Paul has always been in the shadow of his outgoing sister Julia –she’s the one that’s always determined what they’ll do, or where they go. But one day, as they’re playing on the beach, she finds a rag doll, and it’s quickly clear that this doll has powers. Julia’s pulled into another world, and Paul immediately follows. It’s the first decision he must make in a string of decisions to save his sister.
It turns out the Ragwitch is a being of dark power that had once taken over in the land that Paul finds himself in, before the king found help to cast her out and trap her in a rag doll's body. She’s using Julia’s body now, and awakening all her old minions. Paul must awaken all the old allies against the Ragwitch, but Julia is still inside the Ragwitch, and she finds surprising allies to fight the Ragwitch from within.
This is older Nix – about five years before the first book of the Abhorsen series, and it is a bit rougher around that edges. The world building isn’t as complete, but it’s still an interesting world that Paul and Julia are navigating through, and fairly decent growing up story. It’s also relatively scary for its audience, which is why I’ve decided to include it in my RIP reading – I’m sure this story would have freaked me right the heck out if I’d read it first when I was in the proper demographic.