cover image The Fall of the House of Cabal

The Fall of the House of Cabal

Jonathan L. Howard. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $25.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-06997-9

The fifth adventure (after The Brothers Cabal) of Johannes Cabal, a “necromancer of some little infamy,” is the culmination of his quest to resurrect his deceased beloved, Berenice. Guided by a mysterious tome, he sets out in search of the fountain of youth, accompanied by an assortment of allies: his vampire brother, Horst; Madam Zarenyia, a cheerfully lascivious angora-clad woman-spider devil; well-armed criminologist Leonie Barrow; and not-quite-corporeal witch Miss Smith. Their journey takes them through constructed “splinters of reality” full of dangers and temptations, and Cabal must confront both old enemies and his own conscience (despite his denials that he has any such thing). Fans of Howard’s witty prose and morbid humor will not be disappointed; his characteristic blend of horror, comedy, fantasy, and drama is particularly effective in this installment. Cabal remains an entertaining antihero whose complexities have deepened over time, and the conclusion of the narrative threads that have spanned the previous four Cabal books is both satisfying and touching. (Oct.)