An intriguing and unique YA Asian fantasy

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A Magic Steeped in Poison was such a lush and beautiful read! Lin pulls unique elements from Chinese and Taiwanese tea culture, two important but often overlooked cultural elements of Chinese-speaking peoples. Though the various story elements by themselves were not wholly original, Lin deftly weaves them together to create a fresh fantasy narrative with an eye towards pacing and imagery.

That being said, there were definitely some elements that read as a debut novel, but none of them were too distracting. I think Lin’s writing and story craft are definitely standouts, though there were times when the plot felt a bit predictable by adhering to genre conventions that didn’t create as much tension as I would have liked. Still, Lin is definitely a standout debut author for me and I’m looking forward to continuing on with this duology!

5/5 stars