Dark servants clash!
Medieval maiden Beate, who's grieving over the mysterious evisceration of her best friend, Gisela, must escape a Bavarian castle under siege by sadistic creatures.
Standing in her way--beyond towering walls and crossbow-toting guards--are Saint Nicholas's demonic helper, Krampus, and Frau Perchta, a belly-slitting hag who prowls the countryside during First Night festivities to punish naughty teens. Beate wants out. Krampus and Frau Perchta want in, determined to breach the castle to snag their prey. Beate has no idea why these monsters want her, but she must use her wits to save herself from horrors both human and inhuman--lest she wind up like Gisela.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Twelfth Krampus Night Anyone that knows me knows that I am a HUGE fan of the Krampus myth. It all started when my nieces were 3. There was an article in the Houston Chronicle that told the stories of Krampus, as well as several other "characters" that deal with naughty children this time of year. To me, his story was the best, and ever since then, any time something is devoted to Krampus, I have to read it or see it. (Yes, that means I did see the movie - and I really liked it.) This is my second Manochio novel, and I have one more planned for the month. As with the last one, I found this very enjoyable, and I'm glad that I was introduced to his talent. The characters in this book are well written, especially Frau Perchta and Krampus. I love the competitive streak between the two that lasts the whole story, and how they deal with each other. I also like Beate and how much she grows as the story goes on. There were a couple of unexpected twists, and some things that kept me wondering until the answers were given at the conclusion. And what a conclusion... I really like how the story ended, but also what was laid out in the final pages, which put in my mind so many further stories that could be written starring these two amazing characters. (Yes, I am now a fan of Perchta, too.) To me, this book was more like a really good action movie with some frightful moments. There were some parts that kept me on the edge of my seat, that had my heart pounding and my stress level up, but I didn't find it, as a whole, scary. That's not saying this isn't a great book because it really is. I just don't find Krampus himself to be "scary," just more a natural part of life, and I wish that he had more than one day to do his duties, or maybe a longer list. This is a great read and I highly recommend it, especially to people who love Krampus as much as I do. Favorite line: "Do you think it is okay if I eat some of him?" (Epic!)
An adult fairytale well told in the best Grimm tradition. As with the Dark servant, the author draws on the old German/Austrian/East European traditions of the Santa Claus’s demon helper. In the folk tales, Krampus punishes naughty children. Manochio keeps faith with the tradition but develops it and presents us with a new classic tale for Christmas. Here the equally bloody and demonic Frau Perchta – also hellbent on punishing those who have transgressed in her eyes – finds herself directly competing against Krampus. This simply will not do at all and the two are going to have to work out some solution or things will get extremely messy indeed – especially as they both have the same prey in their sights. As for the prey herself – Beate – if she doesn’t escape their clutches she could end up eviscerated, or possibly even worse. This is a macabre, dark tale with a timeless quality about it. An atmospheric landscape, complete with Bavarian castle; characters that could have stepped out from your worst nightmares. Loved this. It kept me thoroughly and enjoyably entertained in a dark, scary way. Full marks!