Krampus: The Yule Lord

Krampus: The Yule Lord

4.4 64
by Brom

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Santa Claus, my dear old friend, you are a thief, a traitor, a slanderer, a murderer, a liar, but worst of all you are a mockery of everything for which I stood. You have sung your last ho, ho, ho, for I am coming for your head. . . . I am coming to take back what is mine, to take back Yuletide . . .
—from Krampus

The author and artist of The

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Santa Claus, my dear old friend, you are a thief, a traitor, a slanderer, a murderer, a liar, but worst of all you are a mockery of everything for which I stood. You have sung your last ho, ho, ho, for I am coming for your head. . . . I am coming to take back what is mine, to take back Yuletide . . .
—from Krampus

The author and artist of The Child Thief returns with a modern fabulist tale of Krampus, the Lord of Yule and the dark enemy of Santa Claus

One Christmas Eve in a small hollow in Boone County, West Virginia, struggling songwriter Jesse Walker witnesses a strange spectacle: seven devilish figures chasing a man in a red suit toward a sleigh and eight reindeer. When the reindeer leap skyward, taking the sleigh, devil men, and Santa into the clouds, screams follow. Moments later, a large sack plummets back to earth, a magical sack that thrusts the down-on-his-luck singer into the clutches of the terrifying Yule Lord, Krampus. But the lines between good and evil become blurred as Jesse's new master reveals many dark secrets about the cherry-cheeked Santa Claus, including how half a millennium ago the jolly old saint imprisoned Krampus and usurped his magic.

Now Santa's time is running short, for the Yule Lord is determined to have his retribution and reclaim Yuletide. If Jesse can survive this ancient feud, he might have the chance to redeem himself in his family's eyes, to save his own broken dreams, . . . and to help bring the magic of Yule to the impoverished folk of Boone County.

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Editorial Reviews

"You have sung your last ho, ho, ho, for I am coming for your head. For Odin, Loki, and all the fallen gods; for your treachery; for chaining me in this pit for five hundred years. But most of all I am coming to take back what is mine, to take back Yuletide." With these words, sinister magician Krampus begins his campaign to seize Christmas from that white-bearded old impostor. An illustrated novel from the author of The Child Thief; a perfect holiday gift for fans of trickster demons.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.30(d)

What People are saying about this

Christopher Paolini

“Brom is that rare breed: a person who is skilled in more than one area of artistic expression. Here’s hoping that he will continue to share his dark and often beautiful dreams with us for many years to come.”

Mike Mignola

“Terrific. A wild ride—the idea sounded like a stretch and I’m not sure how many guys could have really pulled it off, but Brom sure has. I loved it. It hooked me and I couldn’t put it down. Plus, the illustrations are amazing.”

Charlie Jane Anders

“The creator of The Child Thief, is back — and this time he’s taking on the Christmas Devil. Are you ready for a studly, Nordic Santa Claus, and his scary/sexy wife?”

Meet the Author

Over the past few decades, Brom has lent his distinctive vision to all facets of the creative industries, from novels and games to comics and film. In addition to The Child Thief, he is the author of two award-winning illustrated horror novels, The Plucker and The Devil's Rose. Brom is currently kept in a dank cellar somewhere just outside of Seattle.

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Krampus: The Yule Lord 4.4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 64 reviews.
Meli_Green More than 1 year ago
This was my first book by Brom, and it will not be my last. This book was amazing, it pushed all the boundaries. Originally when I saw this book on the shelf with its large title, I pulled it off the shelf to see the original art on the cover. The cover jumps out at you, then you read the jacket and you are in. Brom has a startling way of revealing the darkness that lies within us all. His characters are fleshed out in disturbing ways and often have good intentions but terrible actions. Brom’s writing is fast paced intriguing, he has a knack for getting you involved. The physical book is 350 pages followed by an interesting afterword, in which Brom explains how he came to the legend of the Yule Lord. It takes place in the present but is packed with mythology and folk lore. The writing is beautiful and the characters are well developed. I should tell you that you will be on the side of Krampus by the time you finish, no matter what camp you are in to begin with. It will have you rethinking your ideas of who Santa Claus is. I suspect that some will be offended by the representation of god as a capricious female, even though I found the description highly amusing. The illustrations are an added bonus to this unique holiday tale. I highly recommend this book to adults and older teens. The violence is not appropriate for younger kids. And now, I'm off to fill some shoes with candies for the Yule Lord.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not an ardent reader of this genre, but I find the story fascinating. It is well-crafted on an interesting premise. Great opening chapter and well-observed characterization. The story is smooth and very descriptive. Brings to mind the Ngoko's Folly story. Great creativity.
BC1130 More than 1 year ago
Brilliant story line.  Interesting take on who Santa Clause really is!  If you like a different kind of urban fantasy, you'll love this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this would be a pretty straight forward fantasy/horror type story. The sample seemed well written and grabbed me, so I went for it and I'm glad I did. Krampus is full of nicely metered detail and graphic description, human horror and folktale terribleness. There's never any black and white division to tell the reader which character is the hero and which the villain and it didn't strike me as preachy either. I really appreciated that because I think that would be an easy pit to fall into. Clearly a well researched theme executed with skill both in word and art. I look forward to reading more from Brom.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This well crafted tale clarified much about Krampus that I dd not comprehend, and did so in a way that moved me to figure out how I might celebrate a little Krampus each winter from now on! I think Brom is a illustrative writer and a literary illustrater and if the traditions of consumer madness that has so degraded this beautiful season gets you down, then this tale is for you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very well written, modern take on Krampus and his story. Anyone with an interest in mythology and adventure will enjoy the masterful and engaging tale Brom has created.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good twist on the christmas/Santa myths. Twisted.
MyUrbanFantasies More than 1 year ago
Originally published on my blog, My Urban Fantasies. (myurbanfantasies.blogspot) Brom's art is simply amazing, although a little creepy. Krampus: The Yule Lord is a dark but surprisingly uplifting story. Bram has this amazing gift for showing the dark parts of humanity while still managing to give you a sense of hope. Krampus and Santa are rich and complex characters. I could not help falling in love with Krampus, he's definitely my favorite character. Krampus is endearing one moment and very naughty the next. I also loved the fact that Brom mixed the story of Krampus with Norse mythology. Yule is the rebirth of seasons and the true spirit of Mother Earth. Without Yuletide the earth cannot heal herself. If mankind stops believing, if the spirit of Yule fades, Mother Earth will wither and die. The power of mankind's belief, their love and devotion, is what heals the land. But mankind eventually had new gods, the old ways were being forgotten. Krampus the Yule Lord's shrines were being abandoned. By the early 1300s a new tradition named Christmas had begun. More and more people began celebrating Christmas, Yule and Winter Solstice were being forgotten. Krampus decided that he would remind them, rewarding children that remembered him with a gift from Loki's sack and punishing those who did not. Santa Clause is really Baldr, the son of Odin. Baldr was Odin's most beloved son and was virtually indestructible. The only thing that could harm Baldr was mistletoe. Loki, Krampus' grandfather, saw Baldr for the treacherous person he was. Loki tricked Hoor, Baldr's blind brother, into killing Baldr. Baldr was then imprisoned in Hel, where Krampus' mother ruled. There was a prophecy that Baldr would be reborn on earth after earth was cleansed of darkness by an all-consuming fire. Baldr was to be reborn a god of light and peace, a just god, to watch over the world of men. The fire never came and sometime between the 1300 and 1400s Krampus found Baldr stumbling around in the woods. Krampus pitied Baldr and brought Baldr back to his house. Krampus offered Baldr brotherhood and a place a his side, but Baldr had decided to embrace Saint Nicholas. Baldr told Krampus that the old ways were dead and the ancient's time on earth had passed. Baldr imprisoned Krampus and tries to learn the magic of Loki's sack. Baldr had betrayed his heritage, Krampus and the ancient ones. Baldr's obsession with Saint Nicholas grew. He started dressing like Saint Nicholas, growing his hair and beard long. Baldr started visiting homes on Christmas day, pretending he was Saint Nicholas, and handing out presents. In the 1400s Baldr started parading Krampus around in a cart pulled by goats. Krampus sat on a throne of rotting vegetables. Baldr preached Christian virtues and called Krampus nothing more than a wicked imp, an evil buffoon. Year after year this would continue unless Krampus revealed the secret of Loki's sack. That stopped in the early 1500s. Krampus thought Baldr had forgotten him until Baldr showed up in front of his cell door. Baldr introduced himself as Father Christmas and told Krampus he was no longer needed. Baldr had unlocked the secret of Loki's sack using blood magic, the very thing he preached against. Baldr claimed that it was time for Krampus to be utterly forgotten and flew them across the ocean to America and chained Krampus in a cave were no one would ever find him. That's were Krampus sat for 500 years, in a cave in Boone County,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. The author has a unique storytelling technique that kept me interested from the first time I read the dust jacket all the way to the very end. His interweaving of different cultural winter traditions and history is entertaining and thought-provoking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story exceeded my expectations. It was a fascinating mixture of myth and modern times. I really enjoyed the Norse references which admittedly took a turn I didn't expect. The characters were believable and well written especially Krampus.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Better than I was expecting! As someone fond of the "folklore in modern day" genre, it can be hard to find ones that make you legitimately believe that the characters are reacting realistically to the strangeness that is going on. People see a devil-like creature, they get uncomfortable. Get a different view of Santa & one questions how good he can really be. As with Neil Gaiman's American Gods, the old ones are never completely gone..... just biding their time....
ScarletGypsy More than 1 year ago
Absolutely wonderful! I was expecting this to be a bit more light hearted, however I was thrilled by Brom's careful attention to the mythology he sourced. I've always loved the Krampus mythos and it is a rare treat to read a novel so wonderfully written about my favorite yule creature.
Anonymous 18 days ago
I was totally glued to this book. Very well written
samalama143 3 months ago
Incredible story! I'm going to leave out a tribute for Krampus this year. "Doesn't hurt nothin' to believe." This is the second Brom book I've read and I am absolutely a fan. Fantastic stories with the most breath taking and arresting artwork. I can't wait to see what else he does.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Loved it
Trinitytwo 5 months ago
In the wee hours of Christmas morning, wannabe musician Jesse Walker contemplates the mess he's made of his life. He hates himself for failing his family and knows he's been a constant disappointment to his estranged wife, Linda, and five year-old daughter, Abigail. Now that Linda and Chief Dillard are in a relationship, Jesse is tortured by the fact that another man is providing them with the finer things in life. Sitting outside his trailer, wallowing in self-pity and contemplating suicide, Jesse is shocked when a man dressed as Santa frantically dashes by, pursued by shadowy figures with glowing orange eyes and horns. Santa leaps into a crimson sleigh complete with reindeer, but before he can achieve lift-off the attackers pounce. Jesse watches as the assailants battle the man in red and the sleigh disappears upward out of sight. Screams follow and a figure plummets from the sky, smashing into the windshield of a neighbor's car. Seconds later, he hears another crash as something plunges through the roof of his trailer. As he investigates his mobile home, he discovers Santa's red sack sitting on his bed. Desperate to give his daughter a Christmas present, he picks up the bag, hoping for a miracle. The sack is indeed miraculous but two powerful entities vie for its possession: Santa Claus and Krampus, the Yule Lord. Jesse's possession of the sack leads to Krampus's minions, called Belsnickels, taking Jesse hostage and bringing him and the sack to the cave where the Yule Lord is held prisoner. Krampus has been languishing in shackles for centuries and is weak from his imprisonment, but with the magical sack back in his possession he can finally free himself. The Yule Lord thirsts for revenge and, against his will, Jesse becomes involved in a supernatural vendetta between the two deities. The reinvigorated Krampus's innate ability to punish the wicked wreaks death and destruction upon the human world as the Yule Lord embarks upon his quest to regain his rightful place in human legends and slay his nemesis; Santa Claus. Krampus the Yule Lord by Brom is two stories intertwined; one, an amazing tale of legends sprung to life and two, a story of human redemption. I thoroughly enjoyed Brom's rendition of the mythological origins of Krampus and Santa and their links to Odin and Loki. Since they are immortals, they each have their own agendas, and I especially enjoyed how human concerns such as breaking and entering, vandalism, and murder didn't merit Krampus's attention. He simply punishes or rewards whom he sees fit. This story is fresh and fantastic; I was surprised that somewhere along the way I began rooting for Krampus over Santa. It's wonderful not to have any clue where the story is going and to root for the bad guy for a change. Jesse's story is tense, exciting, and thoroughly captivating. His journey is all the more poignant because the guy is a complete loser and garners little to no sympathy from the start. Please click the link to read the review as originally posted at The Qwillery:
19269684 5 months ago
Sometimes I receive a deep seated attraction towards books. Then there are times I'm so excited by a cover, I literally sit and stare, analyzing, in an attempt to figure the story before I run through the pages. When I saw the cover of Krampus, the Yule Lord by Brom- it was like discovering Giger all over again! I was enthralled. Krampus is about, the Yule Lord. A man of lore, dating long before God. A child of Oden and the reason for yuletide. He's known for enjoying the punishment of children for misbehaving. But he's not happy; he's angry. For centuries, he's been imprisoned and haunted by one name. One man. Santa Claus. Cramps is determined to escape and removed good ole Saint Nick from history! But he's got to get free first. His allies are an unusual bunch called belsnickels and they must obey his every command. Together, they are on a mission to end Christmas and obliterate Santa Claus for good... For the rest of the review: *This book is from my personal library.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it! Gorgeous blend of myth and modern, I was engaged from cover to cover.
Booklover0080 More than 1 year ago
LOVED THIS BOOK! Another hit by Brom. Wish he would write more books and insert more art work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Liked this book. Very different.
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