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[Review] THE KINGDOM by Amanda Stevens

THE KINGDOM
Amanda Stevens

Cover CopyDeep 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 Thoughts: Another slow but sultry story from Amanda Stevens, but this time, things get darker and more personal for the main character, Amelia Gray. I loved the darker and creepier elements to this story, right from the cemetery at the bottom of the lake to the cold, sinister wind blowing down from the mountains. Amelia has left behind the man she became entangled with in THE RESTORER to travel to an island where she is to restore a graveyard, and though she tries to prevent it, she ends up becoming involved with another man. And once again, the sex has dire consequences. (I think I would like for Amelia to have sex at least once with consequences that are not quite so evil.)

As in THE RESTORER, the ghosts are creepy, but they’re not the only monsters Amelia runs into. There’s these Others. These otherworldly beings that are very dark, creepy, and dangerous. Things that smell like rotting flesh. Things that may be demons. We’re never really given a straight answer, which is just as well. Sometimes the creepy needs to remain unexplained or it loses its creepy factor.

The story is again slow to get going in the beginning, but once it catches momentum, it’s hard to stop. With the mystery kept in the dark until the end, and the non-stop action in the third act, THE KINGDOM is sure to keep you up at night.

Rating: A-
Series: The Graveyard Queen Series, #2
Publisher: Mira/Harlequin, April 2012
Acquired: gift

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About Sara Walker

Sara Walker is the founder of Urban Fantasy Land, a website established in 2008 that specializes in promoting urban fantasy and speculative fiction through book reviews, author interviews and more. An author and a librarian by day, Sara loves to read and promote authors. Sara's articles and fiction have been published in print and online. She is also the founder of Kawartha Lakes Authors & Writers Network, a resource for writers & authors in the City of Kawartha Lakes. Find out more about Sara at SaraWalker.net.