Dokebi Bride, Vol 1–6
written by Marley
Dokebi Bride is a teen manhwa series where shamans rule supreme. However, that doesn’t mean shamans don’t have their fair share of life-and-death problems. Sunbi is a teenager who’s inherited shamanic powers from the women in her family, including her grandmother and her mother. Unfortunately, her mother was not able to cope with these powers and died when Sunbi was young. Some people say the cause of death was “demon possession.”
Sunbi is raised by her grandmother while her father remarries and moves on with his life. Sunbi’s grandmother is a very wise and calm woman, admired by many. As a young child, Sunbi can see and talk to spirits, being taught how to handle each one by her beloved grandmother.
But then the grandmother dies and Sunbi is sent to live with her father in the city. Here she fails to get along with her stepmother and stepsister and has an even worse time at school. She’s standoffish, so everyone thinks she’s a snob. When she tries to explain to them she sees things other people don’t, they believe she’s insane. They also believe her mother was insane.
Sunbi sees spirits all the time and some of them are terrifying. A gruesome spirit is sitting at her school desk, but she still has to sit there because no one else knows what the problem is. She’s haunted by nightmares and visions. Will she meet the same awful end as her mother? Without her grandmother, how can she control the spirits?
Dokebi Bride has many morbid and chilling elements to it. Nonetheless, it’s really not a horror book. It also has cute and humorous moments. Dokebi are goblin-like creatures of Korean mythology, and one brutish but well-meaning Dokebi falls in love with Sunbi. She rebuffs him. It doesn’t change things, and this Dokebi brings some lighter moods into the story. Despite the fact that he doesn’t come into the story right away, we can thank him for the title. He insists Sunbi is his bride, though she’s ready to make it clear that’s only true in his imagination.
Different types of readers might be drawn to Dokebi Bride. For starters, there are manhwa and graphic novel fans. But people who are interested in shamanism, particularly Korean shamanism, might also want to take a look. There’s a mystical and occult side to Dokebi Bride that will catch the interest of some readers too. Marley additionally gives a foreword to each volume, and some of her own opinions on shamans are very interesting. Sunbi’s feeling of being an outcast can also be cathartic to teen readers, though this is a series that can interest adults as well.