Krampus: The Yule Lord

( 45 )

Overview

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...

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Overview

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

From Barnes & Noble

"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.

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?”
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.”
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.”
The News-Star (Louisiana)
“The book retells the story of Peter Pan in a way that it hasn’t been told before. . . . Brom delivers a fascinating and entrancing version, trading paints for words to create a tale as dark, twisted and stunning as his artwork.”
Booklist on The Child Thief
“Artist and illustrator Brom’s ambitious retelling of the Peter Pan story, his first full-length adult novel, is dark, disturbing, and thoroughly gripping.”
Tulsa World
“A fascinating work of dark epic fantasy that blends elements of the Peter Pan story with characters from Celtic and Norse mythologies.”
Sci-Fi on The Child Thief
“Beautiful and authentically dark.”
Booklist
“Artist and illustrator Brom’s ambitious retelling of the Peter Pan story, his first full-length adult novel, is dark, disturbing, and thoroughly gripping.”
Sci-Fi
“Beautiful and authentically dark.”
Library Journal
Returning home to his trailer one night, Jesse Walker is surprised to see some goons attacking Santa Claus as he tries to fly away in his sleigh. In the melee Santa's magic sack falls out of the sleigh and through Jesse's roof. Of course, possessing the sack only leads to trouble as Santa and the sack's original owner, the trickster demon known as Krampus, are both trying to get it back. Krampus seeks vengeance against Santa and enlists Jesse's help. Jesse is busy dealing with the corrupt cop trying to steal his wife and daughter and the local drug lord trying to kill him, but one doesn't say no to the Yule Lord. VERDICT This illustrated horror novel by acclaimed gothic fantasy artist, illustrator, and novelist Brom (The Child Thief) is perfect for anyone who disdains a cozy, sentimental holiday story.
Library Journal
One Christmas Eve in Boone County, WV, songwriter manqué Jesse intervenes when he sees men in black attacking a white-bearded gent in a sleigh. Yes, it's Santa, but he's the bad guy. According to Krampus, an age-old trickster demon who punishes wrong-doing, Santa locked him up and stole his magic 500 years ago. Brom's The Child Thief went through four printings. With a 40,000-copy first printing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062095657
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/30/2012
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 106,374
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 45 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2012

    I am not an ardent reader of this genre, but I find the story fa

    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.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Beatifully Done but not for younger readers

    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.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Review From My Urban Fantasies

    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,

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2012

    Brilliant story line.  Interesting take on who Santa Clause real

    Brilliant story line.  Interesting take on who Santa Clause really is!  If you like a different kind of urban fantasy, you'll love this.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2013

    Inspiring Terrifying

    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!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2013

    Excellent book

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2012

    Great read

    A good twist on the christmas/Santa myths. Twisted.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 22, 2013

    Not a Christmas Book for Children or even Young Adults This is an adult read

    I just finished Krampus today. It is an interesting read with a modern mash-up of Nordic Yule mythology mixed with Christian themes set in a economically depressed Appalachia full of crime, violence, grisly death, some debachery, and alot of human character soul searching as compared to Krampus action. When Krampus, Balder, and other Nordic characters and beasts are on stage then things are interesting,When the interminable perils and miseries of the main character Jesse are at play I became bored with yet another tale of modern angst, torture, and redemption. There is a good short story in this novella. The ending provides opportunity for sequel and the follow up post story chapter on the real Krampus mythology was intersting. I was familair with Krampus,Belsnikels, Nordic, Germanic and Santa Claus legends and myths before reading the book, but I think this chapter would be useful to the unfamiliar reader.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    Krampus

    Do you know that krampus is from Germany? He is santas elf and if the kid is bad he'll even whip the kid with a long branch or take them away with the basket on his back. That is how they celebrate St Nicholas Day and then the have Christmas just celebrating the birth of jesus

    1 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2012

    Absolutely wonderful! I was expecting this to be a bit more ligh

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2012

    I absolutely loved this book. The author has a unique storytelli

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    Read This To Enjoy Terrible

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2014

    Good read!

    Good book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2014

    Hail Krampus

    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....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2014

    Best book Ever

    Brom is as always amazing. This book made me lauh and cru. The characters are well thought out(like usual for Brom). The paintings/illustrations in this are beyond amazing. It's definately a must read.
    All hail the Yule Lord!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2014

    Hail to the Yule Lord!

    Great story told from a interesting new perspective. Totally worth the read.

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  • Posted January 25, 2014

    Interesting tradition!

    This holiday season was the first time I've ever heard of Krampus so I was glad to see this book. I enjoyed the reality/fantasy aspects throughout....and it gave an in-depth explanation about Santa as well as this other myth, the unusual, creepy Krampus!

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  • Posted January 24, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    A Lost Christmas Tradition Brought Back to Life

    If you are fan of Brom you will not be disappointed with this book. By far one of the best Christmas Stories I've read in a long time. I love how Brom takes the ancient story of Krampus and weaves it into a modernized adult fairytale. This book, in my opinion, is just as important to the holidays as the Night Before Christmas. To top it off the audio book is just as good. I enjoyed listening to it when i was traveling on the road, as well as reading it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2014

    WOW!!!

    I was truley surprised by this book!I remember hearing about the "treats" ritual. I'm not a Christian,nor do I celebrate Xmas. This book,this story was spun sooo awsomely!(spllchek)!What made me sad,was that the book ended.I can only wish that there is more comming from this writer! Bravo!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2014

    A Dark Holiday Tale

    A good read, its nice to see the "other" side of Christmas and Brom does a pretty good job of bringing the dark side alive. At times the writing does seem a bit forced as if the author was struggling for filler; however, those parts of the book are brief and the story as a whole is very entertaining and worth the read. Enjoy.

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