The Necromancer's Dance by S.J. Himes

The Beacon Hill Sorcerer, #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.

Absolutely, 100% loved this book. This book cemented itself in my mind, heart, soul, everything that makes a reader fall in love with books. I've already re-read it the same year I first read it and the author now has a life-long fan. Seriously, loved it that much. Officially in my top five favorite series.

Angel Salvatore has it tough - his family was brutally slain in a cultural sorcerer war ten years ago. He's picked up the pieces and focuses his life on training budding sorcerers. HIs brother Isaac keeps him busy by constantly getting into trouble and mentally slipping. Top it off, as the only Necromancer in Boston and with a reputation that makes vampires look to him like he's a modern day boogeyman, he has caught the eye of a power elder who considers him his intended soulmate. Angel must figure out who is suddenly trying to kill him and those he loves, what's going on with the increasingly hostile police force that held loyalties with the clan who opposed his family, and figure out his new relationship all in one boat. Fun times.

The plot is fierce and doesn't let up. So much is going on to keep me fascinated. I could gush on about the plot being what makes this book so great - and it really is a great story - but the main winner is the actual relationship between Angel and Simeon. Both men are fascinating and their relationship is one of my favorite fictional pairings, ever. It's steamy, it's special, it's exciting, it's fresh. Seriously, they rock together as they solve mysteries, stand up to Master vampires, figure each other out, and complete each other. Bravo.

They're not the only special ones riding this boat, either. I loved the Master of the Clan, the troubled and unstable brother Isaac, the vulnerable victims involved in the war who we find at the end, the villains (crafty surprise twist there!), the police force politics, the newcomer Elder who wants to position in the city, Angel's business partner who has sass and class. I loved the background history of the family and sorcerer wars, seeing the outcome of a man who was part of a ruling force in a city that was destroyed ten years ago. Despite troubled history there is NO angst weighing it down, not something easy to do but done well here.

Throw in that Angel is a unique necromancer and you have yet another win for this book. The wins keep coming. S.J. Himes made such a unique world with socerery and classes. The way they dive into the otherworld and get their power is intriguing. I wasn't bored with any detail, aspect or piece of this book. All the stars. Wish I could award it more than five.

With fast pacing, creative world-building, a romantic relationship that melts my heart, all characters being fascinating, a morbid mystery, some stand-out scenes, an intriguing magic abilities and sorcery - I cannot recommend this one highly enough.