The Kingdom by Amanda Stevens


This is the second book in The Graveyard Queen 6-book series. For the review on Book #1, please see the blog post, “The Restorer by Amanda Stevens”.

Set again, in South Carolina we follow the main character Amelia Grey as she heads for the mountains to work restoring a remote cemetery. Something that is quickly noticed that is severely different from the first book is that the love interest, John Devlin, is nowhere to be found. Instead, being replaced by another love interest named Thane…. who happens to be related to Amelia in some form or another.

The love story between Thane and Amelia seems forced almost like Amanda Stevens was told to add another love interest to the story as an after thought. Since I am #TeamDevlin, I did not like the fact that he was basically written off in this book and replaced by some random stranger – hot or not. Related to Amelia or not. By the way, related? Really? That’s disgusting. Especially when they start making out and going down on each other. He’s supposed to be her half brother. Half or not, yuck.

What I liked best about this story in Book #2 is that Amelia’s abilities/powers really seem to mature and we get a good glimpse into her past ie) she was adopted and her parents are from the remote mountain town where she was summoned to restore their grave yard. In this book, everything seems to be tied together. The reason she’s there, who she talks to, why she doesn’t go home when things start to heat up.

I love the fact that Amelia finds another girl in the town that is just like her – that is, she sees dead people (no pun intended). Amelia then sort of takes this girl “under her wing” while she’s in town.

Immediately, however, we are aggravated by the constant droning of “tickle on the back of my neck” “crawling up my spine” analogies. For the second time, there are other ways to describe the fact that something isn’t right with someone intuition or that something is scary.

There are many references to something evil being on the wind and the weather in the town really plays into that terror, from the wind, to the water, to the leaves blowing… etc… Those elements, I liked, because they added to the suspense. You know, these elements start going crazy when it starts getting scary in the story – the tension!

This “ghost” story really did scare me all the way down to my psyche. With monsters/evil sprits/ghosts on the wind, every turn of the page seems to be electric with scary bits. There’s even a disoriented part in the story where Amelia gets lost in the woods while something evil is pursuing her. You really get into the character in this book and it is NERVE WRECKING.

As the story progresses, we meet Amelia’s grand mother (and her mother’s ghost) as well as find out information about her birth father. We meet her half-brother (in the form of her love interest Thane), and meet her grand-father on her fathers side as well. It’s a whole family reunion. We learn about her grand-parents love affair and (spoiler) why her mother was killed and just how Amelia even came to see ghosts.

Just like the review of the first book, I loved the sultry southern setting. The plot was rich with creativity as long as you look past its descriptive short-comings. Even the weird family love story was intriguing to a certain degree (Don’t kiss her! She’s your sister!!).

I did enjoy that Amelia’s character was able to mature a little during Book #2, instead of it being the same as Book #1 we find out more about her as a person, she discovers more about her family and herself.

And at the end of the book, it ends on a happy note with her returning to her home and to John Devlin.

GSS 4 Stars