funny. The love was clever and the steampunk elements were cool. Besides that though, i wasn’t really blown away by this story. I’m interested to see as to where exactly Mantchev plans to go with this book.
As for a substitution to this book, if you’re looking for a fey novel the way to go–I think–would be Julie Kagawa’s The Iron King. However, in terms of just basic overall premise, the only thing that comes to mind is Jodi Picoult’s BETWEEN THE LINES. It’s not exactly like this story, but the ideas are fairly similar. 2 stars for this story. If you do try this story, I advise you to proceed with caution.
pg count for the hardback: 352
Series: Theatre Illuminata
[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]