Tonight while enjoying some barbecue chicken at a salty little restaurant on Bascom, I took a sip of water and glanced at a fellow sitting toward the back, reading a book. He was probably about 40, balding, bespectacled, and smiling slightly to himself while he read his book, which I finally noticed was titled "Mistress of the Catacombs." This struck me as so funny, I almost squirt water out my nose. I had to come home and look it up on Amazon. Here's the description:
In the fourth volume of Lord of the Isles, Prince Garric of Haft, the reluctant hero now ruling the Kingdom of the Isles as best he can, has solved some of his logistical and financial problems. Unfortunately, much of his opposition comes from immaterial forces, as rogue wizards, some nonhuman, cast spells right and left. Various bestial hordes swarm in all quarters, and though the Mistress of the Catacombs remains off-stage, the mere fact that she exists raises the levels of threat to the realm and tension in the narrative. Garric isn't fighting alone, of course; sister Sharina, ghost-adviser Cashel, and student of Hell's magic Ilna guard his flanks and back. The book doesn't escape the problem, inherent to its place in the saga, of dividing its considerable length between filling in backstory and advancing the plots, counterplots, and subplots. That adversely affects pacing but not world building, characterization, and systems of magic, which are all so well conceived that the saga continues to be Drake's most ambitious work to date.