The enthralling conclusion to Judy I. Lin’s Book of Tea duology—A Magic Steeped in Poison and A Venom Dark and Sweet—is sure to enchant fans of Adrienne Young and Leigh Bardugo.
A great evil has come to the kingdom of Dàxi. The Banished Prince has returned to seize power, his rise to the dragon throne aided by the mass poisonings that have kept the people bound in fear and distrust.
Ning, a young but powerful shénnóng-shi—a wielder of magic using the ancient and delicate art of tea-making—has escorted Princess Zhen into exile. Joining them is the princess’ loyal bodyguard,Ruyi, and Ning’s newly healed sister, Shu. Together the four young women travel throughout the kingdom in search of allies to help oust the invaders and take back Zhen’s rightful throne.
But the golden serpent still haunts Ning’s nightmares with visions of war and bloodshed. An evil far more ancient than the petty conflicts of men has awoken, and all the magic in the land may not be enough to stop it from consuming the world…
Content Warning: violence, fight scenes, witnessed torture, death, disturbing events (mutilation,body horror, forced suicide, possession, and fire).
If you have not read book one, A Magic Steeped in Poison, run to your nearest bookstore or library to snag a copy.
Overall, A Venom Dark and Sweet is a stellar ending to Lin’s Book of Tea duology. My love for this enchanting series is difficult to put into words, all I can really say is if you loved book one, you have to get a copy of A Venom Dark and Sweet! The story picks up right where A Magic Steeped in Poison ends. My absolute favorite element is Lin’s world building. It was easy to settle back into the magical world Lin has crafted. A Venom Dark and Sweet is an exciting read, as much as I loved the lush setting, I loved the consequences. Nothing comes without a cost, which lately has been an idea I have been craving to read more about.
While I am not a fan of multiple point of views, the dual point of view work nicely with the story being told. This type of storytelling is popular, but not always done in a way that I enjoy. Worry not if this is something you dislike in your books, the dual perspective allow you to fully understand and explore Ning and Kang. What started as an enchanting world, now has rough edges. While darkness lurks and Ning’s abilities grow. A Venom Dark and Sweet pulled me in once Ning and Kang’s paths crossed, that is when I felt the dual perspective made the story a page turner.
If you are looking for a satisfying ending to an amazing story filled with a one of a kind magic system, enchanting lore, and compelling characters look no further than A Venom Dark and Sweet.
There is a difference between living the suffering and reading about it.
Now my path has crossed with two figures of legend-the prophesied princess and the Banished Prince- fighting for the future of the empire. In this complicated tapestry, what is my threat meant to be?
it is not unique to one god or the other. Those are human terms, human rules. All Magic is the Same. It is the vessel that shapes it.
About the Author
Judy I. Lin was born in Taiwan and immigrated to Canada with her family at a young age. She grew up with her nose in a book and loved to escape to imaginary worlds. She now works as an occupational therapist, and still spends her nights dreaming up imaginary worlds of her own. She lives on the Canadian prairies with her husband and daughter. A Magic Steeped in Poison is her debut novel.