Eyes Like Stars

THÉÂTRE ILLUMINATA, ACT I (Feiwel & Friends, 2009)

The fairies flew suspended on wires despite their tendency to get tangled together.

Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the characters 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. Beatrice Shakespeare Smith 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.

Word Around Town

“All the world’s truly a stage in Lisa Mantchev’s innovative tale, EYES LIKE STARS. Magical stagecraft, unmanageable fairies, and a humorous cast of classical characters form the backdrop for this imaginative coming-of-age.” — Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games series

“With an iron-willed girl hero whose magic is with words, and a universe that is also the ultimate theater, EYES LIKE STARS is the most unusual fantasy I’ve read this year! I recommend it to anyone who loves drama, strong girls, and rowdy faery folk!”

Tamora Pierce, author of The Song of the Lioness series

“Mantchev seamlessly blends the richly wrought, claustrophobic world of the tradition-bound theater and its age-old dramatic productions with a decidedly modern sensibility. The result is electric. The delicious descriptions of the theater’s strange powers are fascinating, the characters vivid, the dialogue smart and sassy and Bertie’s fiercely loyal fairy cohorts from A Midsummer Night’s Dream bawdy and hilarious. Clever mini-scripts, usually flashbacks, materialize throughout the novel like songs in a musical. The palpable sense of urgency is also fueled by some well-staged romance, as well as by Bertie’s quest to discover who she is and what she’s made of. Brava! Encore!” — Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“Filled with literary whimsy and intrigue, this story brings the magic of the stage to life with great delight. The Theatre is a fascinatingly strong setting, populated with a rich variety of characters and plenty of potential… Mantchev can take bow; her first novel, Book 1 of the Théâtre Illuminata Trilogy, is a crowd pleaser.” — Realms of Fantasy October, 2009

“Lisa Mantchev’s theatrical fantasy […] pits a plucky orphan, Beatrice Shakespeare Smith, and her fairy attendants against the wiles of Ariel and a stuffy stage manager.” — New York Times Book Review

“Mantchev clearly knows theater from all angles, and she uses inventive play-within-play formats to create a tumble of multiple, even metaphysical narratives filled with delicious banter and familiar characters from the dramatic canon. Many teens, particularly those with some theatrical background, will look forward to the sequel suggested at the end of this bravely flamboyant and wholly original romp.” — Booklist

“This effervescent, oddball delight [is] both gossamer-weight and totally engrossing.” — B&N Teen Blog, “7 Great Books that Keep YA Weird”

  • Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
  • Nominated for the Andre Norton Award for Children’s Literature
  • Nominated for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature (stand-alone)
  • Nominated for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature (series)



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Also an audiobook by Full Cast Audio and available through Amazon as an MP3 CD or through Audible.