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.
Title : Where Dreams Descend
Author : Janella Angeles
Series : Kingdom of Cards (book one)
Format : eARC
Page Count : 464
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : Wednesday Books
Release Date : August 25, 2020
Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ .5
Hollis’ 4.5 star review
Wow, so, like. I’m really mad at myself. I’ve had a copy of this ARC for so long and even before the release date was pushed back I just kept putting off reading it. I don’t know why. So I’m here to encourage you to not do what I did. Because this book? Fabulous.
It may have taken me about two and a half, maybe three, weeks to read because I’m (as most of us are) slumpy or just living that pandemic lyfe, but nonetheless every little bit I would read? Was great. The story stuck with me, enthralled me, even when I put it down to be distracted by my phone or Netflix or staring at the walls.
“I don’t have to prove a single thing to them. What matters most is what I prove to myself. Giving up would be an insult to everything I know I’m capable of.“
I am completely stunned this is a debut because though the story is fascinating and mysterious and compelling, the writing? It’s solid. It’s magical. It’s polished. And it’s all that while also having a very relevant dialogue about the double standards in society and the inequalities within most, if not all, fields, without feeling like it’s trying to force the topic to be relevant, y’know?
“Magician or not, we’ve always lived in a series of boys’ clubs we’re not allowed to enter. We’re told we’re simply lucky to be in the room, as long as we stay quiet. Make even a little murmur, and it’s like we’ve disturbed the order of life itself.”
As an added bonus, I could never quite see exactly where things were going. The teases were given, the little reveals, what you thought was true.. this was one story that was laced with the tiniest of breadcrumbs as opposed to smacking you in the face with what was coming next. I loved that.
If the comparisons to Moulin Rouge and Phantom of the Opera put you off because you worried it wouldn’t live up to one or the other or both; if you’ve been disillusioned by YA fantasies, particularly from debut authors one too many times; if you thought maybe would be just another NIGHT CIRCUS (even if you liked it, but especially if you didn’t!), I’m here to tell you.. yes. Just.. yes.
For too long she’d envisioned only herself on the stage, an image that always kept her going : basking in the spotlight, hearing her name and cheers over everything else. Strange how applause was just noise, when you were all alone.
My one complaint, even though it isn’t really, is that while I felt the mystery surrounding the setting of this book did a great job of sucking you in, the little glimpses we were given of the world outside just didn’t feel quite as fleshed out or real. Maybe that was to keep the focus on what was happening in the moment, which it did very well, but I would definitely like to know more of the world outside this pocket of events, too.
Either way, I can’t wait for more and I’m so excited for book two.
** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **