Krampus: The Yule Lord by Brom
Summary: Set in Appalachia, Krampus the Yule Lord is a twisted fairytale about a failed West Virginia songwriter who gets ensnared on Christmas Eve in an eternal war between a not-so-saintly Saint Nick and his dark enemy Krampus, aka Black Peter, an ancient trickster demon. Krampus the Yule Lord is Gregory Maguire (Wicked) meets Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell) in the realm of Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, as Clive Barker (Mr. B. Gone) works his dark sorcery from the shadows. Once again featuring Brom’s chillingly beautiful artwork throughout, Krampus the Yule Lord is a feast of wonder straight from the kitchen of Sweeney Todd.
My Review: First of all, that summary is all over the dang place. I couldn’t hardly figure out what they were trying to say with all the name dropping. I picked this book up because I’m familiar with Brom’s work; both his art and his writing. Ultimately, I had a hard time deciding between a three and four star rating. I would have given it a three for the passive writing. There is a lot of telling rather than showing and at times it read slow because of it. Oh, but the story. It was vivid, imaginative, and even with the passive writing I still wanted to know what happened next. Ultimately, story wins over writing style and the Yule Lord gets a four star rating.
Brom takes the mythologies of old and blends them into our chaotic, disbelieving world. It’s a new take on Christmas, its traditions and figures, and religion. I love how he interwove the old religions with what we know today. It’s a beautiful tale. To summarize better than the…summary, you have a cast of characters that are relatable and three dimensional. Jesse happens upon the eternal battle between Krampus and Santa Claus and finds himself mixed up in the ongoing war between the two imposing forces. He learns that there’s more than meets the eye and is exposed to another layer of our old world that he (nor we) ever knew existed. Though there are dark elements to this story, the book leaves you with a tear shed and renewed hope. You can tell Brom did his research into the mythology behind the intricacies of our current beliefs.
Would I Recommend It? Absolutely! If you like unusual viewpoints on traditional stories and retellings, this is the book for you. However, I think if you are a hardcore Christmas lover you’ll either love or hate this book.