Review of A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin (earc)


A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin

Judy I. Lin’s sweeping debut A Magic Steeped in Poison, first in a duology, is sure to enchant fans of Adrienne Young and Leigh Bardugo.

I used to look at my hands with pride. Now all I can think is, “These are the hands that buried my mother.”

For Ning, the only thing worse than losing her mother is knowing that it’s her own fault. She was the one who unknowingly brewed the poison tea that killed her—the poison tea that now threatens to also take her sister, Shu.

When Ning hears of a competition to find the kingdom’s greatest shennong-shi—masters of the ancient and magical art of tea-making—she travels to the imperial city to compete. The winner will receive a favor from the princess, which may be Ning’s only chance to save her sister’s life.

But between the backstabbing competitors, bloody court politics, and a mysterious (and handsome) boy with a shocking secret, Ning might actually be the one in more danger.




My first thoughts while reading this was that I really wish I liked tea. Weird, I know. But there is so much in this book and it fascinated me. I loved all the herbs used, too.

I have been reading some great books in December and I just added this one to it. I found myself pulled into the book quickly and the pacing was great. Ning was so likeable and I wanted nothing but good things for her. She lied to get into the competition to try to save her sister. She also wanted to know who poisoned her mother. She met a boy that she liked and then found out some things about him that were not good. She made a friend, Lian, that I adored. The competition was really interesting and I also enjoyed the palace politics. There was so much going on in this book. Ning is cautious, but she found herself trusting some of the people around her. But there are threats against the princess and it affects everyone in the palace.

I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll leave it there. I just want to gush about the writing and story. The ending left me wanting the next book right away.

I gave this book 5 stars.

Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for my earc.

Warnings for blood/cuts, poison, talk of beatings, whipping, and torture, death.


Have you read this yet?  Is it on your TBR?





Author: confessionsofayareader

I'm Kristi. I'm a wife, mom, and grandma. I have been breeding leopard geckos for ten years. I love to read and have been trying to review more books (the reason for this blog besides wanting to talk about books with everyone). I also love music and going to concerts, mostly punk and pop punk.

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