From the Publisher
“The sequel to Eyes Like Stars, this is another rousing adventure of literary and theatrical whimsy, filled with sly twists and humorous moments. Bertie's continuing story deserves multiple encores and a standing ovation.” Realms of Fantasy
“Mantchev's highly imaginative prose bursts with lush imagery and literary riffs, and the party's encounter with the Innamorati, a traveling circus inspired by Cirque du Soleil, enhances the book's surrealism . . . fans of the first book will cry ‘Encore!' as the ending sets up the third in the series.” School Library Journal
“The pace is fast and furious, and the secrets to Bertie's intriguing heritage unfold satisfyingly, but it's Mantchev's fresh, intelligent style that delights most. . . . This fantastical romp--an absolute must for theater buffs--might stand alone, but it'd be a pity not to start with the first.” Kirkus Reviews
Children's Literature - Heather Robertson Mason
Beatrice Shakespeare Smith has left the Theatre Illuminata to search for Nate, her lost pirate love. In order to achieve her quest, she must become the Mistress of Revels, the master storyteller, and defeat the evil Sea Goddess. While she still has the power to write things into existence, outside the theater she cannot control how the events she writes come about and nothing seems to be working the way she wants it to. With her are her four fey friends, who are more trouble than help, and Ariel, the elemental spirit who vies for Beatie's affection despite her love for Nate (although she finds herself drawn to Ariel, too). Along the way she meets a pickpocket, a circus producer and even her father, albeit in a form she wasn't expecting, all who prepare her for her final showdown. The book lacks nothing in creativity. All through it are magical surprises, twists and turns. The characters are unique and well-drawn and nothing is predictable. The book moves at a fast pace with lot of action and discoveries. However, the story can be confusing. It is hard to tell what the setting is, and some of the fantasy elements are a bit surreal. Fans of the first book, Eyes Like Stars, will love the second one as well. Readers who missed the first book need to start there before picking up this one. Reviewer: Heather Robertson Mason
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Beatrice Shakespeare Smith, Mistress of Revels, takes her show on the road in this rousing sequel to Eyes Like Stars (Feiwel & Friends, 2009). Abandoning the enchanted Théâtre Illuminata to rescue her beloved pirate Nate from watery doom in the lair of Sedna the Sea Goddess, the 17-year-old embarks on the journey accompanied by four feisty fairies and seductive Ariel, air spirit from The Tempest and Nate's rival for Bertie's heart. By turns perilous and comedic, the tale rolls along at breakneck speed as the troupe encounters danger and delight, negotiating predicaments with magic and wit. The fairies' constant clamor for pie adds hilarity as Bertie explores the extent of her magical powers, untangles her origins, and meets her father, the brooding bird-man Scrimshander. Mantchev's highly imaginative prose bursts with lush imagery and literary riffs, and the party's encounter with the Innamorati, a traveling circus inspired by Cirque du Soleil, enhances the book's surrealism. Although the lack of backstory may leave readers new to Bertie in the dust of confusion, fans of the first book will cry "Encore!" as the ending sets up the third in the series.—Joyce Adams Burner, National Archives at Kansas City, MO
Read an Excerpt
“Perhaps I can appeal, then, to the romantic nature of our situation.” Without moving, everything about Ariel reached for her. “The open road, the veil of night drawn over the world, us living as vagabonds.”
Usually, Peaseblossom played the part of Bertie’s tiny little conscience, but this time, she issued the requisite Dire Warning to herself:
Don't think about how close he is, or the fact that all you'd have to do to kiss him is tilt your head. Think of Nate . . . .
“If you’re done with whatever fierce internal argument is creasing your forehead—” Ariel's low laugh undid the knot she had tied on her resolve. A bit of his wind pushed her nearly into his lap, and their lips met.
Bertie's brain fogged over until the fairies’ collective noises of disgust recalled her to her senses. Pulling away, she muttered, “Vagabonds don't wear crinolines.”