It's cover reveal time!
But before we finally share this absolutely incredible cover for A Magic Steeped in Poison, here's a little bit from Judy I. Lin about how she feels about the cover for her debut novel and how it relates to the book.
When I was in sixth grade, I wrote my first fantasy story. It was about a group of friends who fell into a portal and conquered the kingdom on the other side. In the years that followed, I read story after story with familiar, medieval settings. It wasn’t until I was in university that I picked up a fantasy book with a girl who looked like me on the cover. As I flipped through the pages, I noticed familiar elements: the food, the adventures, the clothing . . . so many little details about the culture that made me feel seen (the book was Silver Phoenix
by Cindy Pon). I never realized until then how little of myself I saw in the books I devoured as a child and as a teen. I hoped one day that I’ll be able to write a book like that, a book that would have meant so much to teen-me.
More than a decade later, A Magic Steeped in Poison
is my debut novel, and there is a girl on the cover who looks like she stepped out of a Chinese xianxia drama. Sija Hong’s art is spectacular and took my breath away the first time I saw it. There are so many elements she captured: the water lilies and lotus flowers, the carps and snakes, and then my main character Ning is in the center. Holding a teacup, wielding her magic. Scared, but defiant. Reminding me of the fear I felt when I first started writing her story. Afraid I would get it wrong, that it wouldn’t be good enough, that I wouldn’t be good enough to write it. And yet, here it is. My love story to the myths and legends I grew up within a Taiwanese household, to the Hong Kong wuxia movies, to the Chinese period dramas. I’m so grateful to Sjia and Rich for putting together this cover. It is so much more vibrant and beautiful than I could have ever imagined.
So? Are you ready to see it?
WE HOPE SO!!!
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.
Art by Sija Hong, cover design by Rich Deas
On Sale: March 22, 2022
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