Title: The Longest Night
Author: Mercedes Lackey
In: A Fantastic Holiday Season (Kevin J. Anderson & Keith J. Olexa)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Christmas,Easy reading
Format: Short story
Publisher: World Fire Press
5th sentence, 74th page: Well, I can until classes start, anyway.
It’s the longest night of the year, and the night that dark things stalk the halls. Especially for a student who is spending her Christmas away from her crime-fighting family in a school created for students of magic.
I first heard of Krampus a few years ago when an Austrian friend came to stay with me. She showed me YouTube footage of the celebration, and damn is it terrifying! Although, I can understand why some parents would want to tell their children the legend of Krampus – a lump of coal isn’t enough of a deterrent to stop them from being absolute terrors…
I’ve read a few of Lackey’s Valdemar series, and one of the things that I love about them is the fact that they’re kind of dark. There is no glory and sugar coating, but the story is always about someone who has some serious psychological issues and damage. It turns out that her short stories are no different. One of the girls featured in this believes that she is so naughty and evil that she deserves a visit from Krampus. Which, of course, means that all hell breaks loose. Because hey, this is a story featuring magic and mayhem.
Although The Longest Night has a dark sense overlaying the story. But, it still encompasses the spirit of Christmas. The idea of joy and love and caring for one another. At least, for me, that is something that I’ve always felt Christmas to be about…
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