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.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review
My Rating 4.5 Stars
Wow. I honestly can’t remember the last time a YA book had me feeling so completely transported to a magical world. Let me tell you, when a book is marketed as a blend of Phantom of the Opera and Moulin Rouge, the expectations are high right off the bat. Fortunately, this gorgeous book was lush with magic, romance, and high-tension, dark intrigue. While there were no major plot twists that had me gasping in surprise, I found myself metaphorically on the edge of my seat (come on, we are in quarantine so you all know I read this one in bed). Not even Henry Cavill could have torn my eyes from my kindle once I delved into this story.
Kallia is such a wonderfully unique YA female lead, in my opinion. She is fierce, competitive and confident without coming off braggadocios or obnoxious. Despite the fact that there are little to no female performance magicians in her world, she holds her head high while men constantly comment on her appearance, attitude and talent.
The romance was a slow burn that I enjoyed, even though it went in a direction that I didn’t expect from the start. While there is a hint of a love triangle, I believe that it is clear who Kallia will end up with, and I wholeheartedly approve. Normally, my disdain for love triangles is clear (except in TID), but this one was slight and added to the plot. There was no Bella/Jacob/Edward longing tension, thank goodness.
Where Dreams Descend absolutely ended on a cliffhanger, so prepare yourself for that. Even though I am already itching to get my hands on the sequel, I’m so glad that I had a chance to read this early and absolutely recommend it for fans of Caraval by Stephanie Garber. My small half-point deduction in rating was only due to the fact that the author dumped me as a reader into the novel at the very beginning with little to no explanation, leading to a confusing start.