The cover is a dream. Well, pink is still not my color, but it works great here. And after reading part one, I naturally wanted to know how the story ends. I liked the mystical aspect, even if I often had the impression that I was looking at anime characters.

A Venom Dark And Sweet-Was Uns Zusammenhält*
by Judy I. Lin
The Book Of Tea #2
Translation Michaela Kolodziejcok
Original Title A Venom Dark And Sweet
Publisher Fischer Sauerländer on August 30, 2023
Genre Fantasy
Pages 432
Format Hardcover
Source Fischer Sauerländer

The young tea magician Ning is on the run. Something evil has descended on the Kingdom of Dax, and the Exiled Prince has usurped the Dragon Throne. Together with the rightful princess of the empire, Ning is now looking for the brave and desperate to join them in order to reclaim the throne. But something else, much older than people's petty conflicts, has awakened and haunts Ning in her dreams... (personal translation by ©Vi at Inkvotary)
Ning is on the run and wants to help the rightful heir to the throne. To do this, she has to find some items and bring them back to the palace. Not easy when an entire army is chasing you and an ancient force that doesn't mean anything good is spreading through you.

The author has also written this second and final part of The Book of Tea Dilogy in a powerful and opulent manner. Judy I. Lin guides the reader through a wonderful landscape and scenes that are simply beautiful at a quick reading pace. What I particularly enjoyed was the fact that the plot followed seamlessly from the end of the first book and I was quickly back in the action.

A wide variety of characters are played off against each other here. The author shows fascinating characteristics of the individual characters. Not all successful, but certainly profound.

Ning has to prove her innocence. But she can only do this if she can get certain items and then use them in the palace. The way she does it is nice to watch, even though she always remained a bit strange to me and I did not really get access to her.

An opulent, visually stunning novel that I found almost better than its predecessor. The author takes the reader into a foreign realm and shows a fascinating culture that is delightful to look at and yet somehow remains strange and distant. Just read it for yourself and form your own opinion.

Happy reading

*Fischer Sauerländer kindly provided me this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you. 

Deutsche Rezension

Sprachgewaltig und sehr opulent hat die Autorin auch diesen zweiten und letzten Teil der The Book of Tea Dilogie verfasst. Dabei führt Judy I. Lin den Leser im zügigen Lesetempo durch eine herrliche Landschaft und Szenen, die einfach nur wunderschön sind. Was mich besonders erfreute, war die Tatsache, dass die Handlung nahtlos an das Ende vom ersten Buch anknüpfte und ich so wieder schnell im Geschehen war.

Die unterschiedlichsten Figuren werden hier gegeneinander ausgespielt. Dabei zeigt die Autorin faszinierende Eigenschaften der einzelnen Charaktere. Nicht alle gelungen, aber durchaus tiefgründig.

Ning muss ihre Unschuld beweisen. Das kann sie aber nur, wenn sie bestimmte Gegenstände an sich bringen und diese dann im Palast einsetzen kann. Die Art, wie sie das macht, ist schön zu beobachten, auch wenn sie mir immer etwas fremd blieb und ich keinen richtigen Zugang zu ihr bekam.

Ein opulenter, bildgewaltiger Roman, den ich fast besser fand als den Vorgänger. Die Autorin entführt den Leser in ein fremdes Reich und zeigt eine faszinierende Kultur, die reizvoll anzuschauen ist und doch irgendwie fremd und distanziert bleibt. Einfach selbst lesen und eigenes Urteil bilden.

Judy I. Lin
Judy I. Lin ©Aaron Perkins

Judy I. Lin, New York Times bestselling author of the Book Of Tea duology, was born in Taiwan and immigrated to Canada with her family as a young girl, where she still lives with her husband and daughters. As a child, whenever she could, she stuck her nose in a book and escaped into their imaginary worlds. Today she works as an occupational therapist by day and creates her own fantasy worlds at night.


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