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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Review: Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev

Title: Perchance to Dream
Series: Theatre Illuminata
Author: Lisa Mantchev
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: 25 May 2010

Synopsis: From Amazon

We are such stuff as dreams are made on.

Act Two, Scene One

Growing up in the enchanted Thèâtre Illuminata, Beatrice Shakespeare Smith learned everything about every play ever written. She knew the Players and their parts, but she didn’t know that she, too, had magic. Now, she is the Mistress of Revels, the Teller of Tales, and determined to follow her stars. She is ready for the outside world.


But the outside world soon proves more topsy-turvy than any stage production. Bertie can make things happen by writing them, but outside the protective walls of the Thèâtre, nothing goes as planned. And her magic cannot help her make a decision between—

 Nate: Her suave and swashbuckling pirate, now in mortal peril.

 Ariel: A brooding, yet seductive, air spirit whose true motives remain unclear.

When Nate is kidnapped and taken prisoner by the Sea Goddess, only Bertie can free him. She and her fairy sidekicks embark on a journey aboard the Thèâtre’s caravan, using Bertie’s word magic to guide them. Along the way, they collect a sneak-thief, who has in his possession something most valuable, and meet The Mysterious Stranger, Bertie’s father—and the creator of the scrimshaw medallion. Bertie’s dreams are haunted by Nate, whose love for Bertie is keeping him alive, but in the daytime, it’s Ariel who is tantalizingly close, and the one she is falling for. Who does Bertie love the most? And will her magic be powerful enough to save her once she enters the Sea Goddess’s lair?

Following on from Eyes Like Stars (review here) we join our frolicking friends in the ornately painted caravan as they embark on their journey in the outside world but this isn't any reality I have encountered. Such a marvellous blend of fantasy and realism woven together to create a world within a world - if I am making any sense at all.

The book is written both as narrative and play giving it just stunning imagery. The descriptions are rich in simile and metaphor. Even after just a few pages I could feel my intellect expanding via osmosis *grins*. The weaving of Shakespearean references into modern scenarios is nothing short of genius.

I had forgotten how much I liked the little fairies taken from A Mid Summer Night's Dream; their constant food references and playful manner provide light entertainment within the story. They make me smile and laugh out loud. The incident with Peaseblossom and the marzipan groom is absolutely hysterical.

Plus how could I forget that Beatrice now has purple hair *swoon* I so want purple hair (is that weird?)

The highlight of the book for me was there was oh so much more of Ariel *sswwoooonn*, I adore that air elemental to pieces; the way he can fly with the wind, the way he makes butterflies into hair accessories (without killing them I must add) his honesty, his strength and the way he wasn't afraid to show his weaknesses. I keep meaning to write a guest post for SisterSpooky about how Ariel as a fictional husband. This review has just reminded me to add it to my list [ : D ]

Although I have to say I absolutely HATE the love triangle in this book. Ariel just cannot be topped [ : p ] There are events that tugged at my heart strings. I honestly do not see Nate's appeal at all especially after he tricked Bertie into 'something' whereas Ariel has always been honest with her. As the story progresses we are able to see that Bertie has far more in common with Ariel than previously anticipated.  The narrative shows how easily language can have a dual meaning and be misconstrued or used to trick people.

Surprise revelations tumble forth opening up the underlying plot; giving background detail and validity to current actions and events. Bertie's 'powers' grow exponentially through the story. The overlap of Bertie's personal story with that of her parents brought past and present together seamlessly.

The book is a wonderful piece of escapism, I am trying to find different words to use other than beautiful but that is what this book is simply beautiful.


  1. A series I need to get around to one day. The cover is just gorgeous!

  2. This one just sounds fabulous - thanks for a great review :D


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