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Summary

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.

©2022 Judy I. Lin (P)2022 Listening Library

What listeners say about A Magic Steeped in Poison

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Profile Image for Eddie Waller II
  • Eddie Waller II
  • 08-06-22

Stunning original tale

This is a wonderful book that captivates it’s readers. It has LGBT love interests MM AND FF as well as drama, betrayal and a beautifully written storyline. Can’t wait for book two

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Jennifer Wood
  • Jennifer Wood
  • 22-05-22

A good time 👍

The performance was good, but I couldn't tell prose from dialog. The story had some really good vibes, and the writing was solid. And although it wasn't the main focus, there is some queer rep. However, the plot was a little lacking, so was the romance. Overall, it was great.

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  • Kelly Chen
  • 21-05-22

Amazing

A magic system based on brewing of tea following the mythology of one of Chinese pantheon's founding emporer gods (Shen Nong, who in mythology has tasted thousands kind of herbs and plantation to create medicine). Also just a plain good court drama that is very faithful to the spirit of Gongdou (a particular genre of historical Chinese drama show where people fight for power in Chinese court. Usually in the form of officials/concubines fighting for power and sabotaging each other with very clever tricks and absolutely brutal). But also just a great book with twists and turns, shifting alliances and complicated plots coupled with an amazing tournament arc and fantasy elements. This feels very much in the vein of She Who Became the Sun but YA, where the story feels very much rooted in Chinese culture and tradition.

Ps. The description of food makes me wanna go home.

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  • Amazon Friendly
  • 16-05-22

Loved it, can't wait for the next book.

If your looking for non-stop action and magic battles this isn't the book for you. It is not a quick-paced book, but I found it engaging and enjoyable. I related to the main character and understood how she felt. The descriptions were wonderfully done without being too descriptive and boring, I drift off if authors dive too much into the description. This was an original story and I enjoyed the magical world the author created, the narrator did a wonderful job, and will look for other books she's narrated.

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  • Hope
  • 12-04-22

SO good

loved it! The story is enthralling and reader engaging. My only issue was sometimes the differentiation between Ning's narrative and actual dialog wasn't the clearest. However, this became less of an issue the further in I got as I became more familiar with the character and reader.

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  • Mal
  • 09-04-22

Wanted to like this, but…

I kept waiting for this to take off but it never has, much to my dismay. I can’t finish this. I tried. Don’t go by reviews. I’m thinking about returning it. I don’t recommend.

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  • Corbin
  • 06-04-22

Amazing

It's been awhile since a book that has vividly drawn a mental picture for me while listening. I could picture every detail and scene. This book is great. The start is slow. The middles picks up and runs with the story all the way to the end. Each turn of events surprising me. The ending hand me on the edge of my seat and I am ready for the next book.
The narrator fits the feeling of this book perfectly. Her inflections on words are precise. The slight difference in her voice acting for each character is distinct. Good job!

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  • HC
  • 05-04-22

The Magic of Tea and Trust

I enjoyed this story that mixed traditional practices of tea and a little martial arts with vibrant healing magic and poison. The main character is strong and smart and the supporting cast of characters raise the beautifully painted scenes to life.