An entertaining read!

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elena l. Avatar


Ning was the one who brewed the poison tea that killed her mother and left her sister ill. In order to save her sister's life, she decides to participate in the kingdom's tea-making competition to become the next royal shennong-shi (master of the ancient and magical art of tea-making) and ask a favor from the princess.

Blending magic and tea, everything in this novel has a deeper meaning - I was captivated by the tea ceremony in which Chinese poetry and thoughts incorporated added layer to the plot; the mention of gods followed by lush descriptions of food made me hungry while it was thrilling to read. Although I found the tactics interesting, I was personally less excited about the magical tea competition and more eager to know about the characters' story/past and their motivations. The flashbacks and the suspense around the mysterious boy and poisoned tea was delicious to read. Lin brings up the subjects of classism and power in an absorbing way. Finally, the pacing picks up towards the end, closing in a cliffhanger.

Full of betrayals, conspiracies, disputes and court politics, A MAGIC STEEPED IN POISON is a debut that I recommend and I am interested to see what happens next.