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 she grows up, is the greatest kindness the immortals have ever beheld. Her love, throughout her life, is destined to conquer time.
But as a baby a curse is laid on her by the evil Herrikhan, who has been banished to Odyl for his wicked doings in the world of the mortals. However, in order to release himself, someone who has a pure, undefiled heart must give her heart to him. When Holly is born, Herrikhan takes the opportunity and encases her heart in ice, preserving her love and purity and kindness so that she will one day fall in love with him and give him her heart, and in turn release Herrikhan forever. But how long can Holly stay away from the mortal world, where she longs to be? And how long can her heart stay frozen before something tragic happens?
This is an epic book. This is the kind of book I strive to write; it's also the kind of book I desire to read when I want something original. A story that will tell me something new. I don't know who wouldn't want to write/read a book like this. It holds everything: power, redemption, evil, romance, mystery, intrigue, amazing kindness, and a love that conquers all. This book is...essentially...perfect. Her writing, while not my absolute favorite, was undeniably full of talent and grace and a beautiful style. From the time Holly is a baby to when she meets Jeremy, Mr. Carrol, Mr. Kleiner, and Mr. Hartman, she is transformed from a sweet baby to a beautiful and dear young woman. And in their own way and with their own personality, the other characters are built with magnificence - a perfect mixture of magic and reality.
A good example of this would be the king of Forever - Nicholas, or Santa Claus, as we know him best. I was worried he would be cliché, "that big jolly guy" kind of stuff. He is kind and jolly, yes, but he is far more than that. Brittney Ryan kept Nicholas' jolliness without turning him into the Santa that talks to kids in your local mall. He was his own person, a human (however immortal he may be), and a husband and father who had personal cares. Brittney Ryan transformed him from Santa to Nicholas, the greatest thing she could have done in this case. But all characters possessed this amazing personality that could have been terribly cliché.
This book also lives up to its name: The Legend of Holly Claus. Yes, it is a pure legend, from the first word to the last. Brittney Ryan wrote a seamless work of art that lives up to every reader's expectation of what a good legend should be like. How can a 550 paged legend be so fascinating? is a question I've often asked myself. And "Holly Claus" is the answer to that question.
Another thing that I loved is that there is no Jack Frost or Frosty the Snowman. As much as I love those characters, it was so wonderful to have something new. Herrikhan is evil, wicked, and terrifying. Holly is as lively as a bird in the morning. Despite her icy heart, she never loses sight of the greatest object in life - serving others. So she uses her talent of making dolls to serve the world around her... But of course, I won't say anymore. You'll have to read it. (Side note: Unfortunately, I can't delve into my favorite character, whose name I won't even mention. If you read the book, you will understand and will love this character just as much as I do. I just don't want to ruin the ending for you!)
One word to describe this book: enchanting. Lovely, wonderful, magic, and good-enough-to-give-you-goose-bumps will do it, too. I'm listing this book in my "Classics" category, because it is a classic. It holds everything anyone could ask for in a Christmas book, and more besides. (It's not just a seasonal book, either. I'd read it in the dead of summer!) I will surely read it again, most likely next Christmas, and I already look forward to snuggling up with a blanket and tea to read this irresistible classic.