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What a beautiful book! Judy Lin takes us on a journey as we follow Ning. Ning must win the competition to save her sister from the poison she has ingested. The pacing of this book felt a bit strange to me as the first half of the book is a lot of character building and exploring, with very little of the actual competition actually happening. While the back half of the book you feel out of breath as the competition happens, and many mysteries reveal themselves.

I loved the way that Lin writes about the tea and the magic itself. I have never read anyone who takes as much time to describe the characteristics and way that the tea moves. Then going into the details of how it makes the person consuming the tea feel and act was a wonderful experience. Lin really does allow herself to fully step into creating her own magical world and not feel like she has to write it the same way that everyone else does.