I love coming across new fantasy, especially fantasy that is so luscious and so different from everything else hitting the shelves that you can’t help but get wrapped up in the story in the most delectable way. Where Dreams Descend is that book. It’s sumptuous, rich, and exquisitely magical.
The perfect blend between enchantment, imagination, and thrilling mystery, this stunning debut will keep you tearing through the pages from first to last.
Title: Where Dreams Descend
Author: Janella Angeles
Series: A Kingdom of Cards
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: August 25, 2020
Genre: YA Fantasy, Fantasy
Themes: Friendship, Romance, Mystery, Magic
In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes.
As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.
The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost
The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told
The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide
Where Dreams Descend is the startling and romantic first book in Janella Angeles’ debut Kingdom of Cards fantasy duology where magic is both celebrated and feared, and no heart is left unscathed.
What do you get when you throw together a talented orphan with a mysterious past, a master magician who tells more fictions than truths, a renowned performer who walked away from the stage, and a competition that could change it all? What you get is a darkly beautiful and terrifically theatrical adventure that will keep you wondering why you bought that reading chair because you’re only using about four inches of the seat.
This book is magic.
No, seriously. This book is absolute magic.
I was spell bound from the opening scenes and enraptured through to the very last page. Packed full with larger-than-life characters and set in an imaginative world of magic and mysteries I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
Beyond the lyrical prose and evocative descriptions that had me dreaming in Bob Mackie meets Cirque du Soleil, I was completely mesmerized by the world that Angeles created. There’s structure, there’s nuance, and there’s a sense of collective memory that unifies the disparate POVs into a cohesive and enchanting read. To top it all off, the magic system presented is not only deliciously original – but the use of it comes at a heavy price. The ways in which this plays out are complex and varied, and the ambiguity surrounding as to what’s the price of power as opposed to a bigger trick at play will have you guessing right up to the cliff-hanger of an ending.
I adored the cunning and caustic Kallia, and simply can’t wait to see more come book number two. She’s witty, she’s sharp, and she’s not afraid to chase what she wants no matter the cost or the societal norms standing in her way. If you’re looking for a damsel in distress this is not your book. However, if your looking for determined female protagonist who is a balanced blend between drive and femininity, as well as power and vulnerability, then this might just be the one for you.
Unabashedly powerful and unflinchingly feminist this was the fantasy read I needed to cap off the summer. It’s fun, it’s dark, and it’s crafted so infuriatingly well that it gives almost nothing way.
If you’re in the mood for haunting beauty, marvellous magicians, and a distinct theatricality that will take your breath away, then I can’t recommend Where Dreams Descends highly enough. It’s spectacular!
About the Author
JANELLA ANGELES is a Filipino-American author who got her start in writing through consuming glorious amounts of fanfiction at a young age—which eventually led to penning a few of her own, and later on, creating original stories from her imagination. A lifelong lover of books, she’s lucky enough to be working in the business of publishing them on top of writing them. She currently resides in Massachusetts, where she’s most likely to be found listening to musicals on repeat and daydreaming too much for her own good. Where Dreams Descend is her first book.
Many thanks to Meghan Harrington at St. Martin’s Press & Wednesday Books for inviting me to participate in this tour and for proving a copy of Where Dreams Descend in exchange for an honest review.