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Monday, February 19, 2024

Book Review: Island Witch by Amanda Jayatissa

Island Witch
by Amanda Jayatissa
February 20, 2024

Publisher: Berkeley
ISBN: 9780593549261
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.


Amara is the daughter of the village Capuwa, a demon-priest, and a mother who was once part of rich, influential family of the island, until she got pregnant and ran away with Amara’s father. When something starts seizing men in the jungle and harming them, the villages accuse her father of causing the attacks.

A tense, spooky tale of a young woman's inner rage against how she is treated and even lied to, where her inner demon hidden beneath her skin is let loose by one living in the dark jungle. This is a story of all women chained to their lives by men, parents and more, where sometimes the villain becomes the savior.

I gave Island Witch 5 sheep.



Reviewed by Pamela K. Kinney

About the Author:

Amanda Jayatissa loves to read disturbing books with shocking plot twists, so it seemed logical to her that she should attempt to write disturbing books with shocking plot twists.
She is one of the first Sri Lankan women to secure an international book contract.
Her first traditionally published novel, MY SWEET GIRL, won Best Debut Novel at the International Thriller Writers Awards in 2022.
Her second novel, YOU'RE INVITED, was selected as a Book of The Month pick in July 2022 and was featured on The Today Show.
She grew up in Sri Lanka and has lived in the California bay area and British countryside, before relocating back to her sunny island, where she lives with her husband and two Tasmanian-devil-reincarnate huskies.

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