Eyes Like Stars

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by Lisa Mantchev

The Theatre Illuminata is home to every play ever written – and to Beatrice Shakespeare Smith (“Bertie” for short), who was left on its doorstep as an infant. Now she lives on its stage and consorts with spirits, pirates, kings, and… well, in short, every character ever to stride the boards.

Constantly accompanied (whether she wants to be or not) by four cake-obsessed fairies, Bertie can’t seem to stay out of trouble. It’s gotten so bad that management is ready to throw her out, unless she can – against all odds – prove her worth to the theater.

With its willful and engaging heroine, dazzling concept, and host of Shakespearian characters, Lisa Mantchev’s debut novel is itself like a great piece of theatre. Shifting effortlessly from hilarity to romance to loss to redemption, it is bound to delight anyone who has ever dreamed of the stage.

Author Lisa Mantchev
Narrator Lisa Mantchev
Length 8 hrs and 16 mins
© Copyright 2009 Lisa Mantchev
℗ Audio Copyright 2010 Full Cast Audio


“Young adults who enjoy imaginative fantasy/adventure novels will love this book, particularly if they enjoy watching or participating in theatrical productions themselves. Full Cast Audio gives an excellent, high quality performance. Their use of a full cast of actors instead of a single narrator is uniquely fitting for this book’s large cast of characters.” — SoundCommentary July, 2010

“The imaginative story is chock-full of characters, making a full-cast production an excellent choice for audio. Principal narrator Bishop’s reading is consistent and clear; Lydia Rose Shahan effectively captures teenager Bertie’s anxiety and know-it-all attitude . . . Additional production values include Renaissance-style music marking chapters and concluding each disc. This engaging debut novel with a large palette of characters is enhanced by this enjoyable production.” — Booklist May 15, 2010

“Every narrator delivers the kind of performance that audiobook fans dream of. For teenaged listeners interested in theater, EYES LIKE STARS is an ideal blend of narrative and vocal magic.” — AudioFile April, 2010 [udesign_icon_font name=”fa fa-star” color=”#dd9933″ size=”1em”] Starred Review

Praise for the print version of Eyes Like Stars:

“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 Theatre Illuminata Trilogy, is a crowd pleaser.” — REALMS OF FANTASY October, 2009

“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

“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

“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

“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 [udesign_icon_font name=”fa fa-star” color=”#dd9933″ size=”1em”] Starred Review

“Mantchev’s first novel feels dreamlike (plot points are often revealed during impromptu performances), yet underneath is a solid story about the search for happiness and identity. Inside jokes will delight drama club devotees (“Gertrude pointed at Macbeth, who was holding up a cruller and muttering, ‘Is this a doughnut I see before me?’ ”), but this passionate debut should attract a broader readership as well.” — Publisher’s Weekly July, 2009

Listen to samples from this audiobook:
  1. Chapter 3, Part 1 (3:09) Lisa Mantchev 2:54

Meet the Cast:
Karel Blakeley Theatre Manager
Mark Bruzee Stage Manager
Jenna Crofoot Peaseblossom
Dustin Czarny Mr. Tibbs
Zachary Exton Nate
Katie Gibson Ophelia
Kate Huddleston Sedna
Mike Komurek Mustardseed
Peter Moller Mr. Hastings
Alice Morigi Mrs. Edith
Jacob Morris-Knower Cobweb
Jesse Navagh Moth
Lydia Shahan Beatrice Shakespeare Smith
Matthew Smith Ariel
Directed by: Daniel Bostick
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