Reading Timeline

A Book order of the Johannes Cabal Series

The reading order for the NecRomancer’s Deathcast

Want to follow along? Here is a list of the order the podcast will take in the series. Caution, there are some minor spoilers in some of the book descriptions.

BOOK 0.5

Johannes Cabal and the Blustery Day
by Jonathan L. Howard

Johannes Cabal has faced down the undead, ghosts, monsters, and Satan himself. But before all that, he fought the terrifying Bonewind, a supernatural being that devours life itself, and he did it all without leaving his house.

BOOK 0.75

Exeunt Demon King
by Jonathan L. Howard

Johannes Cabal, a necromancer of some little infamy, has faced many horrors during his career, but in this tale he tells of an early encounter with something that horrified even him.

Pantomime.

A provincial theatre has seen a series of strange deaths. The young Cabal investigates, even though this requires him to don red tights, a curling moustache, and become… the Demon King.

BOOK 1

Johannes Cabal the Necromancer
by Jonathan L. Howard

A charmingly gothic, fiendishly funny Faustian tale about a brilliant scientist who makes a deal with the Devil, twice.

Johannes Cabal sold his soul years ago in order to learn the laws of necromancy. Now he wants it back. Amused and slightly bored, Satan proposes a little wager: Johannes has to persuade one hundred people to sign over their souls or he will be damned forever. This time for real. Accepting the bargain, Jonathan is given one calendar year and a traveling carnival to complete his task. With little time to waste, Johannes raises a motley crew from the dead and enlists his brother, Horst, a charismatic vampire to help him run his nefarious road show, resulting in mayhem at every turn.

BOOK 2

Johannes Cabal the Detective
by Jonathan L. Howard

Johannes Cabal, necromancer of some little infamy, returns in this riotously clever and terrifically twisted tale of murder and international intrigue.

In this genre-twisting novel, infamous necromancer Johannes Cabal, after beating the Devil and being reunited with his soul, leads us on another raucous journey in a little-known corner of the world. This time he’s on the run from the local government.

Stealing the identity of a minor bureaucrat, Cabal takes passage on the Princess Hortense, a passenger aeroship that is leaving the country. The deception seems perfect, and Cabal looks forward to a quiet trip and a clean escape, until he comes face-to-face with Leonie Barrow, an enemy from the old days who could blow his cover. But when a fellow passenger throws himself to his death, or at least that is how it appears, Cabal begins to investigate out of curiosity. His minor efforts result in a vicious attempt on his own life—and then the gloves come off.

Cabal and Leonie—the only woman to ever match wits with him—reluctantly team up to discover the murderer. Before they are done, there will be more narrow escapes, involving sword fighting and newfangled flying machines. There will be massive destruction, not to mention resurrected dead . . .

Steampunk meets the classic Sherlockian mystery in this rip-roaring adventure where anything could happen . . . and does.

BOOK 2.5

The Ereshkigal Working
By Jonathan L. Howard
Found in: The Way of the Wizard
by John Joseph Adams

If you were a necromancer, how would you feel if you found yourself in the middle of a zombie outbreak? One that threatened the future of the entire world? Well, if you’re Johannes Cabal, you’re not particularly worried—you’re just a little put out.

This story fills the gap between the short story “Exeunt Demon King” and the first novel about Cabal, Johannes Cabal the Necromancer. Jonathan Howard says of this story’s inspiration: “I myself halted a zombie apocalypse a couple of years ago, and I remember thinking at the time, ’This would make a good story.’  ”

BOOK 3

The Fear Institute
by Jonathan L. Howard

Johannes Cabal and his rather inexact powers of necromancy are back once more. This time, his talents are purchased by The Fear Institute as they hunt for the Phobic Animus – the embodiment of fear. The three Institute members, led by Cabal and his Silver Key, enter the Dreamlands and find themselves pursued by walking trees plagued with giant ticks, stone men that patrol the ruins of their castles, cats that feed on human flesh and phobias which torment and devastate. The intrepid explorers are killed off one by one as they traipse through this obfuscating and frustrating world, where history itself appears to alter. Cabal, annoyed that the quest is becoming increasingly heroic, finds himself alone with the Institute’s only remaining survivor, and after a shockingly violent experiment, begins to suspect that not everything is quite as it seems…

BOOK 3.1

The House of Gears
by Jonathan L. Howard
Found in: Fantasy Magazine, April 2011
by John Joseph Adams

Jonathan L. Howard has written several stories and novels featuring Johannes Cabal, necromancer extraordinaire. But in the tale “House of Gears,” Cabal’s expertise in the dark arts offers little help when he faces down a mad scientist with a thirst for immortality. Music boxes and robotic dogs are the vestiges of a long tradition of mechanical wonders.

BOOK 3.2

The Death of Me
by Jonathan L. Howard

Johannes Cabal, a necromancer of some little infamy, has this much in common with Emily Dickinson; because he could not stop for Death, she kindly stopped for him. Well, perhaps not that kindly.

BOOK 3.3

Ouroboros Ouzo
by Jonathan L. Howard

What if you could see the future? What if the future could see YOU?
Johannes Cabal, a necromancer of some little infamy, has discovered a way to give some insights into how he should conduct his future researches; by drinking a glass of the legendary “Ouroboros Ouzo.” Rare and precious, the liquor is reputed to give a once in a lifetime glimpse into what may be.
But, as Cabal is to discover, the future may not be the most reliable informant after all.

“Ouroboros Ouzo” is a short tale of Johannes Cabal wherein he learns both too much, and too little.

BOOK 4

The Brothers Cabal
by Jonathan L. Howard

Horst Cabal has risen from the dead. Again. Horst, the most affable vampire one is ever likely to meet, is resurrected by an occult conspiracy that wants him as a general in a monstrous army. Their plan: to create a country of horrors, a supernatural homeland. As Horst sees the lengths to which they are prepared to go and the evil they cultivate, he realizes that he cannot fight them alone. What he really needs on his side is a sarcastic, amoral, heavily armed necromancer.

As luck would have it, this exactly describes his brother.

Join the brothers Cabal as they fearlessly lie quietly in bed, fight dreadful monsters from beyond reality, make soup, feel slightly sorry for zombies, banter lightly with secret societies that wish to destroy them, and—in passing—set out to save the world.*

*The author wishes to point out that there are no zebras this time, so don’t get your hopes up on that count. There is, however, a werebadger, if that’s something that’s been missing from your life

BOOK 4.5

A Long Spoon
by Jonathan L. Howard

You may have heard of Johannes Cabal; he is a necromancer and a little infamous. He is also very sensitive to attempts on his life. When a murder of crows tries to… well, murder him, and the contents of his bath are transmuted into hot nitric acid, he suspects someone may mean him harm. The trail leads to one of the less travelled parts of Hell itself, and there Cabal will need a guide.

As Dante had his Virgil, so Cabal employs the services of a devil who is a monster, a predator, and — most alien of all to Cabal — a woman. The devil Zarenyia and he delve deep into Hell, even into Satan’s greatest mistake, to confront challenges quite outside the ken of any mortal. But one should always use a long spoon when supping with a devil, and Cabal soon realises the unthinkable, a horror beyond his experience. He is actually beginning to like her.

BOOK 5

The Fall of the House of Cabal
by Jonathan L. Howard

Johannes Cabal, a necromancer of some little infamy, has come into possession of a vital clue that may lead him to his ultimate goal: a cure for death. The path is vague, however, and certainly treacherous as it takes him into strange territories that, quite literally, no one has ever seen before. The task is too dangerous to venture upon alone, so he must seek assistance, comrades for the coming travails.

So assisted–ably and otherwise–by his vampiric brother, Horst, and by the kindly accompaniment of a criminologist and a devil, he will encounter ruins and diableries, mystery and murder, the depths of the lowest pit and a city of horrors. London, to be exact.

Yet even though Cabal has risked such peril believing he understands the dangers he faces, he is still underestimating them. He is walking into a trap of such arcane complexity that even the one who drew him there has no idea of its true terrors. As the snare closes slowly and subtly around them, it may be that there will be no survivors at all.

The Fall of the House of Cabal is the fifth book in Jonathan L. Howard’s acclaimed Johannes Cabal series.

 

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