where dreams descend, when night breaks – janella angeles | duology review

– Reviews for the Kingdom of Cards duology by Janella Angeles –
1. Where Dreams Descend | 2. When Night Breaks

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Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles


Series: Kingdom of Cards #1
Published August 25th 2020 by Wednesday Books
Age Range: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Retelling
Representation: Asian

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis:

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


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Kallia left to prove that she’s the greatest magician out there. Entering the competition as the only female contestant, Kallia was frequently underestimated and scoffed at. With her first entrance, though, she stunned and wowed the crowd and judges, but that meant that she exposed herself to jealousy of others. It was there where she met Demarco, a grumpy and solemn judge who has a painful past. 

The whole setting is shrouded in mystery. Kallia’s perspective started at the mysterious mansion where she starred as the main showgirl with an equally enigmatic proprietor, Jack. Then, as she ventured out, Kalllia reached the city with a history nobody could remember. 

“For the dreamers who rarely saw themselves in stories and on stages. You belong in the spotlight. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.” 

A daring and powerful magician, Kallia constantly stepped out of her comfort zone, willing to go the extra mile to make her performance grander and grander. While her display of powers was spectacular to witness, some commented that Kallia was too flashy. It doesn’t help that magicians have been slowly disappearing without a trace as the competition progressed. 

Never wanted to be paired up, Demarco and Kallia were at odds. They couldn’t agree on the same thing and would openly argue. The only reason why Demarco ended up in this unremembered city was because of his missing sister, another magician. Being a judge wasn’t technically on his list, but the status might bring him closer to the truth, whatever it may be. Slowly, feelings develop as Demarco helps Kallia with her performances. 

I’m not overly invested in their romance since the problem of the missing magicians kept nagging me at the back of my mind. Also, I was more interested in Kallia’s showcases. She’s the only one brave enough to take risks which makes her performances even more fascinating to read about. As someone unfamiliar with The Phantom of the Opera, I can’t make judgments about the elements that were inspired from it within Where Dreams Descend. However, I liked the overall vibe that Janella Angeles grasped pretty well.

DO NOT VENTURE FURTHER IF YOU HAVEN’T READ BOOK ONE!
1. Where Dreams Descend | 2. When Night Breaks

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When Night Breaks by Janella Angeles


Series: Kingdom of Cards #2
Published October 5th 2021 by Wednesday Books
Age Range: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Retelling
Representation: Asian

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis:

The competition has come to a disastrous end, and Daron Demarco’s fall from grace is now front page news. But little matters to him beyond Kallia, the contestant he fell for who is now lost to this world and in the hands of a dangerous magician. Daron is willing to do whatever it takes to find her. Even if it means embarking on a dark and treacherous journey, risking more than just his life, with no promise of return.

After awaking in darkness, Kallia has never felt more lost. Especially with Jack by her side, the magician with who has the answers but cannot be trusted. Together, they must navigate a dazzling world where mirrors show memories and illusions shadow every corner, one ruled by a powerful game master who could all too easily destroy the world she left behind — and the boy she can’t seem to forget. With time running out, Kallia must embrace her role in a darker destiny, or lose everyone she loves, forever.


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Demarco is trying to find Kallia. She disappeared into the mirrors, at the end of Where Dreams Descend, with the enigmatic Jack. With her powers lost, and potentially never returned, Kallia worked her way through the other side by keeping her wits to her.

When we don’t have those answers, we make them. We build stories and find paths to take us in any direction. It keeps us moving forward, the hope that something might lead somewhere.

The other side of the mirror reflected another Glorian. A city made by a talented but evil magician, with devils circling in the sky waiting for a chance, and it was there where Kallia uncovers the truth behind her identity. Kallia meets someone named Roth, a magician that everyone fears and listened to. How can she tell between the truth and lies when everything is just an illusion? Kallia has to fight her way through to return back to her Glorian and Demarco.

Demarco’s powers are predatory. He is the reason why Kallia is without her powers in a foreign place. As Demarco desperately finds the connection between his world and the world within the mirrors, he finds out the history of the city of Glorian. On the other side, Kallia meets Roth’s devils and the people who followed him. Nobody can survive outside of his rule, but within, things are stirring up. Kallia reevaluated the people around her, especially Jack and Vain.

There’s always someone pulling strings, somewhere, even if you can’t see them.

2 thoughts on “where dreams descend, when night breaks – janella angeles | duology review”

    1. i’m not too sure about how close it is with phantom of the opera since i didn’t watch it before, but i was intrigued by the setting and atmosphere of where dreams descend and when night breaks!

      Like

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