Book Review: The Three Sisters (The Krampus Chronicles Book 1) by Sonia Halbach

When Maggie meets Henry while sledding, she doesn't expect him to show up on Christmas Eve making accusations about her grandfather, and she especially doesn't expect him to sneak down the chimney that night to search for proof, claiming her grandfather stole the famous "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" poem from his grandfather. But when the two of them find a secret passageway in the fireplace, they stumble into the underground village of Poppel and get trapped there, discovering there was more to the poem than they ever realized and that they, along with the rest of Maggie's family, might be the only ones who can fix the wrongs that have been brought to Poppel.

*This is a repost. If you've already commented, feel free to comment again! If you don't have anything new to say, no worries, I still appreciate your original comment!*

Book Review: The Three Sisters (The Krampus Chronicles Book 1) by Sonia Halbach | books, reading, book covers, book reviews, fantasy, fairy tales & folklore, magical realism, retellings, the legend of St. Nick retellings, holidays, Christmas, YA, middle grade
Title: The Three Sisters
Book Number: Book 1 of TBA
Pages: 238
My Rating: 4 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon


I went into this expecting horror about an evil Krampus monster. What I got instead was a YA Christmas mystery adventure with a unique spin on the legend of St. Nick and the ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas poem.

And I was so pleasantly surprised! I didn’t think teens on a mystery adventure was my thing, but I really liked this book! It caught my interest quickly, and then, as soon as they were in the underground city of Poppel, I was hooked.

The descriptions of Poppel, the story behind it, the concept—it was all very fantastical and magical. Especially when they first got there, I felt like I had stepped into some eerie yet strangely quaint, alternate North Pole town, complete with sleigh pulleys, cobblestone streets, and colorful, little shops. I loved it.

But the characters were soon swept up into the tyrannical rule of the Garrisons (the men in charge), their unethical doings, their mistreatment of the Foundlings (the orphans taken to work there), and the darkness surrounding the legend of Saint Nicholas. It was interesting and kept me turning pages. And the pacing was spot on, never overwhelming, but never dragging either.

While I didn’t connect to any of the characters on a deep level, they were the type who were fun to read about and who really had me rooting for them.

There were too many likeable ones to mention them all, but Clemmie was my favorite. He was a bit of a pompous jerk in the beginning, but his sarcasm was hilarious, and, by the end, he had proven himself to be a good person. Maggie and her sister, Catherine, were great too, both headstrong and spirited. Also, one of the things I hate most is when one person is getting attacked and the others just stand there uselessly, so I cheered every time the girls stepped in to help in those types of situations. I also liked Ward who seemed so grouchy at first but then ran around with his awesome candy weapons, doing more than his part to help.

There were even some sweet family elements since most of the main characters were siblings and cousins, and they looked out and cared for each other.

“You’re not actually going down there?”

“Of course, I am,” snapped Catharine. “Someone has our sister. And much to their future suffering, I am going after her.”

And with that, she jumped into darkness.

Overall, this was a fun adventure that’s perfect for the holiday season but can probably be enjoyed year-round, and I look forward to the next book!


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  1. Lola

    Oh a YA christmas mystery that sounds fun and unique. Most christmas books I see are adult books. The descriptions of Poppel sunds very well done, I love it when you can vividly imagine what things look like. And the character sound fun to read about. Great review!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I seriously felt like I was there and really wanted to go exploring lol. I couldn’t wait to see what they would stumble onto next in Poppel when they got there. It was such a fun book! Thanks 🙂

  2. Tizzy Brown

    This sounds like a really interesting alternative for people who want something Christmas themed but don’t want to read a cheesy winter romance. I might give this a try!

  3. suzanna

    This is a book I probably wouldn’t have picked up, even though it has a really interesting cover. But your review has me intrigued. another one to add to my TBR list – I might get round to it by next Christmas. *sighs*

  4. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    What a wonderful review. I read this one last year around this time and like you, was pleasantly surprised. I thought the mystery element was great, although I do recall wanting more Krampus. Wonder when the next book is coming out? It’s already been over a year.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Actually I read this last year too, but I reposted my review since it’s a great Christmas themed book! I’ve been wondering about the next book too though.

  5. La La in the Library

    I didn’t participate in Kimba’s Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon this year because last year I failed miserably. I DNFed almost every book I had picked out for it, ha ha. It taught me that holiday reading was not my thing! However, now that I have found Krampus stories andI know I could have also read “wintery” books, I am starting a list for next year. I will add this one because I like books about family relationships. 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha, after that experience, I can see why you didn’t participate this year. But yeah, most holiday books are mushy contemporary romance, and that just isn’t my thing. Luckily there are some Krampus and other types of SFF books out there! I definitely recommend this one 🙂

  6. Bookworm Brandee

    What an interesting premise! And I’m so happy that despite going into this with certain expectation, which weren’t met, you were pulled in for a fun time, Kristen! It’s kinda surprising you still rooted so hard for the characters even though you didn’t have a deep connection with them, but it’s also a great thing. Made the story that much more enjoyable. 🙂

    Hmm, things have changed around here. I like it! 😀

  7. Lola

    That sure is an original cover, although it also looks a bit creepy. I’ve only read few MG and YA mysteries, but I really like them usually. This one does sound interesting with the mystery adventure they go on. That city of Poppel sounds well described and like a fun place to read about.

    I just scrolled down to the other comments and saw I already had commented, which was creepy as I didn’t remember commenting yet, but then I noticed it was a comment from a year ago and I realized your review was a probably repost. Now I feel weird for commenting again, but might as well finish my comment now. And how weird that I pointed out the setting last time as well.

    It sounds like a fun read! And it sure fits this time of the year, I am currently reading two Christmas themed reads that i hope to review before Christmas. You mentioned you were looking forward to book 2, has that been released by now?

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol I’m sorry I confused you when you saw your old comment. It is in fact a repost. But hey, apparently some of your taste in books has stayed the same since you pointed out the setting both times.

      It really was a fun read! And it’s just fun reading Christmas themed books around the holidays, hope you enjoy yours 🙂 But no, still waiting for Book 2 :-/