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Krampus: The Yule Lord Hardcover – Deckle Edge, October 30, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 234 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

At first glance, this novel’s premise is a bit of a stretch. Krampus, child of Loki and spirit of Yule, is imprisoned by Santa Claus. There’s no love lost between the two. Krampus hates Santa for the betrayal that led to his imprisonment, while Santa Claus believes that Krampus is a relic, far past his time. Enter the hapless Jesse, who witnesses a fight between Krampus’ followers (the belsnickels) and Santa as he’s cursing himself for failing to get his daughter what she wanted for Christmas. His wife has already left him, and he’s sinking into despair. Then he finds Santa’s sack in his bedroom, where it fell through the roof of his trailer. Yes, he gets his daughter what she wanted. Then his wife accuses him of stealing it, the belsnickels track him down, and we get to the meat of the plot: Krampus’ revenge on Santa, which will reveal Santa’s true history and maybe give Jesse hope. This is a surprisingly good story, told with entertaining style and some unexpectedly sympathetic characters, and the illustrations are a treat. --Regina Schroeder


“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?” (Charlie Jane Anders, io9.com)

“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.” (Christopher Paolini, bestelling author of Eragon on KRAMPUS)

“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)

“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.” (Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy on KRAMPUS)

“Filled with action, fans will wonder whether Jesse joined the wrong side as increasingly it appears to him that Santa is evil. Fans will relish the Yule Lord ‘is coming to town.’” (SFRevu on KRAMPUS)

“[A] rollicking, non-stop, action-filled, violent and yet touching story.” (Examiner.com on KRAMPUS)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; 1st edition (October 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006209565X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062095657
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #559,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I've been looking forward to this holiday season for awhile now--not because I love the extra traffic anytime I get anywhere near a shopping mall, or because I can't hear "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" enough times during these five weeks, but because I've been holding off reading a couple holiday-themed books until the season arrived. Krampus is the first of the two.

It's the fourth book written by renowned fantasy artist Brom, who I came across a few years ago when his first book Plucker came out, a story I'd describe as "Toy Story meets Guillermo del Toro." It was so unique and imaginative that I later read his next two books as they came out, including the fantastic The Child Thief, an adult retelling of the story of Peter Pan who was not as innocent as Walt Disney would have you believe.

Krampus is not for everyone. My children will not be reading it for many years to come, that is, if they choose to read it at all. After all, they might not grow up with the same literary tastes their father has. But one can hope. That being said, I enjoyed the book immensely.

Krampus is a character from European folklore whom parents would warn their children about around Christmas time--if children were good, they were told that Santa would come and leave presents, if they were bad, Krampus would come instead and put them in his sack and beat them. He's the son of the Norse god Loki, and in Brom's tale, has been imprisoned for the last 500 years because of what he perceives as Santa Clause's betrayal so long ago. Now he's managed to escape and plans to exact his revenge on His Jolliness.

Jesse Walker is a down-on-his-luck estranged father and husband who had aspirations of one day becoming a successful songwriter.
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Format: Hardcover
I always hate when reviews give too much away, or build up one sort of expectation or the other, so I'll try to keep this fairly vague. Even if you aren't thoroughly charmed by the story and characters in this book, the interior artwork is not to be missed. Brom weaves a really intriguing tale, and the paintings and sketches add the extra flavor to make this book really come alive. I was not quite sure what to expect from this book, and found myself pleasantly surprised. The Krampus is a holiday character that has always been near and dear to my heart, so I approached this book with some trepidation. I was a little afraid that Krampus wouldn't live up to my expectations, or that this tale would fall too easily into "good vs. evil," or would be too heavy-handed with either a very religious message in the end, or too heavy-handed with a non/anti-religious message in the end. I found myself thinking ahead as I progressed in the book, speculating on all the different ways it might develop or end, and finding myself delightfully wrong every time.

It's been a long time since I've had a book keep me so easily and thoroughly captivated, and keep me consistently on my toes and guessing throughout.

The style and theme of this book reminded me a tiny bit of "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman (with just a touch of the flawlessly grim mood/setting of "Winter's Bone"), but came across so much more effortlessly, was an easier and more pleasant read, and was much more balanced. I couldn't make it through the entirety of American Gods despite my want to finish it and like it, whereas with Krampus: The Yule Lord, I couldn't put it down. Don't get me wrong: this book ISN'T American Gods, and it isn't trying to be.
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Format: Hardcover
Brom has never written for the faint of heart, and "Krampus" is another amazingly haunting story. 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. Jesse is one such character, his dreams lost in his inhibitions and his wife leaving him for a man with a dark past. Through a series of event Jesse runs into mythological creatures and a feud as old as time. Horrendous though his adventure is, Jesse learns more about himself than you'd think possible with all the dead bodies.

Brom is an amazing author who I would recommend to anyone. It is rare that an author take the absolute worst situations and show that even in the blackest black we are all connected as human beings.
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Format: Hardcover
Audio narration = 5++ Kirby Heyborne does such a phenomenal job narrating this story that I would say that it was probably what I enjoyed most about the book. He brought these characters to life in such a way that I thought there were several different narrators and was surprised to find that this was not the case. I wasn't surprised to find that Heyborne also narrated parts of Cloud Atlas which was also done brilliantly. I look forward to enjoying more audio books with this narrator.

I am almost sad to say that I didn't enjoy Krampus as much as I thought I would. I loved Brom's retelling of Peter Pan in The Child Thief so much that I was anticipating the same kind of dark and disturbing storytelling in this story about a Christmas demon. Don't get me wrong, this wasn't by any means a fun, happy story, it just didn't have that element of creepiness that I expect from this author or that I anticipated with this particular subject matter. How can a story about a Christmas demon known for dragging naughty children off to Hell be anything less than terrifying? Unfortunately, there is a way.

The images of Krampus seem pretty terrifying but for some reason this story presented him as far less than intimidating, and even a little ridiculous at times with all too human-like flaws. Since Krampus is said to carry naughty children off to hell, I thought he would be a bit more imposing with less obvious weaknesses of character. There were definitely some bloody & violent moments involving The Yule Lord but I didn't find him believable as a God or descendant of Loki. Also, the background of the conflict between him and Santa was a little confusing at times, especially near the end. The way this story was resolved was even more baffling.
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