• A Magic Steeped in Poison

  • The Book of Tea, Book 1
  • By: Judy I. Lin
  • Narrated by: Carolyn Kang
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (176 ratings)

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A Magic Steeped in Poison

By: Judy I. Lin
Narrated by: Carolyn Kang
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Publisher's 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

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Refreshing and comforting like a good cup of tea

This book is a refreshing and interesting story steeped in a wonderful fantasy. When listening I imagined this story and its characters coming to life like a Wuxia or Chinese Fantasy film. I really loved the idea of a magic user who could blend the ritual and art of tea making and serving. I really appreciated the inclusion of queer characters in this setting and the fact that there are many women in different places of power as well as in the city guard. The pacing might be slower than you might be used to but it’s worth it, you can savor it. The performance by Carolyn Kang is wonderful as well, I really enjoyed listening to her. I felt like she did a good job with the different character voices.

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Great BIPOC fantasy!

𝙏𝙞𝙩𝙡𝙚: A Magic Steeped in Poison
𝘽𝙤𝙤𝙠 𝙍𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ning’s sister is dying. She’s been poisoned, and the only way for Ning to save her is to join the competition at the capital to find the Greatest shennong-shi. After she wins the competition and becomes the official master of the art of tea-based magic, the princess will owe her a favor. Then she can save her sister.

I read this book on kindle some but mostly listened to this on audible. The narrator Carolyn Kang was wonderful and brought the story alive. The writing was very good. The twists and turns had me hooked to the story.

I loved the world building and how the author incorporated the fantasy, magic, and poison. I especially loved the magic which was incredibly unique. The tea facilitated a unique psychological connection with the magic user and the recipient.

The competition was fierce and I was on the edge of my seat for each round. The deadly competition kept a great pace for the story and introduced so many fantastic characters.

The story ended on a delicious cliffhanger. Luckily book 2 is already out! I can’t wait to read it.

Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a review copy!

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Stunning

A very interesting premise. The heroine wasn’t silly or unreasonable. The system of magic is fully developed with clear rules and guidelines. LGBTQ+ characters

Credit well spent

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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  • Millsy
  • 09-22-22

What a cliff hanger!

I really enjoyed this book, it's very different to most of the books i usually listen to and all the more interesting for it.

The wide array of characters are all really likeable, or hateable. The narration was great, fleshing out individual characters and the story was really different and held my interest throughout the whole book and beyond, especially the very interesting form of magic I've not seen before. The cliff hanger ending was especially great and so unexpected, i can't wait to start book 2.

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  • Chelsea J
  • 07-08-22

excellent performance

excellent performance though the narrators voice is a bit weak.
the story is a little different to anything I'd heard before.

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  • Lila
  • 05-24-22

Captivating book with beautiful narration.

I started this book with a physical copy and bought the audio because I had to drive and couldn’t stop reading!! The narration only added to the beautiful characters and story… it was an absolutely perfect voice for the main character Ning with beautiful pronunciation that really brought the book to life. I adored this book so much, and is one of those audio books I know I’ll listen to over and over because of how enjoyable the experience was. Truly a masterpiece 👏