For centuries upon centuries Santa Claus has traveled the world every Christmas Eve upon a sleigh pulled by reindeers, a sack of toys perched by his side. Over the course of these years, Santa Claus has never asked for anything in return, and, amongst all of the letters he receives each and every day, no one has ever asked him if he, himself possessed a Christmas wish. Until one year - in December of 1878, to be exact - when Santa Claus opens a letter from a young boy named Christopher W.C. Christopher is kind enough to put his own wants aside, and asks Santa Claus what he desires for Christmas. And so, Santa Claus's wish is granted - he receives the child he has always longed for.
Holly Claus - the Christmas Princess - is brought into the Land of Forever, along with shouts of joy, and celebration. Unfortunately, the splendor of her arrival quickly turns to sadness when the festivities are cut short thanks to the arrival of the evil Herrikhan, an individual who was banished from the Land of the Immortals many years ago for wrongdoing. Herrikhan leaves a curse upon Holly Claus, one that encases her heart in ice, forcing her to stay in a frosty climate for all eternity, or her beautiful heart will melt. But there is an ultimatum. If Holly Claus manages to find the strength to marry Herrikhan, she may live forever - just like her parents. Santa Claus is horrified by the curse, and quickly locks the gates to the Land of Forever, vowing never to open them again. This, in turn, causes Christmas to be put on hold. Suddenly, children of all ages are not experiencing the wonder of Christmas, all because of Herrikhan and Holly. So, when Holly becomes of age, she escapes from the Land of Forever along with her animal friends - Tundra the wolf; Euphemia the owl; Empy the penguin; and Lexy the fox. Holly Claus is determined to change the ways of the Land of Forever, and bring Christmas back to the masses. But when she arrives in New York City, she realizes that her quest may be harder than she originally thought - especially with Herrikhan on the loose to demolish her plans.
Years ago I fell in love with Brittney Ryan's THE LEGEND OF HOLLY CLAUS. The exuberant story, accompanied by an irresistible, compassionate heroine, and Laurel Long's breathtaking illustrations took me to another world, and kept me on the edge of my seat as I experienced the Land of the Immortals and 1800 New York City alongside Holly. Now, with the release of HOLLY CLAUS: THE CHRISTMAS PRINCESS those memories have been brought back to me quite vividly. HOLLY CLAUS: THE CHRISTMAS PRINCESS is basically an abbreviated, picture book-esque version of Ryan's 500+ page THE LEGEND OF HOLLY CLAUS. While the story is shortened quite a bit, it still holds every bit of the magic that THE LEGEND OF HOLLY CLAUS dispersed. And, with the illustrations of Laurel Long, along with Jeffrey K. Bedrick, readers of all ages will find it hard not to fall in love with Holly Claus; and, will, most likely, find themselves drawn into the story in an instant - much like myself. Once more, Ryan has outdone herself, as have Long and Bedrick. Ryan's enchanting words, located side-by-side with Long and Bedrick's magical illustrations are absolutely irresistible, and will keep you occupied for hours upon hours as you pore over the beauty of this book. A magical way to spend the holidays with the ones you love!