Series: Graveyard Queen #2
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Published by: Mira on March 27, 2012
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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 received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
After her brush with death and the end of her relationship with detective John Devlin in The Restorer, the Graveyard Queen, Amelia Gray is back to work restoring cemeteries. Wanting a change of scenery, she accepts a proposal to restore a cemetery that takes her to the small town of Asher Falls, South Carolina. When she begins to “dig” into the rich history of the town and family secrets are revealed, Amelia is confronted with the unknown ghosts of her past. It’s here where she soon learns the living can be more frightening than any graveyard!
“The only place I ever felt truly at home was the cemetery. My graveyard kingdom.”
Amelia is looking for a distraction to nurse her broken heart and what better way than to get far away from the place where it all started. When she arrives at Asher Falls she is quickly introduced to the somewhat eccentric inhabitants and its ghosts. Amelia is both frightened and intrigued by the mystery surrounding the town and cemetery she has been hired to restore. Not one to fear much, Amelia feels watched by the townspeople at every turn. If that wasn’t enough the angelic statues at Thorngate Cemetery seem to have a fixation on her as well. Her only allies are a young schoolgirl who seems to share her “spirit seeing” abilities, the disfigured stray dog she takes in and the black sheep of the Asher family, the handsome Thane Asher and Tilly, the old woman who always seems to get Amelia out of trouble.
Her stay at Asher Falls becomes increasingly dangerous as she slowly uncovers the truth about long ago events that ended in tragedy. Amelia is on the verge of discovering her connection to Asher Falls, and when all is revealed, her life will forever be changed. Destiny has brought her here to set things right but she’ll have to face more than ghosts to uncover the truth and survive.
“I should seek sanctuary. I knew that. By acknowledging the dead, I was once again tempting fate. But the door had already opened and I needed to know why I had been brought here. I needed to know the secrets of my destiny. I needed to know why I was so drawn to Thane Asher.”
First let me just say I instantly became a fan of Amanda Stevens when I finished The Restorer, the first in the Graveyard Queen series. That being said, THE KINGDOM surpassed my expectations with Stevens’ eloquent and gothic writing style. The story magically flows to create a dark and haunting setting that will have you biting your nails and questioning every shadow!
Amelia continues to be a stellar heroine. She’s smart, independent and courageous, even when she’s spooked occasionally she stands her ground. I wasn’t thrilled about her relationship with Thane Asher (I’m Team Devlin all the way!) but didn’t put too much emphasis on it, I know he’s not the man for Amelia and apparently she does too! There is an element of self-discovery for our heroine in The Kingdom and I enjoyed taking that journey with her. She’s come a long way and I cant wait to see what the future holds for her (and Devlin!).
Praise to Ms. Stevens for a spectacular sequel! THE KINGDOM is another captivating story that has a “little something” for every book lover. It’s easy to get lost in Amelia’s world with the author’s striking attention to detail and suspense driven plot. Amelia might be the Graveyard Queen but her creator is the Queen of telling a hauntingly beautiful story!