Tale of The Winter Lands


Fiction - Holiday
194 Pages
Reviewed on 12/07/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

Sitting in her bedroom in Manhatten, Victoria writes another letter to Santa asking for some excitement in her mundane life. Victoria still likes to believe he exists even though she is 26 years old. Her parents cannot understand why she still likes to wear her Christmas jumper and play festive songs in October. Victoria's wishes come true almost immediately when she bumps into a mysterious man on the ice rink at the Rockefeller Center, who seems to know her. Shortly afterward, Victoria meets her first love Brian at the airport just as she is about to board a flight to Italy for her cousin's wedding. With her mind still spinning from seeing Brian after so long, Victoria takes the wrong flight and eventually arrives in a mysterious place called The Winter Lands. Victoria meets some extraordinary characters who need her help to urgently rescue someone who has become lost. Victoria must complete her mission, repair her relationship with Brian, and teach her cynical father that people are essentially kind-hearted without revealing the existence of The Winter Lands.

Tale of The Winter Lands by JD Bass is such a delightful tale that will transport you back to your childhood, where you were allowed to imagine and dream anything was possible. The descriptive narrative was exceptional and brought New York, Finland, and the magical Winter Lands to life. I loved the characters especially Rudolph and Grandpa A; they were so kind and intuitive to Victoria's emotions. The relationship between Victoria and Brian was perfect, you could feel the strong chemistry between them. There is never a dull moment in the story and it moves forward consistently with magical situations and a startling revelation about Brian later in the plot. I thought there were so many great life lessons cleverly scattered throughout the story which would inspire children to become caring individuals.

The story teaches us not to be afraid to be yourself and live an authentic life. Don't live in fear of what others may think if you feel in your heart something is the right decision for you. Be considerate and charitable with no expectation of receiving anything in return. The story also highlights that you can feel lost, not just physically like Sean, but also mentally and emotionally if you are not living your dreams. I loved the thought that in the Winter Lands there is a light where 'Every light is for one kid that’s been helped and taken down the right path in the world.” Tale of The Winter Lands by JD Bass is truly an enchanting tale that could be enjoyed at any time of the year.

Jack Magnus

Tale of The Winter Lands is a holiday-themed adventure fantasy novel written by JD Bass. Even though she was twenty-six years old now, Victoria still wrote a letter to Santa Claus every year. Victoria loved the Christmas season and living in Manhattan meant she experienced the holidays at their best. While she still lived at home with her parents and younger sister, Victoria had an active social life, complete with friends who enjoyed skating, clubbing, and being new adults in a thriving metropolis. Victoria’s life suddenly became more interesting when her father announced that a beloved cousin in Italy was to be married in a matter of days. While they could not all attend at such short notice, her father designated Victoria as the family’s representative. She would be going to Italy! But strange things happened as she began her transatlantic journey. Somehow she ended up in a remote location in Finland. The airline promised to resolve the issue to her satisfaction, but the journey continued to get even stranger in a magical, even mystical kind of way.

JD Bass’s Tale of The Winter Lands is an imaginative and original tale that begins in a city unparalleled for its Christmas cheer and pageantry and takes the reader on a marvelous tour of the lands where snow falls. This is a grand coming of age story which follows a sheltered young woman as she grabs hold of her chance to strike out on her own, takes risks, and realizes that she too can achieve the impossible. All it took was faith, belief, and courage. Bass’s characters are finely honed and true-to-life and her story is an apt tribute to classic high quest fantasy. Tale of The Winter Lands is highly recommended.

Jamie Michele

Tale of The Winter Lands by JD Bass is a fantasy novella that revolves around the serendipitous adventure of a twenty-six-year-old named Victoria, called Vicky by all who know her. Vicky has a genuine love for Christmas, listening to carols and wearing her garb long before the garland gets strung up in the rest of Manhattan. Her annual letter to Santa, a tradition she carries on even as she edges closer to her thirties, is also ahead of schedule and details her most fervent, admirable desires. A masquerade ice skating gala has her in the arms of a mysterious yet somehow familiar man in a Flash mask, and a return home drops a wedding invitation to Italy square in her lap. On the morning of the trip, her luck appears to transition from bad to worse, but as she finds herself in The Winter Lands, the trajectory of her life shifts course.

“But just to remind you, everything you do or believe in, do it with a heart full of honesty and never change your good ways just to impress someone or to fit in.” Tale of The Winter Lands is a sweet, light read that has arrived just in time for Christmas. JD Bass paints a world of snowy delight and a whole host of characters that come to life as they cross Vicky's path. I would have liked some of the gaps to be filled in, such as Italy, which is brushed off with a very brief accounting. I imagine this is because the book is a novella as opposed to a full-length novel and so in that regard what the author has put together is admirable. The writing is clean and tight, and the message behind the plot is genuinely special. I loved being immersed in Christmas magic, complete with cinnamon hot cocoa—which I didn't even know was a thing! The backstory of hardship in her earliest years make a reader believe that Vicky and her family deserve all they have in their later years, and all Vicky is entrusted with. This is an easy read for a quick jaunt into the land of Christmasy-feels. Highly recommended.

Edith Wairimu

JD Bass’s delightful holiday story, Tale of The Winter Lands, carries an impactful lesson as it explores the true meaning of Christmas. At twenty-six, Victoria still believes in more than what the eye can see. Some months before Christmas, she writes a letter to Santa, a tradition that sparks a new life-changing experience in her life. On a journey to Italy for a family event, she lands in an unknown destination surrounded by snow and with no one in sight. Victoria begins to panic, wondering how she could ever get home. As she struggles to take in and make sense of everything around her, a talking bear approaches her. Things get more bizarre as the bear introduces her to other parts of the magical Winter Lands. During her visit, Victoria learns of a difficult mission that her new friends request her to take on. Through it all, Victoria unravels the true sense of the Christmas spirit.

In Tale of The Winter Lands, JD Bass describes the Winter Lands in absorbing detail. The story imagines a whimsical, beautiful place where friendship and community play a significant role. It also contains an eccentric set of characters from a sarcastic, impatient pilot, a loving bear, amazing, caring hosts, strict but loving parents, and more. In her mission, Victoria inspires others to believe in more than they can see and help the people around them. The story is set in New York and it encourages slowing down and being kind. As the main character, Victoria is brave and determined as she works on fulfilling the mission. She overcomes the issues she faces along the way to achieve her encouraging goals. Tale of The Winter Lands by JD Bass is a sweet, uplifting story about the true meaning of Christmas.

Joy Hannabass

Tale of The Winter Lands by JD Bass is a story about 26-year-old Victoria who still loves writing letters to Santa, but she will never let her friends know about her little Santa secret. One day Victoria wrote a letter asking Santa for a little mystery in her life, a life that needed something different. And boy did she get a big surprise! Not only did Columbus Day bring the fantastic, mysterious ice dance with Flash, she also got an invite to her cousin's wedding in Italy. But when her flight to Italy takes an interesting and unexpected turn, Victoria's life is about to take a few twists and turns into an exciting journey of Christmas magic that will make her story so sweet and interesting.

For some reason, it took me a while to get into this story. There is a lot going on, a lot of changes and new people to get to know. But never fear, the story unfolds and the wonderful characters created by JD Bass continue telling their story in the most vivid scenes. I loved the winter wonderland Victoria finds herself in. The special people in this truly magical place left me with a sense of awesomeness and a peaceful feeling. Tales of the Winter Lands is a sweet, warm, and cozy Christmas story that I highly recommend to those of you wanting a clean and enjoyable, entertaining Christmas read. There are a lot of special moments that reminded me of my childhood Christmases, and I loved and enjoyed this special trip down memory land for me. JD Bass has truly penned a beautiful Christmas story full of love and excitement.