The Star, the Master and the Magician: Where Dreams Descend

I would like to thank Netgalley, St. Martins Press, and of course author Janella Angeles for giving me the opportunity to read and review this marvelous story in advance.

In a world where men are the only ones who are praised by their use of magic, we are introduced to Kallia. A very passionate and fierce female magician, with a very mysterious and intriguing past. She works at Hellfire House, a club where she is the biggest attraction, not for her awesome magical abilities but because of her beautiful dance moves.

But Kallia wants more, and life gives her the opportunity of a lifetime when she finds a flyer announcing a competition for magicians. She decides to leave everything behind, and goes to the city of Glorian to accomplish her goals, and pursue her dreams. But once there, she will discover that women have a strange, wrong place in society.

Even though she is told that her only chance to be on stage is just as an assistant, a beautiful accessory for the male magician, she plays all her cards to make sure that she gets the spot she deserves as an official competitor. But being part of the competition becomes more difficult with each passing day, and not just because of the angry Mayor and the arrogant judges.

The events that will take place within Glorian are something that you should discover on your own. Come take part of the magic, enjoy the show, and be ready to discover “Where Dreams Descend”.

This book is the first instalment of a new series that promises to be a delightful magical adventure, the Kingdom of Cards series. The universe in which the story is set seems to be very mysterious, we do not know much of it, just that it seems to be a place where magic is everywhere. You can either be born with it or you can acquire it, there is no in between. I would have loved to see a little bit more of this world, but I have a feeling that it was too early to give us more details.

Within the pages of the book we will see that Kallia’s battle does not just involves competing against her male rivals on stage. From the first day that she dared to put her feet on Glorian, she has to fight for respect and equality on a daily basis. People judge her because of the way she dresses out, just like nowadays, where we still cannot choose or dressing in peace. But there is more. Kallia also is also submitted to public judgement because she shares a room with her male assistant. What is more, having a male assistant is also something she will be criticized for.

But our female protagonist does not let anybody let her down. However, this does not mean that she does not feel bad or that she is not affected by the comments and looks people throws at her. It is true that Kallia has lots of self-confidence, and she is also fierce, strong and ambitious; but she is also human, and she feels the pressure of living with this type of burden. She is not willing to let people know that what they do actually has an effect on her, and she is ready to do the necessary sacrifices to keep on her mask. Because “No one could perceive you as weak if they could not see you”, right?

Now let’s talk about the romance. Within the lines of the story, we can feel that something is there, but nothing is explicit. The characters themselves do not know what to do with what they feel, kind of what happens in real life: you meet someone and you feel attracted to them but for this sentiment to be transformed into something else, well, time must do its job. So, even though we can infer that there may be some romantic relationships in the building, there is no “instant love” scenario. I really liked that the author decided to give us this perspective.

Amazing characters will accompany Kallia along her way up to the top. Starting with Aaros, Kallia’s good friend and also the best assistant a girl could ever ask for, and continuing with the amazing crew of the Conquering Circus, a group of all-female magicians and artists that bring enchanting performances wherever they go. The way the author interwines these diverse set of personalities within the story is something to admire, nothing feels out of place, and that is something that allows the story to flow smoothly.

Magical performances, gleaming scenarios, and mysterious disappearances all come together to create an outstanding story that is as glam and shinning as a burlesque stage-show. This amazing book comes out on August 25th thanks to Wednesday Books. Are you ready to come see “Where Dreams Descend”?

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