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Quick Snacks: Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev

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?

After being thoroughly entertained by Eyes Like Stars, I was more than ready to dive into Perchance to Dream. And for the most part, Mantchev does a good job of maintaining the momentum of the story, by adding interesting plot complications. The one part of this book that left me unsatisfied was how Mantchev handled the love triangle between Bertie, Nate, and Ariel; the story's ending felt like a cop out, because Bertie refuses to or is incapable of making a decision between the two. Perhaps that's the reason I never picked up the conclusion to this trilogy in So Silver Bright, over a year later?

Rating: 3.75

Review copy borrowed

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