by Amanda Stevens
Series: Graveyard Queen #2
Published by: Harlequin
Deep in the shadowy foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies a dying town...
My name is Amelia Gray. They call me The Graveyard Queen. I’ve been commissioned to restore an old cemetery in Asher Falls, South Carolina, but I’m coming to think I have another purpose here.
Why is there a cemetery at the bottom of Bell Lake? Why am I drawn time and again to a hidden grave I’ve discovered in the woods? Something is eating away at the soul of this town—this withering kingdom—and it will only be restored if I can uncover the truth.
I am totally in love with the Graveyard Queen series! It has all of the elements I love in a good urban fantasy. We have excellent characters, a little paranormal woo-woo and lots of mystery and suspense. I totally want to be a cemetery restorer now! The Kingdom delivers a creeptasitc tale and is perfect for fall.
The tale picks up shortly after the Restorer ends and Amelia Gray has accepted a commission to restore Thorngate cemetery located in Asher Falls, South Carolina. She is happy for the distance it puts between her and John Devlin. On the ferry ride over she learns some creepy things about Bell Lake from Thane Asher; grandson of the powerful family residing there. As soon as she arrives, the creepiness I have come to love from Stevens begins. The strange Realtor and the rental home on the hollow ground, makes Amelia wonder who exactly requested she is given this job. The tale that unfolds is filled with suspense, mystery, and things that go bump in the night! Amelia begins to feel a pull from this place and what she uncovers …Eep!
Steven’s has created some really unique characters with the residence of Asher Falls and I for one will never visit. Amelia is slowly dealing with her abilities and despite all the rules her father taught her; she takes chances and experiments. She is not without fear, but fearless in the face of danger. I love that she just does not run. I mean if all of this freaky stuff was happening to me, I think I would be on the next ferry out! She is inquisitive, pushes people’s buttons to gauge their reactions and does not like to be warned away. She gains a new friend in an injured dog, and he becomes her constant companion. Thane is handsome, broken and aids Amelia. There is a little romance that develops and it’s wrapped in a little woo-woo. Amelia struggles with feelings for Devlin and her attraction to Thane. While I like Thane and he was certainly swoon-worthy, I was never really sure if I trusted him. From the women, Thane refers to as the “witches of Asher Falls” to the sociopath teen who has a crush on Thane these secondary characters add to the ominous feel of the town and its secrets.
Steven’s did a fantastic job of describing Asher Falls, its people, and Thorngate cemetery. I became completely immersed in the tale and it felt so genuine that I had goosebumps. She provided just enough details about the townsfolk to queue the creepy music in my head and let my imagination run wild. The Asher’s, their home and the cemetery oozed with supernatural elements. If you are a Doctor Who fans like me the statues in the Asher family plot will have you running and shouting, “ Don’t Blink.” We learned more about Amelia herself and I found the details fascinating. While Devlin did not make an appearance, his presence was felt. I was still left with a few unanswered questions and felt some things were rushed, but I cannot wait for book three. I am secretly hoping to see the CW pick this up as a series; to air right after Supernatural. I would totally watch it!
I highly recommend The Kingdom to fans of mystery, suspense and paranormal woo-woo. While this book can be read as a standalone, I do not recommend it. The Prophet is the next book in the series and I will be reviewing that for you in December. There is also a novella called the Abandoned which is a prequel to the Restorer; book one in the Graveyard Queen series.
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