Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Book Review: The Legend of Holly Claus by Brittney Ryan

The Legend of Holly Claus
by Brittney Ryan

Genre: Fantasy / Holiday / Romance / Adventure / Middle Grade

Ages: 8 and up

I received an e-copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Description:

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.

My Thoughts:

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.

Rating System: Profanity, Sexuality and Violence 
1 (mild) through 10 (extreme). Ratings may contain spoilers.


Profanity:
I don't remember any swearing, but there might have been a 'damn' or 'drat'. Sorry, but my kindle isn't behaving today and refuses to do word searches.

Sexuality:
I rate it a 1.10 for some mildly sensual vibes and a kiss or two.

Violence:
I rate it a 5.10 for murder, attempted murder, and some brief violence, never graphically described. 

                          Lieder Madchen

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