Island Witch by Amanda Jayatissa: Powerful and Emotional

Set in 19th century Sri Lanka and inspired by local folklore, the daughter of a traditional demon-priest—relentlessly bullied by peers and accused of witchcraft herself—tries to solve the mysterious attacks that have been terrorizing her coastal village.

Being the daughter of the village Capuwa, or demon-priest, Amara is used to keeping mostly to herself. Influenced by the new religious practices brought in by the British Colonizers, the villagers who once respected her father’s craft have turned on the family. Yet, they all still seem to call on him whenever supernatural disturbances arise.

Now someone—or something—is viciously seizing upon men in the jungle. But instead of enlisting Amara’s father’s help, the villages have accused him of carrying out the attacks himself.

As she tries to clear her father’s name, Amara finds herself haunted by dreams that eerily predict the dark forces on her island. And she can’t shake the feeling that it’s all connected to the night she was recovering from a strange illness, and woke up, scared and confused, to hear her mother’s frantic cries: No one can find out what happened.

Island Witch by Amanda Jayatissa is powerful and emotional. From the very beginning, the novel drops you right into the culture, immersing you in Amara’s world and the authentic life of the historical time. The details of the culture and their beliefs will keep you captivated as you are drenched in the pain and horror that Amara struggles with as she attempts to find out why she and the village seem to be haunted. And it becomes clear that the story is all about the horror of both the real world as much as the supernatural. 

I love the way Amanda Jayatissa blends the real with the fantastic, the supernatural horror with the horror of man as Amara attempts to regain her own power as a woman in a world that allows women very few choices. The story does an excellent job of revealing the rich history of Sri Lanka, the culture and both the positive and negative aspects of how women were treated during the time. That blend of real and supernatural will hold you spellbound until the end, the horror never ending as you realize all that Amara is subjected to in the pursuit of her truth and her own power.

If you like historical supernatural horror, this is the novel for you. It will immerse you in the culture and history of Sri Lanka, keeping you engaged and caught up with Amara as she delves into the supernatural attacks around her. The story is so absorbing you will struggle to put it down and the ideas will resonate with you long after you finish the novel.

Rating: 5 out of 5 demons

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Verified by MonsterInsights