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The Legend of Holly Claus

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  1,471 Ratings  ·  217 Reviews
Santa Claus’s daughter sets out to break a curse and free a magical kingdom
Though few mortals know his secret, Nicholas is more than a jolly red-suited man who visits children all over the world on Christmas Eve—he is also the king of Forever, Land of the Immortals. Each year he gets letters from millions of boys and girls, and helps make their Christmas wishes come true.
ebook, 534 pages
Published October 30th 2012 by Open Road Media Teen & Tween (first published September 21st 2004)
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I utterly adored this book. The style and the story gave me the strongest sense of deja vu. It reminded me so much of the old stop animation holiday movies that I used to watch as a kid. I loved every single word and was sad when it was over. Highly recommended for kids and adults alike. It would be a crime if this book doesn't become a holiday classic considering what passes for "holiday classic" now.
Dec 27, 2014 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
A delightful story with a real Victorian feel, this is the tale of Santa Claus' daughter, Holly. Gifted, kind, intelligent and spunky, Holly has never been able to leave her home before, because she must be cold all the time or her heart will break (literally). But one December she sets out, and finds work in a toyshop with the help of a wolf, some street urchins, and a cloud of magical snow to keep her nicely chilled. A wondrous tale!

Reread 2014: Found out last year that this book is out of pri
Jan 02, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
I don't like to write about the book - I think you should discover it for yourself. What I would say is that it is uplifting, entertaining, and completely clean (no foul language, no offensive violence or behavior). An enlightened and cultured fiction book in an age of depraved and immoral literature. Really enjoyable and refreshing.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 28, 2008 Ruby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves Christmas
With Christmas coming closer and closer, I figured I would do a few holiday book reviews to get people into the season. I love reading holiday books doing the month of December and one of my favs to read with my kids is the Legend of Holly Claus. It is a very cute story from the heart of a little boy who asks Santa what he wants for Christmas.

Born to the Clauses is their little girl, Holly, who becomes cursed with a heart surrounded by ice and forced to live her life very alone. With her friend
I'm "stalling" on this, probably until next holiday season. While the focus isn't entirely on Christmas, it just seems really passe to keep reading it now especially after my trip to Florida--no continuity with the holidays at all anymore. Also, it seemed to be a bit over-long as is, so hopefully a return to it later will bring renewed enthusiasm. It's such a sweet idea and so nicely written!


I absolutely couldn't resist thi
I’m a crier. I cry most easily when I’m angry, but I also cry when I’m sad, and when I’m happy, and when my kids are being cute, and when there are freshly baked cookies to be had. I’m the person Brian Andreas had it mind when he wrote, “She said she usually cried at least once each day not because she was sad, but because the world was so beautiful & life was so short.”

The Legend of Holly Claus is a cry book. It made be cry because of its wonder and beauty. Publishers Weekly said it was a “
Nicole Javvaji
Spectacular holiday read!
I found this book in a used bookstore and was enchanted by the cover. The illustrations throughout the book are equally mesmerizing, the detailed sketches of Holly and the Land of Immortals really fuel the reader's imagination.
The story is quite long but can definitely hold the reader's attention throughout. Many plot twists and side stories to engage young minds. It has 2 excellent messages about giving love selflessly and inspiring others to dream big and go for it
Jan 02, 2010 Zibbo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all ages.
It's so lovely to read; so enchanting and romantic. :)
Well, eversince I was a kid I've always love to watch stories about Christmas, just seeing that festive colors and the brilliant lights, the cheery atmosphere and all the presents under that Christmas tree, it fills my heart soo much wish that every year, I would like to have such merry Christmas. :)

I was sorting through books, one day, at this booksale; I was looking for a mystery book and something new to me to read, and then I suddenly got
Sierra Abrams
Original review - 12/20/10

In the land of Forever, Nicholas Claus is king and rules with a kind, lovable, and steady hand. When a little boy in New York City sends Nicholas a letter, asking Santa what he wants for Christmas, Nicholas is shocked. However, he snatches the opportunity with both hands and wishes for a daughter. Holly Claus is born to him and his wife, Viviana, soon after. She is a darling child, perfect in every way. Her beauty, even as a baby, cannot be compared to. Her kindness, as
Read the full review on Pica Reads.

The Legend of Holly Claus was so sweet and so lovely that I couldn't help but enjoy every minute of it. The illustrations by Laurel Long are are incredibly beautiful and they perfectly complement the story.

I wish the romance could have been fleshed out a little bit more. I didn't really understand why Holly fell in love when she did (trying to stay spoiler-free as much as possible). It seemed like there needed to be one more chapter in the workshop (view spoile
Feb 26, 2012 Mintymedley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
I would say this is the very dark older sister to the beautiful children's book Holly Claus: The Christmas Princess.

It really adds so much to the story you never knew you were missing. You do miss the magnificent art from the children's book but the descriptions and character development make up for it.
May 19, 2012 Katy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-shelves
When I first saw this book in the store I was drawn to the beautiful artwork on the cover. Then, upon flipping the book over to look at the back, just under another gorgeous picture, in gold letters, were the words "A Julie Andrews collection." With just enough in my bank account to cover the book I headed to the checkout and have not regretted for a moment the raman I ate that week while poring over this book multiple times. This is an instant Christmas classic and every Christmas it's my #1 re ...more
Nov 13, 2012 Donna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a joyful holiday book. Certain to become a classic. I loved this book. I think everyone should have a copy to read to their children at Christmas. Holly will warm your heart. I read this on my tablet, you should have either the book or a tablet to fully appreciate the illustrations. I heartily recommend this book. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will love Holly and her friends.
David J.
Nov 16, 2012 David J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Constructive Imagining

The story's felicity of language adds to the pleasure of reading.
Each character provides incentive for family discussion,
encouraging further exploration of history and mythology.

Vivid characterization supports remembrance of classical names
and natures for minds that appreciate education.
(Suggestion: Peruse the character list or glossary first.)

While framed in fantasy, the story depicts practical scenarios
that illustrate such constructive values as mutual helpfulness
and the
Elizabeth Ashley
Plot: It was a good story-line, and creatively thought of. While it had a fantasy effect, there was something more to it that inspires the reader. The reader has the advantage of being with the main character every moment of her every day, and this makes the reader feel as if they were facing her obstacles themselves. Some points in the story were predictable, but in other ways you have no idea what will happen, and it leaves you gripping your chair.
To say it all, this plot was very well-writte
S. Todd Strader
Jan 31, 2015 S. Todd Strader rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
“Outside, the afternoon grew darker, and the icy rain began to fall. Inside the sound of wailing babies and the sour smell of thin soup wafted through the flimsy walls. Absorbed in the magic of making, Christopher noticed none of it…” - Brittney Ryan, The Legend of Holly Clause.

The title and cover grabbed me first. The language drew me in, like a Dicksonian memory, and the story itself captured me completely. This is a story of Santa’s gift, not one he gives but one he receives, and a curse, one
Book Title: The Legend of Holly Claus
Author: Brittney Ryan, illustrations by Laurel Long
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Pages: 534
Genre: Fantasy
Recommended Age: Grades 4 +
Rating: 1/2

Once upon a time, a boy wrote Santa Claus a letter asking what he wanted for Christmas. From this act of benevolence begins the magical story of Holly Claus, daughter of Nicholas Claus and princess in the Land of the Immortals. For Holly, life as the only child in a land of immortals is difficult. An ev
Cynthia Egbert
Aug 05, 2016 Cynthia Egbert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-and-read
"Deserve. That's what I don't understand about humans. This deserving idea. If it's love, you don't have to deserve it." I love this quote from the book and I love this book. I am very grateful to my friend Karma for lending it to me. I am a sucker for fairy tales and this one is well written, nicely illustrated and the themes of the story really speak to my heart. I recommend this very highly, especially for a read aloud at Christmas time for families with children.
Mar 13, 2014 Gillian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
I found this book at a garage sale a few years ago and am so glad I did. I have read it three times and will probably read it again. Highly recommend it! This heartwarming tale can be read at any time of year, not just Christmas. I love the whole story, especially the ending. Thank you Brittney Ryan!
Jan 07, 2015 Maluhia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: timeless-faves
I have had this book for years, purchasing it when it was first published years ago (2006? I think...) Every Christmas I pull it off my shelf from where it sits next to the Chronicles of Narnia and the entire JRR Tolkien collection, and read it. It is as beloved to me as the aforementioned series. Not only is the cover utterly gorgeous, but the story is so lovely and magical, written in a way that speaks of the classics. I've bought the book for all the children in my family and recommend it to ...more
Cassie Leigh
Feb 25, 2014 Cassie Leigh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
My dad's girlfriend got this book for me for christmas one year… I was probably 10 or 11. I read this book probably 3 or 4 times. There was something so riveting about it; the magic, plot, and friendships. It was my favorite book for a really long time… I think that was for two reasons: it really is a great book and it was the longest book I'd read by myself at that point that wasn't Harry Potter. Which brings me to a potential third point, it has a wonderful female lead!
Hannah  Walsh
Dec 07, 2014 Hannah Walsh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely gorgeous book.

The Legend of Holly Claus is a beautifully told story. The writing is so descriptive and has such a Victorian feel too it. There's lovable characters (one is a baby penguin, by the way), there's plot twists, and there's wonderful Christmassey feels :)

Also, the illustrations are some of the most beautiful that I've ever seen. Like, wow.

I think I find a new favorite Christmas book.
May 15, 2016 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, own, illustrated
This book reads as a light-hearted, hopeful yet rather standard-format fairy tale, with messages of hope, goodness, and pursuing your dreams despite adversity throughout it. While a little lengthy, the pacing takes care of that – though it might be hard to read as a bedtime story to a little one. Plus the language echoes that of the Victorian age which it is set in, from the usage of period words such as perambulator, to the style of the writing/narration itself. The effect is that you feel as t ...more
I actually read this book when I was much younger, so this review is written through the lens of someone barely out of elementary school. The book was enrapturing and the world was immersive. In Holly I didn't see myself, but rather someone I wanted to be. It was the perfect story and the perfect theme for a Christmas story, and I couldn't have been happier than I was curled up in a chair reading that book around Christmastime. I think it definitely warrants a reread after years of neglect, but ...more
Lauren  Librarian
Read the full review at Lauren the Librarian.

A young boy is encouraged to write to Santa Claus at the beginning of the story by his mother. Ten year old Christopher writes that he has everything he needs in this world, but instead asks the benevolent ruler of The Land of Immortals if there is anything he wants for Christmas. It is in this beautiful spirit of giving that this story takes flight. Unbeknownst to young Christopher, he plays a great role later on in the story.

When Nicholas Claus rece
Jan 06, 2016 Rebekah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting book. It was different. It was just everything I didn't expect. There were a lot of really creepy/dark things described in the same manner that the magical snow in the shop was. Herrikhan was terrifying and gross and I'm really glad he got the end he got. But even that was unexpected. The grand finale was dealt with in the same tone as Holly getting dressed for a regular work day. It was over in a single paragraph.
Dec 16, 2015 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As much as I enjoyed reading this, which I was drawn to buy based on the beautiful illustrations, I found it often derivative and predictable--I guessed Christopher's relationship with Holly from the beginning, and the Sleeping Beauty influence is strong, but a beautifully-written book with interesting characters. I loved Holly, Nicholas, Viviana, and Tundra. Alexia was a bit annoying, though. I didn't like the way Terra was so easily killed by Herrikhan, but a similar death inflicted proved ill ...more
Sep 26, 2016 Tiana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
This is one of the few books my dad gave me to read. I have never seen anyone talk about it before or after reading it, and that's a shame. This is a beautiful story and a true gem that I can't wait to read again over the holidays. It also has full page illustrations which are just as beautiful as the cover and add a whole other dimension to the story. I just love Holly and Christopher and everything about this story.
Oct 13, 2016 Laree rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everyone who ever loved Christmas as a child should read this book. We need more books with this amount of wonder and joy and happiness in them! From the start she so completely captured that wide eyed awe children experience each Christmas season. I adored this book (my only negative is I feel like the conflict resolved a bit too quick at the end)
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Brittney Ryan is an American author who was born in Portland, Oregon. She attended the University of Portland’s School of Dramatic Arts and Music. Since then, she has performed in musicals and has worked as a composer, producer, and television commentator. However, Ryan is best known as a storyteller and the New York Times bestselling author of The Legend of Holly Claus, a magical Christmas fantas ...more
More about Brittney Ryan...

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“It's a strange truth that no matter how persuaded we might be of our own correctness, the discomfiting realization that others disagree with us causes a paralyzing inability to argue the case convincingly.” 30 likes
“I've felt sometimes like I'd be less trouble if I'd just sit back and be quiet. But dreams are too important. We can't just let our dreams dry up and die, because then our hearts would break.” 7 likes
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