Deep in the shadowy foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies a dying town...My Thoughts: I'm in full on fangirl flail mode with this series. The writing is so incredibly evocative and beautiful. I feel like I'm walking through the dying town of Asher Falls with Amelia. I can feel the land seeping into me and trying to twist me up like it does to Amelia. Every word has weight. Every sideways glance Amelia feels on her sends a shiver down my spine.
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.
And oh, the story. The story is beautiful and tragic and terrible and I really didn't know who Amelia should trust. Everyone she comes into contact with seems suspect. The actions of the townsfolk, the secrets, the sly glances all ratchet the tension higher and higher until I was sure that there was no one Amelia could trust. Added to all that is the theme of family and blood ties. As Amelia was adopted, family ties intrigue her. This dying town she's come to is intrinsically linked to the Asher family, run by the domineering patriarch Pell Asher.
Interestingly enough, although Detective John Devlin isn't in this book, he's a HUGE presence. Amelia is still drawn to him, although she knows that she should let him go. A possible romance with a local is constantly interrupted by thoughts of Devlin and his ghosts. Speaking of which, the ghosts of Asher Falls are wonderfully creepy. The idea of a cemetery that's been consumed by a lake gives me the shivers. The darkness that lives in the mountains was beautifully imagined and kept me feverishly turning the pages.
Amelia is one of those characters that tries her hardest to fade into the background and yet she's so alive in my mind that it's almost startling. Amanda Stevens has created a truly breathtaking world here, one that I have a hard time leaving. In fact, book 3 looks mighty tempting to me at the moment.
Other books in this series
Short Story 0.5: The Abandoned
Book 1: The Restorer
More books by Amanda Stevens
Reading challenges: Ebook Challenge
The Kingdom was provided for review by Harelquin through NetGalley.