Review: PERCHANCE TO DREAM by Lisa Mantchev

Posted 27 June, 2010 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 0 Comments

PERCHANCE TO DREAM by Lisa Mantchev was magically fantastic, a great second book in the Théâtre Illuminata trilogy.

Here’s the back cover blurb: Growing up in the enchanted Théâtre Illuminata, Beatrice Shakespeare Smith learned all about every play ever written, but she didn’t know that she, too had magic. Now, she is the Mistress of Revels, the Teller of Tales, and and is determined to follow her stars. Bertie can make things happen by writing them, but outside the walls of the Théâtre, they don’t go as planned. And her magic cannot help her make a decision between Nate, her suave pirate, and Ariel, a seductive air spirit.

When Nate is taken prisoner by the Sea Goddess, only Bertie can free him, and she and her fairy sidekicks embark on a journey, using Bertie’s word magic to guide them. 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?

I loved EYES LIKE STARS, the first book in the trilogy. The theater, the characters, the language. It was fresh and original and a blast to read. The theater, actually, was one of my favorite parts–it was a character in and of itself.

So, I was a little worried when some of the characters ventured out of theater, into the world. I did miss it but what a world Bertie and her friends walked into. Again, the setting becomes its own character, adding depth and layers to the story, driving the characters, and even the action, in some parts.

Bertie’s fumbling with her new-found magic and status as Teller of Tales made me laugh as it went terribly wrong, even when she was trying to do something as simple as conjure up food or light a fire. When she asks the fairies to kindle a fire? Oh, yeah. The poor fairies turn into little flying torches. Stop-drop-roll, fairies, stop-drop-roll. (Plus, the language is absolutely amazing–I love how Mantchev weaves a spell with her words, picking up threads of Shakespearean plays and other stories and intertwining them with her own story.)

As Bertie drags her fairy friends (Cobweb, Moth, Peaseblossom, Mustardseed, from A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Ariel (an airy spirit from The Tempest) after her friend and love, Nate (the pirate from The Little Mermaid), she begins to fall for Ariel, who loves her in his own way.

I wasn’t sure about Ariel at first, mostly because I really didn’t like him in ELS. He was a self-centered jerk who had the hots for Bertie. But he grew on me in PtD. He was sweet and kind and caring to Bertie, he put up with her antics and her obsession with getting Nate back from the Sea Goddess (well, it was her fault he was taken), and he tolerated the psychotic fairies.

It’s a great love triangle, especially since one of the players (Nate) isn’t even physically present in most of the book. Nate “haunts” her dreams (another little side-effect of Bertie’s magic), while Ariel has her days. And Bertie loves them both. What’s a girl to do with two hot guys?

Final Grade: B+
Due out June 2010.
This copy was an ARC I got from the author–thanks, Lisa!!

Originally posted to on Mar. 7, 2010

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