Where Dreams Descend

A Novel

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Pub Date 25 Aug 2020 | Archive Date 25 Aug 2020
St. Martin's Press, Wednesday Books


"Vibrant imagery, jaw-dropping set pieces, sizzling romantic tension, and unstoppable heroine Kallia bring this ambitious debut novel to spectacular life. Fans of Caraval and The Night Circus will be delighted!" - Claire Legrand, New York Times bestselling author of Furyborn

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.

"[A] spellbinding melody of a book, and the true magic is how Angeles puts all the best parts of an enrapturing theatrical performance onto paper and ink. From the gripping twists in the first pages all the way to the final, heartbreaking crescendo, Where Dreams Descend will surge you to your feet in a standing ovation.” – Sara Raasch, New York Times bestselling author of the Snow Like Ashes trilogy

Note: The publication date of this title has changed. The new publication date is 08/25/2020.

"Vibrant imagery, jaw-dropping set pieces, sizzling romantic tension, and unstoppable heroine Kallia bring this ambitious debut novel to spectacular life. Fans of Caraval and The Night Circus will be...

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ISBN 9781250204356
PRICE $18.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 875 members

Featured Reviews

I’ve recently become obsessed with all things about the circus, and have been reading any books I can find that have to do with the circus. I am surprised at how unique they all have been. They have all been wonderful in their own way!
Where Dreams Descend was absolutely magical. I couldn’t read it fast enough! I absolutely loved the world this author created! I can not wait to read the part of this duology! I can not wait for more!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

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This book was pitched as The Phantom of the Opera meets Moulin Rouge, but I would also add The Prestige. The story has a bit of a love triangle but I’m not mad at it, I think the love triangle in this was helpful. I loved the way the story was told and how it was set up, it was dark, mysterious, and intriguing. With wonderful world building and the pacing was great for most of the book, I would say it was a little slow in the beginning because of all of the mystery. And the characters were amazing because you can relate to them and they were so interesting. There is more to them than meets the eye that you will discover in this book and then much later in the next book. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I think this will be in my top ten books of this year.

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Wow, this book was a wild ride. I was intrigued from the beginning, fascinated by enigmatic Jack and charmed by fiery Kallia. The characters are definitely the strength of Where Dreams Descend, but the pale and icy setting of Glorian worked well juxtaposed against the glitz of the tournament. This book is atmospheric in the extreme.

The pace at the beginning was a bit slow, but the story ramps up over the course of the novel until you are thrown headlong into the conclusion (in a good way!). I will say, I am dying for the next book.

I would absolutely recommend Where Dreams Descend to any lovers of YA fantasy, or fans of stage magicians.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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Where Dreams Descend is a beautifully written story of magic, love, and secrets. Angeles' writing style is so beautiful that I would have probably enjoyed this book even if the story was dull. Prepare for an amazing female character who's a powerful magician and discover a magical world and one of the most mysterious circuses in literature. The first book hasn't even been published yet and I already can't wait for the next one.
*I received Where Dreams Descend as ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

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I loved this book from the very start. Finally, a book that has an original storyline!. I have always been a fan of magic and i really loved how the story centers around a magician competition that goes horribly wrong. The main characters were all equally enjoyable. i cant wait for the sequel!

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Can we first discuss this cover?! I absolutely do not judge a book by its cover, but I am guilty of being drawn to this one in particular.

There is nothing better then anticipating a novel, reading an intriguing excerpt, and then it doesn't disappoint. There are so many adjectives I could use to describe this fantastic GEM but nothing seems quite appropriate. I am in love with the strong female characters, and Kaillia is so easy to understand. Shes my new favorite character in a YA series. She is exactly who I would want my little girl to look up too. Strong, and independent and glowing with confidence that doesn't bow to anyone that doesn't respect her equal existence. The other characters are wonderful as well, brilliant character building. I can't place where exactly we are going with them, however, i'm sure in book two we will discover his feelings. Can we chat about Jack and Aaros?? AGH!!! I can't WAIT for book two. Can you tell?!

I will say, don't DNF too soon. The beginning is rather slow, but when it gets going in moves quickly. I'm still not sure who the Antagonist is? They all do their own things that make you question their motivations then BOOM you love them again.

Ms. Angelas, I don't know if i can wait "Patiently" enough for number two. I might just need to hide in the bathroom and hunker down writing my own ending just to get some personal completion.

The Con? Being left with an ambiguous ending, and having to wait for the next one to come out.

Can you tell I loved this one? Don't pass it up. Not if you need an amazing story, with much more too come.

*My greatest appreciation to St. Martins Press and NetGalley for providing me with this free advanced copy, in exchange for an honest review.

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This book has a lush atmosphere. It is magical, beautiful, and captivating. The story is well written as well as the characters. Readers will be entranced and engaged in the story. It has romance in it as well so if you love your fantasy books to have romance, pre-order it now! A great read overall.

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Picture this:

It’s a Sunday morning; there’s no rain in Northern Ireland (which is a first), and it’s Iona’s first day off in weeks. She has a pile of dirty laundry that could overtake any man, her fridge is bone bare, and the universe has blessed her with a rainless day so that she may leave the house and get all of these necessary chores done.

She decides to do a light reading with her morning coffee before going about her day. And then--BOOM. Like the bell clock tower ringing for the first time in decades in the ghost-town Glorian, she is shook to the floor as she opens this book.


Five hours later, she has accomplished absolutely nothing. But she has finished one of the best books she has read in years. Tears are stinging her eyes, she stares off out the window in her kitchen, where her coffee lay cold in front her (much like Dermaco’s many cups of cold coffee), and wonders how she will put herself back together after such a read.


Not to be dramatic, but I would DIE for Kallia.

Janella Angeles, I don’t know how you did it, I don’t know how you’ve written such a perfect novel. You’ve earned yourself a life-long fan of your work. After months of reading bleak books, or almost-hit-the-mark books; reading Where Dreams Descend did not just hit the mark, it blew up the whole damn target.

Every. Single. Character. In. This. Novel. Was. Fantastic.

It’s a rare jewel to see an author create a firework of a main character, and still manage to juggle the secondary characters so that the spotlight rains on them equally.

Kallia is gritty, stubborn, and fiery. She is unlike any character I have ever read, striking a perfect balance of flaws and perfection, of fear and courage, of fire and grit, of love and hate. At the beginning of the novel, her brashness and refusal to listen to others might put you off a bit, but the more you read the novel and dissect her personality, the more her charm hits you like a candelabra over the head.

”Giving up would be an insult to everything I know I’m capable of.”

Even the romance embodied everything that I want romances to be. There is no other way to describe Daron & Kallia than to say they were fire and damp wood. They were a slow building fire that you can’t help to root for the more and more they argued. They weren’t perfect or lovey-dovey songbirds (*puke*), they were heat and determination and chemistry. They weren’t insta-love, they were thorns that gripped onto each other and would not let go. I have not rooted for a couple so much in years. As a book-lover, you tend to think you’ve seen it all when it comes to romance; but their love was twisty, and dark, and turny, and you never felt like you knew what the next step was going to be.

But don’t be impressed just yet, because characters aren’t the only that Angeles nailed. Listen, I don’t know how she did this, I don’t know if she is come kind of writing-witch, or what magic she used to tell this story the way she did, but I truly feel in the hands of any other author, Where Dreams Descend would never have been what it is. This author leaves you on the edge of your seat the entire damn way. From start to finish, even the simplest scenes or interactions, she laces tension and suspense expertly.

Scenes that would otherwise be boring, some things as simple as a card game with no stakes, I read every sentence tooth and nail. The simplest gestures, an eyebrow raised or a chandelier descending, Angeles makes your heart beat fast.

There is no description of it, really. I can’t explain to you how she did what she did. But I could not tear my eyes away, not even to sip my coffee. I needed to know what was happening in Glorian, the mysterious walled city. I needed to know how the show was going to end, who was going to win.

"Four of Flesh.
Three of Mind.
Two of Sight.
One of Soul."

Shivers. Shivers from start to finish.

This book is your admission ticket. All I can say is: prepare yourself for a damn good show.

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