Title: The Three Sisters (The Krampus Chronicles #1)
Series/Universe: Book One of The Krampus Chronicles
Author: Sonia Halbach
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: November 2nd 2015
Page Count: 238 pages
Age Rating: Middle Grade & Up (some minor violence and death)
How I got my hot little hands on it: Received a copy to review
Publisher’s page: The Three Sisters
Fourteen-year-old Maggie Ogden thinks she knows everything there is to Grandfather Clement Clarke Moore and his legendary poem,’Twas the Night Before Christmas. But all this changes Christmas Eve 1854 when Chelsea Manor receives an unexpected visitor – Henry Livingston; who’s searching for evidence to prove that his grandfather, Major Henry, is the true author of the famous holiday poem.
The night takes a strange turn when Maggie and Henry come across another intruder in Chelsea Manor. After following the peculiar boy down a secret opening within the fireplace and through an underground tunnel full of mechanical sleighs, Maggie and Henry discover Poppel, a hidden village under New York City.
Faced with the deadly challenges presented by the legend of The Three Sisters, Maggie and Henry are forced to play by Poppel’s rules and those who run the cursed village. And they quickly learn that not only is leaving Poppel harder than arriving, but there are even more dangerous lies and mysterious truths to Clement Clarke Moore, Christmas, and a menacing creature called Krampus than anyone could have known.
The Three Sisters is a wonderfully whimsical and wholly imaginative Christmas tale that starts with the real-life controversy over the authorship of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas (Clement Clarke Moore versus Henry Livingston) and then spirals into a Christmas Eve adventure that leads the grandchildren of the two authors in question on a not-so-merry, and sometimes scary, chase.
There’s a lot going on in this book. I mean A LOT. We have the debate over the author of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, the drama within the Moore family, the underground village of Poppel (complete with a bunch of Dutch words for things that many readers will probably be unfamiliar with), the tale and backstory of Nikolaos, the legend of The Three Sisters, and the addition of Krampus – it’s pretty easy to get a bit overwhelmed. Add in the fact that, while Livingston’s grandson Henry and Moore’s granddaughter Maggie are the most central characters to the story, Moore’s six other grandchildren also join in on the adventure, plus all the people of Poppel both good or bad, no matter how minor their part is, are all called by name – it’s a bit hard to keep the whole cast of characters straight at times.
I will admit that I chose this book because of the mention of Krampus in the title – I was a little disappointed by how little Krampus is in or even mentioned in the book. The name “Krampus” doesn’t even come into play until Chapter 17 (about 2/3 of a way into the story) and is only really part of two scenes – with a name like “The Krampus Chronicles” I was expecting more.
Overall, although it gets a bit complicated and hard to keep up at times, The Three Sisters is a fun magical Christmas adventure with the feel of a Christmas classic and well worth a read. I look forward to reading the next book in the series next holiday season – crossing my fingers for more Krampus next time though.
My favorite line of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, the iconic poem that plays such a pivotal role in The Three Sisters, has always been “The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads”, so I’m recommending San Marco Coffee Sugar Plum Berry – flavors of sugar plums dance through this coffee with the subtle sweet taste of berries and plums dusted with sugar. Interesting fact, I’ve always thought Sugar Plums were similar to gum drops, but like, plum flavored – turns out, back in the day, Sugar Plums were simply a kind of sweet made of hard sugar balls with nuts or seeds in the center (read this article from The Atlantic for more information, it’s really interesting: Sugar Plums: They’re Not What You Think They Are.)