Kallia, a showgirl in a mysterious nightclub, escapes to the city beyond the woods, where a magical contest will take place to find the headliner for the Circus of the Conquerors. Her ex boss Jack haunts her as she finds her place and becomes friends with the enigmatic Magician Daron Demarco. This is a debut novel that delivers fantasy in a haunting new world full of magic, mystery, and romance.
This was such an interesting novel! Set in a world full of magicians. Some of whom work in service using their powers to build, lift, and sew. Basic skills that become a little easier, or more special through the use of magic, yet that skill keeps them on their own social level. Everyone in this world strives to be the most magical, and the elite are performers who draw the spotlight away from the depths of despair the other members of society are doomed to live.
Kallia’s previous life at her nightclub in the woods was a place filled with grandeur, yet she felt imprisoned by the Master. She escapes that place but not him and their relationship changes from friend, to lover, to enemy, to hero (?). She was obviously confused about how she felt about Jack but mine were much simpler. I was fascinated by him. A magician who could plant memories in people? That could be used for good or evil and it seemed Jack rode a fine line. Kallia herself was a mixture of snark, shine, and insecurity. Character traits I’m not usually drawn to but she was actually a really interesting character and I grew to like her. Not to sound like a broken record but Demarco was also a bit…mysterious. His place on the judges panel and his reasons for being on it remained unclear for but his growing involvement with Kallia and his conflicted feelings about her made you want to see the story through to the end.
When Dreams Descend was dark but it was also pretty special. I thought the scenes where the magicians performed were well done and their magic was easy to follow. The author wrote them almost like a fight scene and my imagination didn’t have any trouble following her direction. The story also held my interest and I didn’t have any trouble immersing myself in this fantasy world. A solid book one for this debut author! I can’t wait to read the sequel when it comes out.
I received a copy of this ARC from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.
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