Astazi avem un invitat special pe blog, Tudor Tamas student la Universitatea din Sunderland. Desi este specializat pe jurnalism sportiv, obisnuieste sa citeasca carti intr-un ritm in care altii termina borcanul de Nutella. Cum mereu ma sfatuiesc cu el in privinta cartilor pe care le citesc, si ne imprumutam cartile cum bisnitarii imprumuta valuta, de fiecare data cand ne revedem, Tudor a dorit sa faca si cate un review ocazional ca special guest la noi pe blog, mentionand doar ca o sa-l scrie in engleza. Introducerea fiind facuta, va invit la lectura!
An unfaltering murderer, literally soulless and Machiavellian to the greatest possible extent, ready to lock his own and single brother away in a God-forgotten crypt, in order to achieve his ambition.
He remains unfazed in the face of the devils and demons he deals with, finding politics a more terrifying prospect. Oh! He’s also, without a trace of a doubt, more intelligent than you, the ordinary reader.
Why do we love Johannes Cabal so much then?
His creator, Jonathan L. Howard, is surely to be blamed. With an unmatched writing style that combines sharp humour and raw sarcasm with the most gruesome images of undead corpses, ghouls and whatever other creatures his vivid imagination managed to contrive – baby-faced killer spiders are not to be mentioned at this point to ensure the continuity of reading – Howard created a fantastic series for the reader who searches for a different kind of fantasy.
And this whole new universe seems to have been built around the main character, that is the flamboyant Johannes Cabal – a necromancer of little infamy, as he is so often described by Howard in the four books released so far: Johannes Cabal the Necromancer, Johannes Cabal the Detective, Johannes Cabal: the Fear Institute and The Brothers Cabal.
Endowed with an irresistible, witty personality and a tremendous brain and work rate, Cabal manages to make his way through some of the most dangerous and unexpected challenges in pursuance of what may look like trivial matters for the common people, but of the utmost importance for Cabal: a rare book, the Phobic Animus (don’t ask!), or his own lost soul.
It may all sound like another fairytale for the primary school children, but take this writer’s word for it: the Johannes Cabal books are something completely different. Shortly after reading the first few lines exchanged in a ridiculous chapter one dialogue between Cabal and, well… the demon Lucifuge Rofocale, you will be gently gripped by your shirt’s collar and then suddenly and brutally smashed into the book’s pages. And that’s not even a metaphor. Howard’s arm can actually work his way through the books.
Honestly, now. Fantasy is perhaps not the most popular genre among readers of this community and nor are demons or undead creatures some things of beauty and joy, but this is why these books, and Howard implicitly, deserve so much credit. You read about a cold-blooded murderer or about the resurrecting of a horribly stinking emperor and yet you find yourself displaying a dumb smile on your face at the thought of Cabal’s sarcasm, or because of the comical situation in itself.
Howard’s crude satire directed at politicians, lawyers, the way the implementation of government policy works – or better said, doesn’t work – and at civil servants does nothing but to top everything up nicely. Not even fanciful terms like Umtak Ktharl, Mirkarvia, Lady Misericorde or Principia Necromantica can take anything out of the amusement.
A reader of fantasies or not, you can’t help falling in love with Johannes Cabal.
And come on… what other book is testing your knowledge on what you have already read at the end of the first chapter?