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

Legend of Holly Claus

4.7 34
by Brittney Ryan, Laurel Long
     
 

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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

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Overview

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)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060585150
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/26/2006
Series:
Julie Andrews Collection Series
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
544
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 1.08(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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