Book Review: Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles

Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards #1)

by Janella Angeles

🔮🔮🔮🔮 (four stars, as rated in mystical crystal balls)

Kallia, a talented and powerful showgirl, has lived her entire life in an illusion. Her patron, Jack, known by many as only “The Magician,” has trapped her in a specter where, night after night, she enchants audiences from the stage with her beauty and skill. Outsmarting him one evening, Kallia escapes to the city of Glorian, and immediately auditions for a place in the competition of magicians. All she has ever wanted is to be recognized in her own rite for her magic and when she is paired with a young and renowned judge named Demarco – a man with a mysterious past of his own – that Kallia’s magic ascends to brand new levels. Both enthralled and terrified by skills she does not fully understand, Kallia realizes that the world of magic and dreams could cost her more than she’d ever imagined. Though that may be the least of her worries when Jack suddenly re-appears…

“Not all magic is good magic.”

Janella Angeles, Where Dreams Descend

Janella Angeles, you evil genius. My, oh my, oh my. I was not expecting this book. First, talk about some serious Phantom of the Opera vibes but with a bit of Moulin Rouge and The Night Circus built in. Basically, queue up the organ music, I am here for all of it. Also, when was the last time you read a book of that sort with multiple WOC at the helm? Hell to the yesssss for that kind of legitimate representation. It is an absolute tragedy that thing isn’t getting more attention because it was easily one of my favorite reads of 2020!

I realized about halfway through this book that the end was going to be unsatisfying. This is likely the reason for a less than 4 star (🔮) average GR rating as well. This book keeps on laying groundwork for “The Last Act” (aka book two) right up until the climax. Usually that really bugs me but for some reason it worked here. I also feel that depending on how well the next book wraps things up, I could be persuaded to bump my rating to a five because, honestly, I’m just salty that I have to wait until April 24, 2021 for the thing to come out!

Rep in this book: WOC protagonist, queer supporting characters

Content warnings for this book: psychological manipulation and control, sexism, missing persons

Image Description: A flat-lay featuring the book Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles. The book is mostly black and red with a woman in a red dress at the top who is suspended from a chandelier with a masquerade mask upon her face. Near the bottom of the book are the words, “The Stage Is Set. The Spectacle Awaits…” The novel is surrounded in the image by sparkly gold fabric to the bottom left and red rose petals and baby’s breath flowers to the top and right. There is a string of pearls laying at just above it. There is a hand reaching into the frame that is gripping a red rose by its stem. The fingers have dark green nail polish.

About the Author: Janella Angeles

Janella Angeles is the bestselling author of WHERE DREAMS DESCEND. A Filipino-American writer, she 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. She is represented by Thao Le of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary AgencyWHEN NIGHT BREAKS, Book 2 in her bestselling debut fantasy Kingdom of Cards duology, will be out Summer 2021 from Wednesday Books. (copied from the author’s personal website)

Personal note: girl on being impatient about sequels

I am completely serious when I say that I am DYING to get my hands on a copy of this book’s sequel. It is one of my most highly anticipated books for next year. What books are you going out of YOUR mind waiting for? Let me know in the comments!

My best to you all,


Published by Sarah

My name is Sarah and I can't imagine my life without books. Actually, I can and it's terrible. I'm also into climbing, video games and bothering the nearest cat.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles

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