Book Review: The Necromancer’s Dance by SJ Himes

The Beacon Hill Sorcerer – Book 1

In a world where magic is real and evil walks amongst humanity, a young sorcerer is beset upon by enemies, both old and new. Angelus Salvatore is the only necromancer in all of Boston, and his name is whispered warily by the undead and fellow sorcerers alike. He and his brother Isaac are the lone survivors of an attack by an army of the undead, in which Angel used a spell so powerful it forever marked his place in history. Now, years later, Angel struggles to balance his career as a teacher of the higher magical arts, his role as big brother, and a tenuous relationship with an Elder vampire from the local clan. When his brother’s boyfriend is used as a pawn in a mysterious plot to draw Angel out, Angel is once again pulled back into the old hostilities that fueled the Blood Wars and led to his family’s death.

Leaning on others for help is something Angel cannot do, and while he searches for clues into who may be targeting him and his brother, Angel finds his heart steadily growing occupied with Simeon, Elder and vampire. Dealing with death magic and vampires on a daily basis may leave Angel jaded when it comes to life and staying that way, but the more time he spends fending off the ancient vampire’s attention and affections, the more he realizes he wants to give in.

Can Angel find out who wants him dead, and keep his heart safe in the process? How can he fall for a vampire, when his whole family was torn apart by an army of the undead?

Death stalks the streets of Boston’s historic Beacon Hill….and there is no one more suited to battle against death than a necromancer.

MATURE CONTENT Contains graphic violence, male/male sexual contact, a cranky necromancer, a sexy Irish vampire, and a pesky demon.

Buy Link:

I read a lot of books in e-book format, mainly because of availability and price, but I prefer to have hardcopies of my favourites. This book by SJ Himes, and its sequel, are ones I want to purchase in hardcopy, and on my list of favourite books I’ve read in 2016. I’m now hanging out for book 3 of the series.

I’ve always enjoyed a good urban fantasy story, and bonus points for vampires. The Necromancer’s Dance hooked me in immediately. Angel is an interesting character, a necromancer who lost most of his family in a war between them and vampires. He doesn’t make connections easily, and he also makes mistakes. These traits made him very appealing as a character—I prefer reading about flawed men and women as those who are “practically perfect in every way” tend to become boring very quickly. The other MC in this book is Simeon, an old Celtic vampire. Celtic and vampire. That got my attention very quickly, as did his personality quirks. He is another man who keeps to himself, and is very patient waiting for what or rather who he wants. The supporting characters are also interesting, and I’m hoping to learn more about them in future books. I especially loved Eroch, especially in his later form.

The world building in this book is very detailed, which along with its characters, was something that very much appealed to me. I felt as though I’d walked into a world with history. It’s our world, and yet it’s not as the public are aware of the presence of supernats, and have been for a while. I enjoyed the care the author took with this world’s magic systems, and how the various supernats’ powers etc worked.

The plot sets up the world and its characters very well, but although it can be read alone, it definitely sets up for further stories. I was on the edge of my seat reading, and sat up far too late needing to know what happens next.

Although there are a few repeated bits of information which I thought weren’t needed, and some typos, it definitely didn’t distract from the story or my enjoyment of it.

More please.

I’d recommend The Necromancer’s Dance to readers who enjoy urban fantasy with interesting characters, romance which doesn’t slow down the pace, and detailed world building. 5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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