I was hoping to have this done by Yule, but as everyone in existence ever knows, stuff happens during the holidays and things get put aside. Better late than never, right?
Instead of reading the traditional holiday stories, i.e. Christmas Carol, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, etc. This year I read Krampus the Yule Lord by Brom. This was my first experience with Brom, and I was not disappointed. It consists of an ancient feud between Krampus and Santa Clause.
For those unfamiliar with Krampus, he is a half-goat, half-demon who punishes those who do not respect Yule. He often punishes misbehaving children by putting them in his sack and beating them with branches. The really bad ones get eaten. He is a big part of the Winter Solstice and he is the son of Hel, the goddess of the underworld in Norse mythology, which makes him related to Loki.
In Brom's story, Krampus wants revenge on Santa Clause for imprisoning him in a cave for centuries while he took over Yule making Christmas the new thing. Santa has his own issues with the situation, but he sees Krampus as something that needs to fade into the past like everything else. Also, Santa is related to Odin, and he's not the fluffy bowl full of jelly guy children are told about. Instead, he's a barrel-chested, fully muscled Viking that packs a sword.
The story follows Jesse Walker, a down on his luck aspiring musician, who witnesses Santa in a fight with Krampus' Belsnickels on Christmas Eve. He finds Santa's sack and things escalate from there. He ends up on team Krampus in a war for dominance between Yule and Christmas. On top of all that, there's a corrupt police officer and an unhinged crime lord that complicate Jesse's life even more.
Overall it's a fun ride. It's got action, mythology, and horror all spun together into a great read. If I had a rating system I'd give it five out of five dragonflies.