a novel engineer (jawastew) wrote in bookish,
a novel engineer

Eyes Like Stars: Théâtre Illuminata, Act I

If you had the chance to leave the only home you’ve ever known, would you do it? That’s the dilemma Beatrice Shakespeare Smith, or Bertie as she’s known to the denizens of the Théâtre Illuminata, faces. Bertie doesn’t know who her parents are or why she was left at the theater’s doorstep and, as part of a ritual half comfort, half quest she’s constantly writing the script of her own life. To give herself a history, she imagines a bittersweet romance between a famous actress and an ordinary, lovestruck fellow, a magical caravan, and a mysterious Mistress of Revels. The particulars are always foggy, but in the story of How Bertie Came to the Theater, Bertie is always wistful, always searching for the right combination of lines and directions to point her toward the truth: who were her parents? Why did they abandon her? Where did she come from?

Bertie is far from lonely. She’s been living inside the magical Théâtre Illuminata, home to The Book, which holds the complete works of every stage play ever. It also holds the power to summon any stage character or cast imaginable for weekly performances of beloved plays that helps keep the theater thriving. Surrounded by four mischievous fairies and a colorful array of characters, Bertie’s made quite a home for herself. She’s also learned, like any teenager, the fine art of getting into trouble. This time, the theater manager’s finally fed up. Faced with being cast out, Bertie is given an ultimatum: if she can think of a way to make herself indispensable to the theater, she can stay.

Despite the not-so-subtle manipulations of Ariel (from The Tempest), Bertie isn’t eager to leave, even if it provides the opportunity she needs to find her parents. She’s determined to stay--as if lost and doing what every child is told to do when they don’t know where they are: stay put and eventually you’ll be found. With the help of her fairy friends, Nate (a dashing pirate from The Little Mermaid and my favorite character, aside from Peaseblossom), and the production managers, Bertie’s devised a plan that she’s sure will change the theater and stage manager’s minds.

( Read the rest! )
Tags: category: young adult, genre: fantasy, review, xxx author last name: i-q

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