22 Winter Holiday Fantasy Must Reads

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett


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Hogfather
By Terry Pratchett

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, Hogswatchnight, when the Hogfather himself dons his red suit and climbs in his sleigh pulled by—of course—eight hogs, to shower gifts across Discworld. But when the fat man goes missing, someone has to sit in. It’s up to Death to take up the reigns—otherwise the sun won’t shine tomorrow . . . or ever again.

roads by seabury quinn


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Roads
By Seabury Quinn

Drawing upon the original Christian legends that coalesced over centuries into the familiar, jolly form of Saint Nicholas, pulp fiction pioneer Seabury Quinn weaves a spellbinding new origin for this most beloved of children’s icons in his classic novella Roads.

“I have not tried to paint the portrait of a man, but merely to present a personality and hazard a guess as to the motivation that makes Santa Claus the wondrous figure he is — a figure who more than any other exemplifies the beauty of selflessness.” — Seabury Quinn

Krampus the yule lord by brom


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Krampus the Yule Lord
By Brom

Christmas Eve in a small hollow in Boone County, West Virginia, struggling songwriter Jesse Walker witnesses a strange spectacle: seven devilish figures chasing a man in a red suit toward a sleigh and eight reindeer. When the reindeer leap skyward taking the sleigh, devil men, and Santa into the clouds, screams follow. Moments later, a large sack plummets earthward, a magical sack that will thrust the down-on-his luck singer into the clutches of the terrifying Yule Lord, Krampus. But the lines between good and evil become blurred as Jesse’s new master reveals many dark secrets about the cherry-cheeked Santa Claus, and how half a millennium ago, the jolly old saint imprisoned Krampus and usurped his magic.

Now Santa’s time is running short, for the Yule Lord is determined to have his retribution and reclaim Yuletide. If Jesse can survive this ancient feud, he might have the chance to redeem himself to his family, to save his own broken dreams…and help bring the magic of Yule to the impoverished folk of Boone County.

Curses and Candy Canes cozy Mystery


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Curses and Candy Canes
By Various Authors

Are you ready for more spellbinding cozy mysteries filled with magic, furry familiars, and paranormal fun?
Then conjure some cocoa from your cauldron and dive into this enchanting collection of holiday mysteries from 15 of your favorite witchy authors!

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe


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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
By C. S. Lewis

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a fantasy novel for children by C. S. Lewis, published by Geoffrey Bles in 1950. It is the first published and best known of seven novels in The Chronicles of Narnia. Among all the author’s books, it is also the most widely held in libraries.

Henderbell: The Shadow of Saint Nicholas, by J.D. Netto


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Henderbell: The Shadow of Saint Nicholas
By J.D. Netto

Enzo and Ava Griffin never expected to face their worst nightmare on Christmas eve. Though they always dreamed of magic, they never thought of its actual existence, and the consequence it carries. During a violent snow storm, they’re visited by foul creatures called Shadow Spirits. The eerie beings kidnap both of their grandparents, vanishing into a portal found on the bark of a tree.

After the frightening incident, Enzo and Ava discover Henderbell, a world full of magic, wonder, and secrets. But an impending doom is revealed to them. The king and queen of Henderbell are missing, and their absence could trigger the destruction of this new-found world and the human realm. On the quest to find both Henderbellian rulers, Enzo and Ava learn of a curse placed upon their own bloodline. But other ancient enemies have risen from their graves, seeking revenge for a past unknown to them.

Claus Legend of the Fat Man


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Claus : Legend of the Fat Man
By Tony Bertauski

Short, fat and hairy, they have lived peacefully on the North Pole since the Ice Age but Nicholas is quickly swept into the colony’s first and only fracture. The elven known as the Cold One has divided his people. His name is Jack. And Jack’s tired of hiding. Why should they live in a shrinking ice cap when humans occupy the rest of the world?

It’s just not fair.

There’s no stopping Jack from world domination until Nicholas Santa, the only human to enter the elven colony, joins helium-bladder reindeer, artificially-intelligent snowmen, and a merry band of big-footed elven to bring peace back to the North Pole.

The Christmasaurus


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The Christmasaurus
By Tom Fletcher

Once upon a time–long, long ago, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth–an egg rolled away from its mother and landed in the ocean, where it froze solid and stayed peacefully for thousands of years. Then one day Santa and his elves discover the frozen egg, and Santa sits on it to see if it will hatch. But he can’t guess what’s inside. . . . A dinosaur!

Meanwhile, a young boy named William Trundle has only ever wished for one thing for Christmas: a dinosaur! So when Santa accidentally gives William the real Christmasaurus instead of a stuffed replica, it’s the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER! Until an evil man known as the Hunter decides a dinosaur will be the perfect addition to his collection.

Winterspell by claire legrand


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Winterspell
By Claire Legrand 

After her mother is brutally murdered, seventeen-year-old Clara Stole is determined to find out what happened to her. Her father, a powerful man with little integrity, is a notorious New York City gang lord in the syndicate-turned-empire called Concordia. And he isn’t much help.

But there is something even darker than Concordia’s corruption brewing under the surface of the city, something full of vengeance and magic, like the stories Clara’s godfather used to tell her when she was a little girl. Then her father is abducted and her little sister’s life is threatened, and Clara accidentally frees Nicholas from a statue that has been his prison for years. Nicholas is the rightful prince of Cane, a wintry kingdom that exists beyond the city Clara has known her whole life.

 

The wolves of midwinter by anne rice


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The Wolves of Midwinter
By Anne Rice

The novel opens on a cold, gray landscape. It is the beginning of December. Oak fires are burning in the stately flickering hearths of Nideck Point. It is Yuletide. For Reuben Golding, now infused with the wolf gift and under the loving tutelage of the Morphenkinder, this Christmas promises to be like no other . . . as he soon becomes aware that the Morphenkinder, steeped in their own rituals, are also celebrating the Midwinter Yuletide festival deep within Nideck forest.

From out of the shadows of the exquisite mansion comes a ghost—tormented, imploring, unable to speak yet able to embrace and desire with desperate affection . . . As Reuben finds himself caught up with the passions and yearnings of this spectral presence and the preparations for the Nideck town Christmas reach a fever pitch, astonishing secrets are revealed, secrets that tell of a strange netherworld, of spirits—centuries old—who possess their own fantastical ancient histories and taunt with their dark, magical powers . . .

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand


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The Afterlife of Holly Chase
By Cynthia Hand

On Christmas Eve five years ago, seventeen-year-old Holly Chase was visited by three Ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she’d become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways. She didn’t. And then she died.

Now she’s stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge—as their latest Ghost of Christmas Past. So far, Holly’s afterlife has been miserable. But this year’s Scrooge is different. This year’s Scrooge might change everything…

The Nightmare Before Christmas


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The Nightmare Before Christmas
By Tim Burton

Jack is bored of “the scaring, the terror, the fright….tired of being something that goes bump in the night”. And so, in an effort to bring to joy to his town, Jack kidnaps Santa and takes his place as the jolly old elf. But instead of bringing joy to the world Jack, who is a little more than a grinning skeleton, brings fear by delivering creepy toys and riding a sleigh carried by skeletal reindeer. Only through a number of things going horribly wrong does Jack learn the true meaning of Christmas.

NOS4A2


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NOS4A2: A Novel
By Joe Hill

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Letters from father christmas


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Letters From Father Christmas
By J.R.R. Tolkien

Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in a strange, spidery handwriting and a beautiful colored drawing or painting. The letters were from Father Christmas.

They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole: how the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place; how the accident-prone North Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house into the dining room; how he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the Man in it fall into the back garden; how there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house, and many more.

Season of Wonder


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Season of Wonder
By Various Authors

Wonders abound with the winter holidays. Yuletide brings marvels and miracles both fantastic and scientific. Christmas spirits can bring haunting holidays, seasonal songs might be sung by unearthly choirs, and magical celebrations are the norm during this very special time of the year. The best stories from many realms of fantasy and a multitude of future universes, gift-wrapped in one spectacular treasury of wintertime wonder.

Snowed by Maria Alexander


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Snowed
By Maria Alexander

Charity Jones is a 16-year-old engineering genius who’s bullied for being an atheist at her conservative high school. Everything changes when Charity’s mother brings home a dreamy teen runaway named Aidan to foster for the holidays. Matched in every way, Charity and Aidan soon fall into dizzying first love.

But it seems Aidan isn’t the only newcomer: Charity soon finds the brutally slain corpse of her worst bully, and then gets hard, haunting evidence that something monstrous is stalking Oak County. Can Charity and her Skeptics Club stop the killer?

Christmas is coming…or is it Krampus? Great Christmas horror with a romantic twist for teens and adults!

The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper


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The Dark is Rising
By Susan Cooper

On the Midwinter Day that is his eleventh birthday, Will Stanton discovers a special gift– that he is the last of the Old Ones, immortals dedicated to keeping the world from domination by the forces of evil, the Dark. At once, he is plunged into a quest for the six magical Signs that will one day aid the Old Ones in the final battle between the Dark and the Light. And for the twelve days of Christmas, while the Dark is rising, life for Will is full of wonder, terror, and delight.

The life and adventures of santa claus


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The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus
By L. Frank Baum

An imaginative work published in 1902, Baum tells the story of Claus, an orphaned human raised by various immortal creatures in an enchanted forest. When he reaches adulthood, Claus is told to live among mortals, and he is disheartened initially by poverty, war, and other negative aspects of humanity. He becomes well-known for his kindness to children, and this enthusiasm leads to the invention of the first toys. Claus eventually makes it his life’s mission to bring joy to children, and this unfolds into an entertaining explanation of many Christmas traditions, including stockings, trees, and climbing chimneys. The road is not always smooth, and Claus ultimately must face the result of mortality after a lifetime of generosity. “The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus” shows the depth of Baum’s understanding of children that explains his monumental success as an author of classic children’s literature.

How the Grich Stole Christmas


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How The Grinch Stole Christmas!
By Dr. Seuss

Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot . . . but the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!

Not since “‘Twas the night before Christmas” has the beginning of a Christmas tale been so instantly recognizable. This heartwarming story about the effects of the Christmas spirit will grow even the coldest and smallest of hearts. Like mistletoe, candy canes, and caroling, the Grinch is a mainstay of the holidays, and his story is the perfect gift for readers young and old.

The Unconquered Sun Chris Thorndycroft


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The Unconquered Sun
By Chris Thorndycroft

7 tales of the mysterious, the mythological and the fantastical from the darkest part of the year.

Christmas (or Yule) means many things to many people. From sacrifice to the sun at Stonehenge to the Roman festival of light to the birth of Jesus and beyond, it is the time for rebirth and rejoicing. It is the anonymous gift-giving spirit of Saint Nicholas, the survival of evergreens during cold winters (and puritan outlawry). It means warmth, friendship, charity and of course, Santa Claus…

These stories delve deep into the past and reveal the origins of traditions we still carry with us today. From Neolithic Britain to Ancient Rome, from Judea to puritan England, from Spain to New York and beyond, take this time-travelling trip to the traditions of our ancestors and discover the magical story of Christmas through the eyes of the people who experienced it.

Yule Graves by Amanda A. Allen


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Yule Graves
By Amanda A. Allen

Awkward family holiday doesn’t even cover it. More like all out war. So Rue Hallow decides to stay in school, work ahead on her classes, and decide what to do about…everything.

Except, her parents show up on her doorstep. Her dad is withdrawing from love potions, her mother is heartbroken and especially nasty. That would have been enough to drive anyone mad, but Rue’s father discovers a body and ends up as the prime suspect in a murder investigation.

Rue, her sister, and her mother have to team up to save the one person they all adore. And try to keep from killing each other while they do it.

A Fantasy Christmas: Tales From The Hearth


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A Fantasy Christmas: Tales From The Hearth
By Various Authors

Michelle Crow – It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Tinkmas
When a little bit of Christmas magic pulls Tink through space-time continuum, she finds herself face-to-face with two surprises: a curious little human and a tray of cookies.

Deanna Young – Late To The Party
Chaz’s magical career goes up in smoke when the Christmas Eve delivery of a baby dragon goes terribly wrong.

A. A. Warne – FrankenSanta
Three naughty Elves accidently kill Santa Clause and decide to bring him back to life. Unfortunately, he’s not quite the same.

Kieran McKiel – The Snows At Asrum
Far away from home, Alecksi fights a war he doesn’t understand against a foe he doesn’t know. As the holy of Rodestuo approaches, he decides he’s had enough.

Haskell Crow – Sugared Dates
Adventure is just on the other side of the river, during the festival of lights. Aelynn wished he could celebrate, but he couldn’t miss this opportunity while everyone was destracted.

Serena Dawson – A Heist, A Prophecy, And A Unicorn
When Taramon hears his arch enemy has taken a forbidden prophecy, he decides to steal it back; and with the help of his unicorn, rescue his brother from execution.

Joshua A. Brown – For All Of Clainsmyth
The light of the winter solstice holiday Clainsmyth, has been sent by the gods as a gift to the mortals. But dark forces want her magic, and so the race is on.

R. A. Darlinge – The Faded Photograph
Nicholai doesn’t celebrate Christmas. Will sharing the pain of the past bring healing and Christmas spirit into his life?

Ezra Raikes – Half Chained, Entirely Unwanted
A brother and sister flee from prison, and take a chance to survive in the nightmarish forest beyond.

Dragonness Wyverna – A Solstice Promise
Four friends combine their holiday tradition to celebrate the arrival of winter solstice.

L. R. Huseboe – Folly Amongst The Holly
Invited to Christmas dinner with her best friend, Myrah is confronted with the magical truth about herself and the world around her.

And stories from:

E. S. Fulrán – Hunter’s Moon

Pam Hage – Winter Gardens

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