The Kingdom (The Graveyard Queen #2) by Amanda Stevens
Released: 27th March 2012
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.
The Restorer was one of my favourite books of last year, so naturally when I saw the sequel, The Kingdom, on Netgalley I practically fell over myself in my haste to request it.
The Kingdom sees our heroine Amelia heading off to a creepy, practically abandoned town for a mysterious restoration. Amelia is still shaken from the events of The Restorer, but she soldiers on bravely, and that's something I really admire about her. She's strong and independent and a hard worker and she's easy to like.
One thing Amanda Stevens really excels at is atmospheric writing. You really feel exactly what she wants you to feel in these books, whether that's a prickly sense of foreboding, deep suspicion or heart-wrenching sympathy, you get a whole host of very genuine emotions. I pretty much felt suspicious, hesitant and even freaked out all the way through reading this which I think is a great achievement on the author's part.
I liked the mystery element of this one, not as much as the previous book because it's less murder mystery-esque but still nicely complex and I was left guessing all the way through. I felt like I had all the strands of the story, I just couldn't bring them together to form a cohesive picture, until it was all revealed. which was really clever.
The cast of characters were all really fleshed out and interesting...I liked all the backstories to them and to the town as well. I definitely found most of them fairly sinister which fitted the tone of the book perfectly. Thane Asher was an interesting character; but sadly he just didn't do it for me as much as John Devlin in The Restorer.
We find out a lot more about Amelia, her gift and her origins in this book which answered a lot of questions left over from The Restorer. Her backstory was both tragic and intriguing and I'm glad we got to hear it. There are still enough unanswered questions from both this book and the first to leave me hungry for more and needless to say I picked up The Prophet within hours of finishing this (and it was only that late because I had to work...)
Overall, I really enjoyed the feel and plot of this book and Amelia was as much of a loveable character as in the previous book. But it lacked a little something for me, hence the slightly lower rating. My review of book one of the Graveyard Queen series--The Restorer
This series is now going to be published in the UK! The Restorer was released in February and you can buy it here