A team of climatologists stationed in the Arctic reported a startling discovery: part of an ancient book found embedded in an ice core. After days of digging, they retrieved the rest of the book from deep within the ice. The book's age and origin are unknown, but the text has been successfully translated. It reveals new truths behind one of the world's most extraordinary legends, and exposes the roots of age-old traditions that are still in practice today.
Such is the premise of The Man in the Cinder Clouds, a debut novel by Rick Daley. This story-within-a-story is a must-read this Christmas season: a fresh re-boot of the legend of Kris Kringle and how he came to be known as Santa Claus.
Young Kris Kringle, orphaned as an infant, sets out on a quest to find his real family by bringing gifts to children on Christmas. In the town of Oldenton he finds two orphans who are about to lose everything they have to a greedy uncle. With only days before Christmas, Kris must try to help the kids, deliver his presents, find his family, and prove that human virtue does exist...even in the most unexpected of human hearts.
Rather than trace Santa's history through the years, the story focuses on the motivations and challenges in that first year. The story makes the magic real and gives old traditions a new life. From the first Christmas trees, stockings and flying reindeer to his red suit, white hair and lumps of shiny black coal, it all happens for a reason.
The Man in the Cinder Clouds is recommended for anyone who has ever believed in Santa Claus.