Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards, #1)” as Want to Read:
Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Where Dreams Descend

(Kingdom of Cards #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  5,742 ratings  ·  1,963 reviews
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 bef
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published August 25th 2020 by Wednesday Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Where Dreams Descend, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
delfi Not really, just a two-sentence where it says Aaron (The Assistant with potential unexploited because of the romance) had sought a lady friend and a g…moreNot really, just a two-sentence where it says Aaron (The Assistant with potential unexploited because of the romance) had sought a lady friend and a gentleman. Nothing more, so I don't call that a lot of representation. (less)
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne CollinsChain of Gold by Cassandra ClareOne of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManusA ​Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa TahirImagine Me by Tahereh Mafi
YA Novels of 2020
813 books — 3,071 voters
These Violent Delights by Chloe GongThe Outlands by Tyler EdwardsAll the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn  GraceAll Your Twisted Secrets by Diana UrbanWhere Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles
YA Debuts 2020
152 books — 655 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,742 ratings  ·  1,963 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards, #1)
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
This is definitely an instance where I'm glad that I don't do ratings anymore because oh my god I have no clue how to rate this. I liked it, but I also had some issues. I don't think I really started liking it until the last third of the book. There were a lot of times through the middle where I was annoyed because it's a book that is shrouded in mystery, but there was almost too much mystery and not enough answers so I didn't really get what was happening, so I kind of wanted to DNF it but some ...more

OwlCrate's June 2020 Box - ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE 🎪
My Rep Code: MEL10 ❤️

i enjoyed this one, and the settings and descriptions were so beautiful! rtc! <3

Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch

Buddy read with May, Maëlys, & Lea! ❤

Reading Rush 2020
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
i have a very strong feeling this novel will be making its way into book subscription boxes this summer. its definitely one i can see becoming quite popular.

its fun, its daring, its dark, and it has that magical showmanship quality that i have been missing since ‘caraval’ and ‘the night circus.’ i really enjoyed the exciting cast of characters and the mysterious atmosphere of the story.

my only minor critique would be the overall vibe of the book. i think if the world-building had been a little
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs-read

Where Dreams Descend is my Serpent & Dove of 2020. By that I mean, a book everyone else seems to be loving and I'm over here like...

As with Serpent & Dove, I really didn't start to enjoy this until around the 80% point. Unlike S&D however, I don't plan to pick up the sequel to this when it releases.

I'm sad about it. I had high hopes for this, but unfortunately it just didn't work for me.

The story begins with our protagonist, Kallia, working as a performer in a club, The Hellfire Hou
Miranda Reads
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Annnd here's my Spring and Summer Book Recommendations! (click the link to check them out!).
Annnd here's the June OwlCrate Unboxing Video :

The theme this round was All the World's a Stage, featuring this lovely (nekkid) book and a handful of gorgeous bookish goodies.

I'm still reading it (and absolutely loving it) but in the meantime, check out my OwlCrate Book Unboxing Video to see my thoughts on this box!




The Written Review
“Strange how applause
Nilufer Ozmekik
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
A delicious mash-up of Phantom of the opera, Moulin Rouge and Chris Nolan’s Prestige (nope, there are no big twist and twins, just relax and enjoy the magic of the story!)

Semi-love triangle dances with manipulation, secrets, the universe of magicians, dark pasts and intriguing, riveting, high tension story-telling hooks you from the beginning and you cannot get enough because question marks are swimming in your fish-tank head and you ask yourself “Did the book finish? But instead of getting rev
may ➹
1.5 stars

I did not know the true feeling of freedom until I, after a whole month of struggling, finally, finally finished this book.


Where Dreams Descend follows a girl named Kallia, a magician who has only known the world of the Hellfire House and its master, Jack. Soon, she makes her way to the city of Glorian to participate in a magic competition, despite pushback against her being a female magician. But there are more sinister things taking place that might keep Kallia from achieving the o
Mar 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: full-reviews
When I tell you I blazed through the last Part of this book -

I don’t even know where to start with this. Holy fuck. I haven’t been so invested in a book like this in a while - I say that because the books I’ve been swept up in this year were either Rick Riordan or rereads. This book was different than those ones, and in the best ways possible.

“A good trick amazes, leaves everyone breathless in the moment. But a great trick truly deceives, keeps the audience wondering what happened, long after th
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

Reading this book is like eating a cake covered in molded fondant. At first, you think, "Oh, this looks quite pretty and nice! I can't wait to eat it." But then as soon as you bite in, you realize that it actually doesn't taste all that nice and it's all just empty, molded sugar. The writing in WHERE DREAMS DESCEND is lovely, with some truly beautiful passages, but it doesn't quite flow naturally and there's a calculated edge to this pro
Chelsea Humphrey
This is an absolutely solid debut, and one that I may have rated just a tad higher if it hadn't fallen prey to the long-winded, slow moving format that feels as though it's sole purpose is in propping up the sequel. Where Dreams Descend is chocked full of eloquent prose, whimsical atmosphere, and a permeating darkness which confirms the The Phantom of the Opera meets Moulin Rouge description to be spot on. While intrigued by the romance, I'm still debating whether this series will feature a love ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Got the my Owlcrate box! Pretty cover. Have the goodies linked under pic

Goodies Link

Not for me.

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
May 26, 2019 marked it as arcs-finished-copies-to-read
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
Book: The one who dares most often disappears...
Me: Yeah that's because the one who dares is most often the one doing stupid sh*t that gets them in trouble


i have fallen down the rabbit hole of exploring 2020 releases...

no sleep for me

| Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram
Helena Paris
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received this complimentary ARC from the publisher, courtesy of NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

So, you're telling me...I have to wait a year to find out how it ends?!?!?!? Greattttt, just greatttt.

Well, this was everything I didn't know I wanted. Rather than being influenced by Phantom of the Opera and Moulin Rouge, aka two of my favourite musicals, it seemed to be more of a mashup of Caraval and Ace of Shades. It had all of the mysterious and magical vibes that those two series
Oct 31, 2020 added it
Shelves: dnf
DNF at 19%

Something about this book was rubbing me the wrong way and I felt myself having to force myself to read it. This soon into the book, that’s a problem. There was something about the writing style that wasn’t connecting with me, the characters didn’t feel fleshed out, and many of their actions already didn’t make sense. Such a shame with comps of Phantom of the Opera meets Moulin Rouge.. I thought I’d love this for sure!
Jun 28, 2020 rated it liked it
This book could have been great. It wasn't. But it might have been.

There were many things that I found enjoyable in this book. For starters, I enjoyed the writing. It was easy to follow and flowed quite well. It was simple yet flowery and magical when it needed to be. In general, I'm a fan.

I also liked the atmosphere of mystery and magic that hung around the town of Glorian and Hellfire House. Angeles did a good job of setting the scene and setting up the mysteries of that town. That said, outsi
Althea | themoonwholistens ☾
I find it rare that marketing comparisons on books are actually accurate but “phantom of the opera” x “moulin rouge” really is a good way to describe the overall tone of this book. And as a major fan of those two for both their classic stories and musical goodness, I am ecstatic to report that this lived up to the vibe that I was expecting.

— overall thoughts: 3.0 —
trigger warnings database//

I did have some mixed feelings starting this because of the number of mixed reviews I came across but i
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars-2020
Kallia and Daron managed to accumulate *checks notes* 63 years of bad luck in just book one...
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, sf-fantasy, ya
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for providing me with this free advanced copy, in exchange for an honest review.

You know, I love me some YA fantasy, but this one was a mixed bag... and mostly of the disappointing sort. Listen, I don’t like giving negative reviews. I just get my expectations so up, and so when they’re dashed, it hurts more. The blurb sounded promising, and the book started off cool, but floundered between 20% and the last 5% (and that’s the bulk of it).

**Please, d
Thank you to Netgalley and Wednesday Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

(actual rating: 3.5/5)

I'm afraid this book didn't work for me as much as I had hoped it would.

Set in the magical and secretive city of Glorian, Where Dreams Descend tells the tale of a high-stakes magic show, starring Kallia, Jack, and Demarco. Each has secrets they're not willing to share, but as danger lurks between each act, they've got to reconcile with their pasts and secrets if they want to
Goodreads giveaway win!

3.5 Stars!

This was a hard book to rate.

It started off slow and I couldn't really get into it. I had no idea what was happening for the first 40 pages. You're kind of just thrown into the world with little explanation. I'm still not sure I understand the magic system. Maybe we'll learn more in book 2 which I am interested in reading.

In one of my updates I predicted that I would either love this book or hate it but I was wrong because I didnt love or hate it, but I did enj
May 25, 2021 added it
I didn't really know what to expect from Where Dreams Descend, although it is fair to say that I am a huge fan of anything magic before I continue on. Like, magic is what tied my friends and I together back in primary school. I mean, we no longer hang out obviously, but the respect is still there, y'know? The thought of magic simply just warms my heart.

I'm not bonkers over this book- like I don't hate it exactly but I don't love it either. It's just boring. I had never felt so disconnected with
nuin giliath
Apr 26, 2020 rated it did not like it
*ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

DNFed at 56%. This did not work for me at all - which is disappointing because I really wanted (and tried) to like it. I gave the story chance after chance to prove it had real potential, yet I just ended up feeling frustrated to the point that I simply had to stop.

At the beginning, I felt optimistic about this book and even found myself drawn in after a big twist early on. But everything started falling apart for me
Umairah | Sereadipity
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
4.5 stars

Where Dreams Descend is one of those rare books that actually surpassed my expectations. It seemed like the sort of book I would like but I didn't think I would end up adoring everything about it!

Content Warnings: misogyny, character death, emotional abuse, manipulation

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4.5/5
Writing: 4.5/5

Months after reading it, the characters and story are still fresh in my mind. Drawing inspiration from The Phantom of the Opera and Moulin Rouge, Angeles crafted a world that wil
Oct 23, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2020
I tried and I tried but I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it.
I’ve lost my interest and I cannot imagine continuing with this book. I got ~200 pages in and then just stopped reading.

The concept of the story is great and I think it had so much potential to be something greater; but unfortunately that potential was wasted. It could’ve been the next great thing, up there with throne of glass...

Once I heard that it’s a phantom of the opera retelling, I immediately wanted to read it. That’s the
lily ☁️
— 1 1/2 stars

Throughout the entirety of this book, one single thought haunted me, loath to acquiesce to my hopes of its evanescence: why should I care?

Blog | Bloglovin’ | Instagram | TumblrTwitter
Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loveeed the atmosphere and tension! More thoughts to come soon :)

Pssst. Visit me on Instagram!
May 24, 2020 marked it as to-read
sounds promising
aly ☆彡
Jun 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
I would love to venture more into magical circus books but my first experience with it has not been entirely pleasant (The Night Circus LMAO). And so, I don't really have any expectations on this one; especially when the book failed to grab my attention at the beginning. However, Where Dreams Descend proved to be dark, romantic and mysterious, I find myself truly enjoying the book ♡

The story was dramatic with a slow-paced start but once it started to pick up, I couldn't find myself putti
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Actual Rating: 3.5-3.75

Where Dreams Descend was one of my most anticipated reads of the year but with the knowledge that it was a debut, my feelings wavered between excitement and fear of over-hyping it in my head and making myself extra disappointed when I actually read it. Though this wasn’t the masterpiece I desired, Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles was beautifully written and though originally inspired by Cinderella, sold as a magical mix between Phantom of the Opera and Moulin Rouge
December 06, 2020: Like a dream played at the crack of dawn where a hopeful sunrise is awaited but the night still lingers, Where Dreams Descend is a beautiful quilt sprawled in a cold winter, hiding thorns in the softness, and jerking one awake from their dream of freedom to find walls standing tall around them.

read this review on my blog!

Reigning through a confident, magically overpowered, and an extremely talented woman—Kallia—who believes herself to be more than a mesmerizing dancer, an
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Goddess in the Machine (Goddess in the Machine, #1)
  • Star Daughter
  • Incendiary (Hollow Crown, #1)
  • Only When It's Us (Bergman Brothers, #1)
  • Meet Me at Midnight
  • Our Wayward Fate
  • Among the Beasts & Briars
  • Horrid
  • The Best Laid Plans
  • Pretty Things
  • Little Disasters
  • A Thousand Fires
  • 142 Ostriches
  • The Marriage Game
  • Red Hood
  • Loveboat, Taipei (Loveboat, Taipei, #1)
  • House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1)
  • The Gravity of Us
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Janella Angeles is a Filipino-American author who 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 Massa ...more

Other books in the series

Kingdom of Cards (2 books)
  • When Night Breaks (Kingdom of Cards, #2)

Articles featuring this book

This May, as we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we wanted to take an opportunity to shine a light on some of the...
265 likes · 46 comments
“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. And I've already come this far.” 13 likes
“Strange how applause was just noise, when you were all alone.” 12 likes
More quotes…