Angel Salvatore is a rare necromancer and an incredibly powerful sorcerer. His bond with his vampire mate, Simeon, not only heightens Angel’s abilities, but also puts him under the protection of the vampire clan. Between his magical skills and the clan’s protection, Angel is able to pretty much do as he sees fit. That means taking care of his family, as well as teaching young magical practitioners and helping out the police and others with magical conflicts as needed. However, suddenly, after years of absence, the High Council of Sorcery has come to town. They are demanding Angel turn over his apprentice, Daniel, as well as attempting to put Angel on trial for magical crimes.
Angel knows there is more going on here than meets the eye. The Council has had nothing to do with magical business in town for years, including having fled the city during the Blood Wars. There is no way that Angel’s petty infractions can possibly warrant them showing back up and threatening him and Daniel. Yet the Council is stubborn and they are determined to take both men into custody. Fortunately, Angel has the vampires on his side and they are offering some protection, but he can’t avoid the Council forever. On top of that, Angel is dealing with a stolen ghost, a magical beast slaughtering college students, and a kidnapped child, all while trying to keep the Council at bay. But Angel has the support of his family, his friends, and the man he loves, and with their help, he may just make it out of it all alive.
The Necromancer’s Reckoning is the third book in S.J. Himes’ fabulous Beacon Hill Sorcerer series. I absolutely love this series and just adore Angel and Simeon. It has been fun seeing the progress of their relationship from sort of enemies early on, to men who are deeply in love and support one another through anything. I like how the bond between them is subtly changing Angel, giving him access to wells of magic others can’t draw upon, not to mention additional strength and longer life. I appreciate that Angel is strong and powerful in his own right–in fact, one of the strongest magical practitioners out there–and at the same time, his connection to Simeon gives him both physical and emotional strength. In this story we see how much these men have developed into a strong couple who support each other, protect each other, and are deeply committed to one another. It gives such a strong foundation to then build upon as they face various external conflicts throughout the book.
In The Necromancer’s Reckoning, Himes does a really nice job of developing a variety of threads and subplots throughout the story and weaving them all together as the book builds. There are a lot of pieces here, between the Council arriving, goings on at vamp HQ, a stolen ghost case Angel gets hired to solve, someone letting loose a giant beast, and more. I really liked the way these pieces all worked, connecting and building so that at the climax of the story, we see things all come together. As always with this series, it is exciting and well developed and Himes gives us some great world building and a really clever plot. My only small issue here is that we never get real clarity on just what the Council is up to. It is obvious that their stated aims are really a front for their true motives, but while we get some speculation, it is never really fully resolved and so this felt like a bit of a loose thread. But otherwise, Himes gives us lots of exciting elements and brings them together quite well.
One thing I really like about this series is how Angel has built this family over the course of the books. We started with just him and his brother, Isaac, facing the world with the help of Angel’s best friend and a friendly cop. But now we have Simeon as Angel’s mate and beloved, along with Angel’s apprentice Daniel, his little dragon familiar Eroch, and more. We can see how committed this group is to one another, how they support each other, and how they have made a family. Angel would protect any of them with his life, and they him in return. So I like how Himes has created this strong group of support and such interesting characters. I’ll note that while the story is primarily told in Angel’s POV, we do get a couple of sections from other characters, including Simeon, Daniel, and even Eroch. It felt a bit jarring as these sections are not labeled to indicate the change in POV, but once I got into it, they weren’t hard to follow and it was useful to get these additional POVs given all the action happening.
For those of you who have been waiting to get into this series until its completion, I’ll note that this third book caps off Angel and Simeon’s arc and the next book moves on to Isaac’s story (I am guessing Daniel is getting a book as well based on some tidbits that happen here). So this is a great time to jump in to the series and catch up on the first three books. I absolutely love this series (and the audio is great too!), so I can highly recommend both this third book and the Beacon Hill Sorcerer series as a whole. If you like stories about a deep mate bond (and a sexy Irish vampire), combined with fabulous world building, exciting battles, and a variety of magical creatures, I can definitely recommend The Necromancer’s Reckoning.