Krampus: The Yule Lord by Brom was an awesome tale of revenge and true wickedness, but also personal belief, friendship, loyalty, and family.
I was expecting this book to be wicked dark and focused only on terror. However, the horror and gore elements were rather light (in my opinion of course!).
There were a few scenes that made me cringe, and there were elements that may put this one firmly into the horror section for others; abuse, murder, torture, alcoholism, corrupt cops, gore, violence, and even one troubling scene with some meth addicts. In my opinion though, all of this happened so briefly! The main portion of the book focused more on loyalty and belief.
While this book may not have been at all what I was expecting, I still absolutely loved it!
My Thoughts on Krampus: The Yule Lord by Brom
This was quite a hefty book! I snagged a hardcover copy from my local library and phew! It made my hands sore to hold it up! I loved the size of the book though, especially how the pages were larger than a “regular” book. And of course, I loved the deckled edges!
I also really enjoyed all of the illustrations that were included on the end pages and at the beginning of each chapter. For example:
I loved how this story related back to Norse mythology! It was so interesting to see this fun twist on certain characters and what their dynamics with one another were in this instance. The author did a great job explaining things. For example, when Krampus was speaking to Jesse, he gave us a bunch of history in such an interesting way that really helped to get readers caught up to speed.
The characters were so wonderful together! I loved seeing each of them interact with one another, no matter what type of situation they were in.
I was really interested in learning about the Belsnickels and their relationship to Krampus. I thought it was so clever that it was similar to a vampire relationship, complete with turning others into beings that Krampus himself could command.
Here are my thoughts on a handful of the characters:
- Jesse– The main character. He was a gifted musician that was down on his luck and struggled to believe in himself. All he wanted to do was prove himself and get his wife and daughter back. But fate had something headed his way soon enough that would put him on the right path.
- Krampus– I just LOVED his character. I totally expected him to be nothing but terrifying, but he was surprisingly human-like; he was a total emotional rollercoaster! I especially enjoyed his character in times when he was upbeat and happy, but also when he was ready to be terrible.
- Isabel– She was one of my favorites! I loved how open minded and positive she always was. She also seemed so fun compared to the others. When we learned more about her history, I loved her even more!
- Wipi and Dipi– These two were so intriguing! I wanted to know more about their histories as soon as we met them!
- Vernon– A grouch that you couldn’t help but love! I really enjoyed his one liners and realism. I also felt pretty bad for him and the situation he was in, though I loved that he vocalized his frustrations.
- Chet– His character was interesting. It was clear he didn’t love what he was involved in when we were first introduced to him. By the end he had grown on me.
- The Bad Guys– There were a whole slew of bad guys! Like the Police Chief named Dillard, The General, “Santa Claus,” and all the little henchmen. They were each wonderfully wicked. Dillard was my least favorite simply because of some of the things he said that I could have done without. However, as an evil character overall, he was very well done. He was incredibly creepy!
- And many others! There were various characters that had very small roles, each were interesting in their own ways!
In the middle of the book, I was so thrilled to see that there was a little section of character illustrations!
Here are a few of my favorites:
Overall, I thought that the pacing was a tad slow, but not in a bad way! Everything that happened occurred over the course of a few days but there just seemed to be quite a lot of downtime mixed in with the drive the characters had to accomplish their goals.
While I say this was slow, I really think that it only helped to increase the overall suspense! I just could not wait to see how things played out… And the bits of slowness got me even more anxious!
The story itself was broken up into three main sections; Jesse, Krampus, and Yuletide. Here are a few of my thoughts on each section:
Part I- Jesse
Phew! This first part did a wonderful job getting the reader invested!
At first I felt bad for the main character, Jesse. Then I didn’t really care for him. But toward the end of this first part, I was totally rooting for him! I really enjoyed how dedicated he was to his family, even though they are in quite a tough situation.
I also really enjoyed how the author presented the Belsnickels and the history between Krampus and “Santa Claus”. The beasts that worked for “Santa” were terrifying; large ravens that can track the sack, and wolves the size of horses… both originally pets of Odin.
What a wild ride! The action picked up quickly and then they were off and running, literally. The characters were running for their lives.
Part II- Krampus
Just as packed with as many intense situations as the previous section. But in this sections, things got much darker! There was torture and lots of death!
Part III- Yuletide
Definitely the strongest section of the book! My goodness, I couldn’t put it down! There was so much action and suspense! And that last scene was perfect!
The Afterword was also wonderful! I loved getting a glimpse into how the author felt about the characters while also learning a bit if history.
My Favorite Passages from Krampus: The Yule Lord
The structure had a slight lean to it, as though one more hard wind would see it over. The boards and siding were stripped of paint and weathered pale gray. A large wooden cross lay splintered upon the front steps, apparently having tumbled from its perch atop the steeple.
Krampus’s voice sounded stronger, fuller, deep and lyrical like a bass cello.
“A house built on lies has a weak foundation, my dear old friend.”
“He gave them what they wanted, a pretty lie, and they believed, because a pretty lie is easier to believe than an ugly truth.”
My Final Thoughts on Krampus: The Yule Lord
A must read for anyone interested in Krampus or the “darker” side of the holiday. If you enjoy books with wonderful characters, a semi-slow moving plot that is also filled with suspense (if that makes any sense), and a bit of gore, then this is a great pick for you!
This is definitely one that I am going to be rereading from time to time!
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