(Theatre Illuminata #3)
Published: September 13, 2011 by Feiwel & Friends
Bertie thinks her quest is almost done. With the help of Ariel and the rest of her friends, she has managed to find her father and rescue Nate from Sedna, the Sea Goddess. Now, all she has to do is reunite her father, the Scrimshander, with her mother, Ophelia, and she will finally have a true family of her own.
However, things are never easy for Beatrice Shakespeare Smith. Her father has vanished, Sedna is out for revenge, her own actions have trapped the Théâtre Illuminata in a strange kind of limbo, and the stress of her in-between state is tearing apart the fragile threads of her mother's sanity. Bertie's best hope for salvaging the situation may lie in a summons by Her Gracious Majesty, Queen of the Distant Castle, and the hope of winning the magical boon given to the best performance.
Bertie is caught between her growing responsibilities to home and family, and the dream of flying free - just as her heart is torn between her two loves, Nate and Ariel. With so any forces pulling on her, how will Bertie be able to choose which wish to make come true?
I love this series and while I'm sad to see it end, I'm looking forward to whatever Lisa Mantchev dreams up next. I'm also a bit relieved to see another love triangle come to a close, but this series has so much more going on than that. It's truly imaginative and unique - definitely recommended!
- Serafina talking about birth control - I thought it was great that the herb seller thought Bertie was there for birth control, even though Bertie hadn't ever thought of it or had reason to. I've read so many fantasy and paranormal books with love triangles or sexy boyfriends, and sometimes even sex, where no mention of protection is ever made even though it's important.
- Bertie's 'mask' - I won't go into details, but I loved everything about this part of the story. It drove things with Nate and Ariel, and was Bertie's own choice to help her friends.
- Nate - I love Nate. He is so fiercely protective of Bertie, even though he's the one who wants to kind of disarm her to get closer. After the flashbacks I feel for both Nate and Ariel because they waited for Bertie to grow up and even now they aren't sure if their feelings are allowed, if she's old enough, if she wants them to be more than her partners in crime and theater mischief.
- the fairies - No matter what happens to Bertie and her crew, the fairies deal with it by shouting insults and devouring desserts by the truckload. And when they aren't eating or making foul jokes, even the boys are unwaveringly loyal to Bertie.
- Bertie's family - I adore the whole tone and magical setting of these books, and Bertie's parents' story fits right in, intertwining with the theater itself. I detest books where the plot only happens because of the love triangle, and here Bertie is on a quest all her own and her family comes first.
- Bertie as Ophelia - I didn't really enjoy when Bertie went through the mirror. It was important to the story of Bertie's family, but it felt much longer than it actually was, like dragged out time where Bertie was losing herself. I like her adventures much more when she's with the fairies and Nate and Ariel.
- traveling to the castle - I should probably be used to the unexpected bits of magic that happen by now, but the sort of being instantly transported to the castle threw me off. I was immersed in road trip intrigue and adventure with lots of time to build sexual tension, and then BAM! trip's over.
- "Lass!" Nate caught her before she fell to the floor, but even his solid presence wasn't enough to steady her head or slow her galloping heartbeat. "That answers that question." She'd wasted the wish. Tears threatened until a dim silver light returned to haunt the space inside her head, as mercurial and taunting as one of Ariel's winds. - pg. 274 Bertie + Nate
- The third piece of cake she fed him came with a tiny grazing of his teeth across her finger, and she was a sailor's knot nearly undone. He must have seen it written upon her face, for something flickered over his own features: a promise, perhaps, mixed with determination and some flavor of triumph. - pg. 109
A magical story with sexy guys, but not a book focused solely on a love triangle. If you haven't read this series, check it out!