In Anticipation: The Kingdom by Amanda Stevens

Without a doubt, the book The Restorer by Amanda Stevens was one of my favorite books of 2011 (easily top three). The chilling, highly atmospheric debut (yup, this was a freakin debut!) novel was absolutely unexpected, but it turned out to have been just what I needed. So enter the followup one year later, called The Kingdom, which is promising to be just as spooky and mysterious:
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.

I like how the book description above is not very spoiler-y. There was a lot that went down in the first book, a lot of unfinished business between certain characters, but it's left alone in the blurb to focus on reintroducing the mysterious unknown that's explored so well by the author. Amelia Gray is sent on another assignment, to complete the seemingly straightforward (though labor-intensive task) of restoring a graveyard. But of course, nothing is as it seems, and even the dead have an active role to play. The elusiveness of the blurb is the stuff great mystery is made of.

The cover of this book (and the other installments) is not the flashiest ever, but that's perfectly appropriate to the tone and focus of the series. It's quiet, unassuming, and mysterious, and it belies something dark and forbidding. I love how all the little visual clues just reinforce what the blurb and previous installment established--that this will be a quietly powerful tale--and a super creepy one, to boot.

If you haven't checked out this series yet, I'd sooo recommend you do, provided you can handle a bit (read: a lot) of creepiness. ^_^ Be sure to read in broad daylight, preferably with someone else present. ^_^ It'll totally be worth it.

Graveyard Queen series:
#0.5 - The Abandoned (published April 1, 2011 by Harlequin Mira)
#1 - The Restorer (published April 19, 2011 by Mira)
#2 - The Kingdom (to be published March 27, 2012 by Mira)
#3 - The Prophet (to be published April 24, 2012 by Mira)


  1. Ever since I first heard about this series and saw it's pretty covers I've been interested but I can't handle creepiness or scary things at all. I can't. Sad :(

  2. Yep, there's definitely nothing wrong with that, Sandy. Good that you know that about yourself, and can save the trouble of scaring yourself witless! ^_^ Cuz let me tell you, Amanda Stevens is great at writing a creepy-as-hell tale. I'm a major scared-y cat, and book one in this series scared the crap out of me, but it was sooooo worth it in the end. Just don't ask me to read it alone at nighttime. ^_^


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