Where Dreams Descend is a romantically gorgeous fantasy of a talented magical woman mesmerising the world in search of ambition and freedom while a mysterious magician who doesn’t use his magic anymore finds himself astonished at the admiration he has for this equally mysterious beauty; all in the midst of a stage competition where former is the contestant and latter is a judge. Not to forget a mystifying keeper of the club who promises dreamy performances under the chandeliers hanging in an equally puzzling venue. With a writing so beautiful and a setting so ravishing, this debut is not to be missed. This blog post may contain affiliate links. To know more about them, please read my disclaimer.
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.
Q/A with Janella Ageles on her debut young adult fantasy of magic, ambition, and heart.
Where Dreams Descend has gotten such amazing, well-deserved praise from other fantasy writers and the early readers. What do you think is the most gravitating aspect of the book: the mesmerising performances, a beautifully strong woman, the secrets unveiled, or the magical twists that hook? [Spoiler: Correct answer includes all four.]
Oh gosh, thank you so much!! One of my favorite things so far since beginning the publishing process of this book is seeing how many Phantom of the Opera, Moulin Rouge, and The Night Circus fans have risen in my mentions because of their excitement for a book the combines all three—so that is definitely a draw! The comp titles are as flashy and larger than life as the story itself, but ultimately, I feel like what would draw me to this book if I were an objective reader is that feeling of escaping through a spectacle.
This year and the world right now have been enormously challenging, and I think everyone is looking for a fun, transportive escape because we need it now more than ever. Just from looking at the cover, it’s pretty clear you’re in for a show, and I hope people can take all the magic and escapism from it that they need.
The lyrical writing of this book perfectly sets the atmosphere and narrates passionately through three main characters. Whose POV was the most fun to write through Kallia, the ambitious female magician; Jack, the enigmatic club master; or Demarco, the brooding judge?
100% Kallia’s, for sure! We are extremely different people (I’m so much more quiet, even-tempered, and have stage fright), so it was fun to put on the hat of someone who had such a different personality from me. She also gets to wear fabulous outfits, perform in dazzling numbers, tell off terrible men, and be the star of the show—it was impossible not to have great time in her POV!
Gender inequality and sexism are the underlying themes explored in this fantasy world, and Kallia’s resilience as a woman is impressive & inspiring. What was the best part of creating this ferocious magician?
Literally EVERYTHING. I’d never written a main character like Kallia before. All of my previous protagonists were usually more reserved, quieter characters, so writing someone like Kallia was so, so refreshing. And satisfying. I’m not at all confrontational in nature, but Kallia is—so any time she is wronged or made to feel silly or less than in the book, she does not let it slide and man, was it cathartic to write a voice like that.
It was also just so fun to write a character who is truly confident and sure of herself, her hard work, and her abilities—and unapologetically so. So often we see heroines torn down because of their desire for power and ambition, automatically seen as a dark and sinister traits to many. But in Kallia, it was important to celebrate talent and power and being proud of oneself for it all—not as a deep flaw she must overcome, but as something that drives her forward and truly makes her the fierce character she is.
She 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 Massachusetts, where she’s most likely to be found listening to musicals on repeat and daydreaming too much for her own good. Where Dreams Descend is her first book.
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This post is written for a promotional blog tour hosted by the publicist of this book but everything stated in the post, except for the responses by the author, is solely my opinion and recommendation.