Thursday, March 15, 2012

Early Review: The Kingdom by Amanda Stevens

The Kingdom (Graveyard Queen #2)
The Kingdom 
(Graveyard Queen #2)

by Amanda Stevens

Expected publication: March 27th 2012 by Mira

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.



My Review

4 stars

I'm so glad I had the chance to review this book in advance! I had just finished The Restorer and was dying to read the next book when I saw it available on Netgalley. It was fate, surely. *-* LOL. Well, The Kingdom picks up right where The Restorer ended, but this time, unfortunately, there's no Devlin in sight. There is, however, a much darker story for Amelia Gray to get caught into.

Amelia needs some time away from Charleston and John Devlin, so it was a very good thing she got a job to restore the Thorngate Cemetery in Asher Falls, a small town located in the lush Blue Ridge foothills of South Carolina. Even if the money to bring her there was donated anonymously and the woman who contacted her, Luna Kemper, turns out to be a very strange woman. Oh, and the city is almost deserted. A real ghost town. Literally.

On her way there, Amelia meets the charming Thane Asher, the 'apparent heir' of the Ashers, the family who has ruled Asher Falls for years. He's the one who tells her about the other Thorngate Cemetery. The one that was submerged in the flood that destroyed part of the town in the past. The one now residing under Bell Lake, which graces the view from the house Luna has chosen for her to stay during the restoration process. A house built on hallowed ground, very secluded and almost hidden by the forest. At night, the place is surrounded by the ghosts of the people buried in the flooded cemetery. But a ghost in special seems to be haunting her. And something more, something bigger, something even more dangerous, haunts the forest close by. And it wants her.

Very soon, Amelia realizes that Asher Falls hides many, many secrets. Hidden grave, murders unsolved, dog fights, dark magic, possessions and Evil unleashed. And most of these secrets have something to do with her. But  the people from Asher Falls want to leave the past in the past, and will do anything to stop her from investigating it.

The Kingdom was so beautifully written! Amanda Stevens doesn't disappoint us at all! She still has such a fantastic way with words and descriptions, she really makes you feel like you're there. The story has a very mysterious setting, a plot that thickens but doesn't tire and some passages are downright creepy! Really, this sequel is even darker than The Restorer, and it completely sucks you into a very complicated web of mystery and the Unknown. You can't put it down. Even if you try. LOL. Oh, Amelia is, no doubt about it, one of my favorite main characters ever.

I loved to meet Angus, a 'bait dog' used in dog fights that was left to starve in the forest, only to be rescued by Amelia. Their relationship was very heart-warming and it was so interesting to see how he reacted to the ghosts and how much he helped her throughout the book. Another fascinating character was Sidra, a young teen who happens to share Amelia's burden. Both of them had been behind 'The Veil', and now walk the paths of the living and the dead. 

Thane, the momentary love interest, was very intense and made for great moments in the book, but he's just wasn't for Amelia. And, oh, dear!!! It was SO very satisfying to finally find out about Amelia's past and origins! I can't say the whole thing wasn't predictable, but how   the murder and hidden grave came to be... WOW. It was very eery. Seriouly, it made my skin crawl. Even after I finished the book, it still took me a while to finally quit thinking about it and actually go to bed. (BTW, you might not want to end this book before bedtime. LOL). The secondary characters were all very bizarre, but so very curious! I really wanted to read more about them and their past actions. I hope to see more of some of them in the future.

The book ends with a huge cliffhanger!!! I can't wait to see what happens in The Prophet! And I can't wait to see more of Devlin!! :) Let's just hope the book comes out in the promised date this time. :P

If you like ghost stories with A LOT of mystery, a great, strong main character and generous touches of horror and creepiness (don't you just love this word?), go and devour this book right now!!! And if you haven't started the series yet, what are you waiting for? You're totally missing out!

*I was very lucky to receive an advanced e-copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

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