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August 24, 2020

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles ~ a Review

by MK French

A group of magicians faces off to determine who will be the next headliner for the Conquering Circus. There is danger waiting, and more and more magicians are going missing. Three in particular have to face the secrets they kept and lies they told before the darkness claims them.
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When Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles
August 2020; Wednesday Books;  978-1250204356
audio, ebook, print (464 pages); YA epic fantasy
Where Dreams Descend
is the first novel in the Kingdom of Cards duology, and hype has been building up online. There are beautiful descriptions of the locations, where you can almost feel the icy cold of Glorian, see the scorn of the older magicians judging the magic contest, and the bright colors that Kallia wears in contrast. In addition, there is the world-building regarding magic and its uses, and Kallia at the center of the storm, determined to be a star and remembered. 

Glorian is not without its mysteries, especially when magicians disappear from the competition without warning, the shadows seem to speak, and perhaps what we thought about all of the characters isn't true at all. It made me wonder how reliable a narrator Kallia was, and if the other players also had a number of their own motivations for what was going on. The continual theme of mirrors as gateways or doorways for shadows and nightmares was also intriguing, especially with how much the appearance of things vs. the actual reality of things was brought up a number of times. Kallia knows full well that the appearance of confidence is all well and good, but she has confidence and talent to back it up, too. Yes, she wants to be well known and important, but she also wants to do it on her own terms.

Kallia's words are beautifully spoken, and a feeling that people would do well to learn: "Make no mistake, I know 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."

Buy Where Dreams Descend at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever. 

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  1. This sounds really nice, and I love a good duology. I've been enjoying them more than traditional trilogies lately.

  2. Sounds good! I wonder if the young adult librarian at my library has read this yet.

  3. Sounds interesting. Love the cover.

  4. This sounds good. I love the cover! I didn't even notice the lady behind the chandelier at first.