Legend of Holly Claus
  • Legend of Holly Claus
  • Legend of Holly Claus

Legend of Holly Claus

4.7 34
by Brittney Ryan, Laurel Long

View All Available Formats & Editions

Santa Claus is the King of Forever, Land of the Immortals. When one special boy writes to Santa asking what no other child has ever asked, a miracle occurs: Santa and Mrs. Claus are blessed with a daughter. But the birth of Holly Claus also brings about a terrible curse—from an evil soul named Herrikhan. Holly's heart is frozen, and the gates to Forever

…  See more details below


Santa Claus is the King of Forever, Land of the Immortals. When one special boy writes to Santa asking what no other child has ever asked, a miracle occurs: Santa and Mrs. Claus are blessed with a daughter. But the birth of Holly Claus also brings about a terrible curse—from an evil soul named Herrikhan. Holly's heart is frozen, and the gates to Forever are locked, barring exit or entry.

As she grows into a beautiful and selfless young woman, Holly longs to break the spell that holds her people hostage. With four faithful and magical animal friends, she escapes to the wondrous world of Victorian New York, where she will face countless dangers, adventures, and a miracle all her own.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
In florid prose, first-time author Ryan expands the Santa Claus mythos with this meandering novel. In 1878 New York City, 10-year-old Christopher writes a letter asking Santa what he wants for Christmas-something no one has ever done before. Saint Nick realizes that he, the King of "Forever, the Land of the Immortals," wants a child of his own, and soon Holly Claus is born. Ryan borrows from Christian allegory and fairytale. The evil warlock Herrikhan, for instance, is "condemned to Odyl, the fortress that sweats beneath the earth in its bed of molten fire." The only way to break his curse is to "possess the purest and most compassionate heart ever born." That heart, of course, belongs to Holly. Herrikhan turns the baby's heart to ice, necessitating that she be kept cold or die. The book's first half follows Holly growing up in her "frozen wonderland" within the Land of the Immortals, and her relationship with Tundra, a noble wolf. In the second half, Holly and Tundra and a team of reindeer set off for New York City, shortly before Christmas; it is now 1896 and Herrikhan awaits. Holly eventually meets (and falls in love with) Christopher, now a man-but he no longer believes. Gaps in logic may trouble fantasy fans (e.g., why does Tundra's partner lose her immortality just because she fell outside Forever, even though St. Nick comes and goes without losing his?) and readers may feel gypped by the quick showdown between Holly and Herrikhan after the book-long buildup. But those searching for a lush and leisurely Yuletide read may not mind the flaws. Long's intricate pen-and-inks add to the gifty package. Ages 9-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The gates of Forever, the Land of the Immortals, have been locked since the birth of Holly, daughter of Nicholas Claus and his wife Vivianna. At her christening, as gifts were bestowed upon the baby Holly, the evil wizard Herrikhan invoked a spell that froze Holly's heart and closed the gates of Forever prohibiting entry or exit. As the young girl grew she lamented her life in a frozen world and longed to break the spell that held her captive and barred souls from reaching the land of happiness. Now a grown young woman of unparalleled grace and beauty, Holly disobeys her father and escapes to Victorian New York City a few days before Christmas. There she hopes to confront the evil Herrikhan and break the spell in time for her father's Christmas Eve arrival. This first novel can't seem to define what it is. There are elements of fairy tale, legend, history, the Bible, and Harry Potter all blended into one very long story of epic proportions without the writing to match. Tighter editing could have shortened the novel by a third and left a story that doesn't wander aimlessly at times. The are wonderful moments of magic and mystery that show promise from this new author, but the story she has presented to us is saccharine and overly written. This Julie Andrew imprint has been published with a heaping spoonful of sugar. The black and white sketches perfectly portray the fairy tale magic that the writer so desperately seeks. 2004, Julie Andrews Collection/HarperCollins, Ages 10 to 12.
—Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-A letter written in 1878 to Santa Claus by a 10-year-old boy asking not for presents but to know what Santa himself wishes for allows the gent (aka Nicholas, King of Forever) and his wife to realize their greatest dream, the birth of a daughter named Holly. She is, however, cursed by an evil sorcerer, Herrikhan, who surrounds her infant heart with ice and promises to return to collect it one day. Holly grows up happy but lonely in the Land of the Immortals, and when she becomes a young woman, she takes a daring and possibly deadly trip to Victorian New York City, where she is determined to do good deeds. There she has adventures, brings joy to the hearts of young and old, and manages to foil Herrikhan with the shining purity of her love. The writing is acceptable, if a little precious, and the descriptions of Nicholas and his household are a pleasure to read, but the whole Herrikhan plot is jarring, inconsistent, and unnecessary; there are more than enough characters and subplots swirling through this novel already without the addition of a leering, black-tongued sorcerer. The drawings scattered throughout are detailed and a touch old-fashioned, a good match for the sentimental tone of the text. Fans of Alcott, Spyri, and Burnett may enjoy this long and convoluted tale.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In a letter-writing twist, a boy asks Santa what he wants for Christmas. Holly is born, and her fate seems sealed when the warlock Herrikhan curses the baby with a cold heart, which he hopes to claim when she matures. Cursed himself, Herrikhan must possess the purest heart to obtain his freedom. Holly's curse affects everyone in Forever, Land of the Immortals, as she must live in cold conditions to keep her heart alive and no new souls may enter Forever. The only immortal who hasn't proven herself worthy of the honor, Holly finds a way to reach Victorian Empire City (a.k.a. New York), where she brings magic to children, finds true love, and crushes Herrikhan's curse. This story strives to be an original fairy tale, but fails with trite narration and melodramatic dialogue. Grotesque violence abruptly jars the saccharine tone at times. Ryan even changes traditional toy-making elves into cranky goblins who dress up as elves for reporters. The only noteworthy features are Long's exquisite, detailed illustrations. (Fiction. 9-12)

Read More

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Julie Andrews Collection Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 1.08(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Legend of Holly Claus 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this Heart-warming book! As soon as I read the first time I could not put it down. Now every Christmas I read it, in fact I get so excited about reading I start reading it in October! I would recommend this book to anyone of any age.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is but one word I can use to describe this 302 page book, MAGIC! Starting next year,as he is to young this year, my daughter is going to read this book to my beautiful boy grandling. 1 chapter a night starting on December 1st and finishing with the epilogue on what else? Christmas Eve. I love this book! Magical story with beautiful illustrations to match. So very glad I found it!!
TheStuffofSuccess More than 1 year ago
Ten year old Christopher writes a letter to Santa Claus and asks what his wish would be. This was a selfless request - he didn't want to know what Santa would bring him. This selfless act allowed Mr and Mrs Claus to finally have a child - named Holly Claus. From here the story gets really interesting. There are good guys, bad guys and of course Santa and Christmas. My kids loved every single character. Before we read to much about them I would ask them what they thought the characteristics would be. This story was such a magical story and easy to get caught up in. I am so thankful to have been given the opportunity to be exposed to this story. It may just end up being a story the kids and I read each holiday season. Definitely a 5 out of 5 stars story. I received this book via Netgalley. All opinions, good or bad, are my own.
MadyLM More than 1 year ago
This was the best Christmas book ever! So well writen and the illustrations are so pretty! I am a teenager, and found this book fine for my age. Not sure a 9-12 year old would read it as it is 500+ pages long. I loved this book-well worth the money!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this book! I couldn't put it down as soon as I started reading it. Brittney Ryan has touched many hearts and made anyone who read this book believe that they could do anything they dream of. Christmas time, a selfless and pure heroine, and such a deep moral intertwined together make this one of the most heart-warming books I have ever read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Harry Potter move over...Holly Claus and her friends are sure to become one of the greatest new classics of our time. The story is magical, the characters are charming and fresh, Holly is a wonderful role model and you can't help but love her, she is sure to become a part of our holiday tradition just as her father (King Nicholas AKA Santa Claus)...My children and I are reading the book for the third time. We can't wait for the sequel. We play a game where we look for clues and try to guess what will happen in the next book. I belive in Holly Claus, and if you are not a jaded critic chances are you will love her and all her friends that live in the land of the Immortals in the city of forever.
ebythewillows More than 1 year ago
Such an amazing story! I remember reading it over and over again when I was in intermediate school, and although my little sisters couldn't read, they loved the fantastic pictures and bits of story I would tell them. Now grown, they have learned to love this book as much as I did, and ten years later, this story moves me still.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read it and it is the worst book ever.
LiederMadchen More than 1 year ago
My very favorite novel to read over the holidays. I"m not sure what led me to read this book, but I am very glad I did. Maybe it was the pretty cover, or the setting of mid-1800s New York. My family has never done 'Santa Claus' in any way, shape or form, so it was an unusual choice for me. However, from the very first page, I fell in love. The Legend of Holly Claus is, in essence, a fairytale, and I'm a sucker for fairytales. The infant princess, Holly, is cursed by a terrible warlock and is then raised in a very sheltered, lonely way. She has a few unusual, loyal to the bitter end friends (I love Euphemia and Empy in particular). Holly grows up looking at the world from the outside, yearning to experience life outside of the magical palace that keeps her safe, but isolated. She is a sweet, fairly simple character, which would in other stories come across as boring, but in this one it was in keeping with the straightforward simplicity of the fairytale-style adventure, and with the curse that has frozen her heart in a state of perpetual innocence. After breaking out of Forever, her homeland, Holly lands on her feet in New York, finding a place to work at a toyshop, which is owned by a man named Mr. Carroll, a brooding, enigmatic figure who lurks behind curtains and never says a word that is not bad-tempered. Then the dashing Mr. Hartman sweeps her off her feet. The men in the story are much more complicated then Holly, adding a bit of darkness to keep the novel from being to sweet. Ms. Ryan's writing has a certain charm to it that I was unable to resist. While this book is usually to be found in the children's section of a library or bookstore, it has enough weight and intelligence to entertain any age of reader. I've already read and enjoyed it more than once. I'll be reading it again next year, a Christmas tradition in the making. I received an e-copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in the bathtub. So now you probably think I am gross and bathe in my own filth. But I took a shower before that so it was okay. If you still don't get it's called a Japanese version of a bath. Anyway, back to the book. This book was amazing it had imaginitive characters that you could relate to. This book is filled with magic and romance and I absolutely loved it. -ichigo tachikawa
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is very good i like the hint of romance.This book captures your mind heck,I finished the book in a day.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Legend of Holly Claus puts a new twist on the story of Santa Claus. You experience a most descriptive, suspenceful, sensitive side to a Christmas legend and with beautiful ideas and fantasy, this novel is difficult to put down. I think that everyone should notice what a talented author that Britney Ryan is, so be sure read The Legend of Holly Claus.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Where to begin to tell all that is right with this book? I don't know what to think about the criticisms of the 'pro's' here--maybe they have gotten a little out of touch with what makes a great story. Brittney Ryan certainly knows!! Holly is a heroine that gives up nothing of her feminity and sweetness to express her strength. She is at times feisty and willful, but always respectful and reverent, honoring of her parents and noble of heart--qualities sadly lacking in too many modern characters. This book has had my 8 yo dtr and 13 yo son and I absolutely riveted from start to finish. There are layers and layers of truth and love and hope in this story and these are characters that will settle down and live in our hearts forever. Some fantasies have a way of becoming real in your heart and this is one of those. Brittney Ryan has redeemed Santa Claus for me and has shattered the commercialized crust off the old character. What a treasure!