Picture of author.

Judy I. Lin

Author of A Magic Steeped in Poison

10 Works 1,687 Members 39 Reviews

About the Author

Includes the name: Judy I Lin

Image credit: judyilin.com/about-me


Works by Judy I. Lin


(8) 2022 (5) adventure (4) AOC (5) BIPOC (3) BNB (4) book of tea (5) books-i-own (5) China (10) Chinese (7) competition (7) diverse (3) ebook (8) family (3) fantasy (80) fiction (25) folklore (4) historical (5) KTB (5) library (5) magic (30) mystery (3) novel (3) own (4) poison (14) politics (3) princess (5) read (6) romance (6) series (13) sff (5) tea (20) teen (4) The Book of Tea (10) to-read (114) unread (8) YA (29) young adult (40) young adult fantasy (10) young adult series (3)

Common Knowledge

Taiwan (birth)
Country (for map)
occupational therapist
Rachel Brooks (BookEnds Literary Agency)
Short biography
Judy I. Lin, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of the Book of Tea duology (A Magic Steeped in Poison and A Venom Dark and Sweet), 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 daughters.



Originally posted on Just Geeking by.

Content warnings:
Listed at the start of the ARC by the publisher:

mentioned death of family members
fantasy violence

Xue’s past is marked by a tragedy that left her orphaned and her family name struck from memory in an ancient custom. Taken in by her uncle, he does everything he can to help Xue prosper in a society that treats her as lesser. She’s a talented musician, and he arranges an apprenticeship at the esteemed House of Flowing Waters, a house that provides entertainment from the most skilled entertainers in the kingdom.

While Xue is treated well at the House, her future is bleak. Unlike the other adepts, her low social status means that her only option is to play the qin for rich nobles. A life that would turn her love of music into one of servitude rather than letting her explore her music and travel. So when an unusual noble asks for her to perform for him several times, leading to him offering to buy her contract. It’s unexpected, but Duke Meng is offering Xue a future that she thought would never be possible. It’s a chance she has to take.

Xue has no way of knowing that the estate Duke Meng is taking to her isn’t in the mountains… it’s on the Celestial Plane, and he’s actually the Duke of Dreams, a Celestial who watches over mortal’s dreams. He needs Xue’s help, her music is the only thing that can help unlock secrets that will save the Six Realms from a malevolent evil.

In Song of the Six Realms, Lin has once again created a magical combination of East Asian folklore and fantasy. In the Book of Tea duology, tea and poison were the foundation of her world-building and in this new book Lin has focused on music, poetry and dreams. These themes suffuse every fibre of this book as Lin tells us Xue’s story, weaving her and Meng’s stories together along with their shared love of music and poetry.

This is a romance, however, it is one of many themes and sub-plots in Song of the Six Realms. If it isn’t something you’re a fan of, or like me, you can take it or leave it, then there is plenty more happening. Lin’s world-building is beautiful and filled with wonderful twists and turns that kept my interest piqued from start to finish. The only thing that kept this from being a four-star to me was that I felt the big reveal and related details were a little rushed.

Other than that, everything else was the quality I expected to find in a book by Judy I. Lin, with strong character writing, and backstories that drew me in at every turn. Song of the Six Realms is a must-read!

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justgeekingby | 1 other review | May 3, 2024 |
“The more you ask of the magic the more it takes.”

I read this book for our September bookclub read. The author was born in Taiwan and moved to Canada as a child. This novel is set in a fantasy world based on the mythology of ancient China. The main character Ning grows up in the rural Su province. After the death of her mother and perilous illness of her sister Shu due to poisoning, she decides to travel to the Imperial Palace in the capital city Jia for a competition for all the Shennong-shi in an attempt to save her sister’s life. The Shennong-shi are apprenticed to the ancient art of tea making and the magic it contains. While she is in the capital she makes a friend Lian, becomes part of the royal household, and meets a handsome boy with a secret past in the marketplace, in a sort of Aladdin moment. Ning gets drawn into the ruthless court politics and intrigue and discovers treachery and danger.

I loved the concept of tea magic and the setting based on ancient China. The book started off very well and I was captivated by the contest and story, but the middle section of the book dragged, and lost my interest entirely. My other difficulty was that I don’t mind reading YA provided I can forget it’s YA while I’m reading it. In this case the classic YA insta-romance spoiled things for me, and there were parts that drifted into somewhat cerebral dramatics. The audiobook narrated by Caroline Kang was OK, although her pronunciation of the Mandarin-based words was exquisite. The cast were Chinese with a few sapphic or gay side characters. Overall this was a 3.5 star read for me.
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mimbza | 30 other reviews | Apr 27, 2024 |
SONG OF THE SIX REALMS by Judy I. Lin is a beautiful story that is almost lyrical in its prose. The entire narrative has an ethereal quality to it that, I feel, mimics Xue’s music. The romance between Xue and the Duke is sweet in its naivety. And it is lovely to watch Xue grow in confidence and strength as she learns to fight for herself. SONG OF THE SIX REALMS is a welcome break from all of the Eurocentric fairy tales that exist, and I will gladly read anything else Ms. Lin publishes.
jmchshannon | 1 other review | Apr 22, 2024 |
lindywilson | 30 other reviews | Jan 3, 2024 |



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