Thursday, December 25, 2014
Krampus the Yule Lord by Brom
Santa Claus had better watch out. Krampus is coming to town, and he is set on revenge.
"Santa Claus... How vile your name upon my tongue. Like acid, hard to utter without spitting."
Santa Claus is not the saint he appears to be. Krampus is not the devil he appears to be.
Also, Brom's Krampus the Yule Lord is not really as grim as the book's cover might lead you to believe. The horned creature with his pointy tongue might have put me off if I hadn't loved one of Brom's earlier novels, The Child Thief (a retelling of Peter Pan).
Yes, Krampus is a dark fantasy. Battles between gods are no picnic, and there are violent scenes involving modern day sociopaths, crooks and meth addicts. At its core, however, this reworking of Norse and Christian mythologies contains a deep love and faith in the natural world. It is possible that good will triumph over evil.
Brom's illustrations add just the right gothic touch. Check out some of them online here, being sure to scroll down to Santa Claus.
Krampus is a great yuletide story for any day of the year.
Readalikes: American Gods (Neil Gaiman); Ragnarok (A.S. Byatt); Weaveworld (Clive Barker).