It's one of the most iconic images in history: three men on camelback, arriving at a manger, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. An impossibly bright star in the vast desert sky above. A moment of serenity and grace. A holy night. But who were the Three Wise Men? The Bible has almost nothing to say about them. Not even their names are mentioned. The historical record is vague at best. How do we know they were three kings from the East? What if they were petty, murderous thieves—on the run, escaping through Judea under cover of night?
Leave it to Seth Grahame-Smith, the brilliant and twisted mind behind Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, to take a little mystery, bend a little history, and weave an epic tale. In Grahame-Smith's telling, the so-called "Three Wise Men" are led by the dark, murderous Balthazar—the infamous "Antioch Ghost." After a brutal escape from Herod's prison, they stumble upon the famous manger and its newborn king. The last thing Balthazar needs is to be slowed down by young Joseph, Mary, and their infant. But when Herod's men begin to slaughter the first born in Judea, he has no choice but to help them escape to Egypt.
It's the beginning of a dark and savage tale that will see them cross paths with biblical figures like Pontius Pilate and John the Baptist, as the magic of old times gives way to the vicious empires of man.