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#BookReview : Esme’s Gift (Esme Series #2) by Elizabeth Foster @e_foster3 @OdysseyBooks

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Esme’s Gift (Esme Series #2) by Elizabeth Foster
Publication Date: November 30th 2019
Publisher: Odyssey Books
Genre: Middle Grade / Fantasy
Pages: 266
Stars: ★★★★★

In the enchanted world of Aeolia, fifteen-year-old Esme Silver is faced with her hardest task yet. She must master her unruly Gift – the power to observe the past – and uncover the secrets she needs to save her mother, Ariane.

In between attending school in the beguiling canal city of Esperance, Esme and her friends – old and new – travel far and wide across Aeolia, gathering the ingredients for a potent magical elixir.

Their journey takes them to volcanic isles, sunken ruins and snowy eyries, spectacular places fraught with danger, where they must confront their deepest fears and find hope in the darkest of places. Esme’s Gift, the second instalment in the Esme trilogy, is an enthralling fantasy adventure for readers 12 years and over.

*** Note: I received this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Elizabeth Foster. ***

Previous Book in Series:

Esme’s Gift was fantastic middle grade fantasy, set in the parallel magical world and revolved around Esme’s efforts in saving her mother. It was about resilience, righteousness, good vs evil, friendship, greed of power, and using gift wisely.

I loved this book more than first one. Writing was better, fabulous, gripping and as magical as its setting. Book was written in third person narrative from Esme’s perspective. It felt so good to read Esme and her adventure in Aeolia once again.

Book started with Esme returning back to her home in Picton Island to let her dad know about her mom and convince him to come with her to Aeolia. But that didn’t turn out well, he didn’t believe a word she said and forced her to run off to Aeolia once again. She wanted to be beside her mother who needed her more. Meanwhile she joined school at Aeolia, made new friends, met mysterious boy and found a lot about Aeolian history and myth.

Through her history project she found out important thing related to her mother. She knew what could save her and rouse her from her comma, a magical elixir. But its recipe was incomplete and ingredients were rare and illegal. For that she needed to master her gift first and travel far and dangerous places to get ingredients.

It was interesting to find out if Esme will succeed in helping her mother or get in trouble once again, what will happen to her and her mother if she failed and if her father will try to believe her and come to Aeolia.

Esme was great throughout the book. Her enthusiasm, optimism and curiosity was infectious. She dug deep to get all the answers, to find out the truth with her history project and her mother’s condition. She was developed character, kind, and compassionate with conscience mind. She knew how to fight unfairness and voice her opinion whenever necessary. What I like about her most was she wasn’t week, or reckless or grumpy teenage. She cared for her friends, helped them when needed and understood the gravity of danger.

Both Daniel and Lillian were amazing friends. They never retreated or hesitated from danger or left Esme alone. Their gift were amazing. This time Lillian’s gift surfaced and she could sing song-spell well. One time it did went wrong and it was fun to read.

New characters Vince, Meera and Seth were interesting and so were their gifts. Seth was mysterious one. I had my doubts like Esme but I couldn’t be sure. I couldn’t guess who he was and what he did in the book.

What I loved most about the book was world and adventure. There was hell lot of things in this world. Aeolia and its history was well described. Its origin, some history, and people of Aeolia was covered in first book but here there was a small part of it that helped to get the idea as there was 2 years gap between this and first book. I loved the history part and stories of ghosts.

Most of the people in this picturesque world had gift- fire breather and fire repellent, Songstress (like sirens), enchanters, healing, muting (I love that one, I wish I could mute people), Ice animation, and water walker, creating portals through painting, passing though solid objects… you name it. Esme’s gift was rare and fascinating. She could time travel in history by touch of water. I liked the concept behind it which was well explained. I usually don’t like time travel but in here with a touch of magic and gift, it sounded good and interesting. Adventure was exciting and dangerous. There were dragons and all sort of creatures, oracle and her cruel truth, annoying ghost, and deadly curse.

I loved Esme’s experience in school of Aeolia, ongoing political campaign and the part when Esme interacted with dragon. I liked the way author represented horrors human can create and its consequences through political scheming, abusive parents, madness of scientist, greed for power and misuse of gifts.

Mystery was well written. I couldn’t guess how Esme will save her mother or find ingredients and what was to come next. Climax was uncertain and nail biting. I was holding my breath in that scene at hospital after the climax. End was great. I still wanted to know the result of political campaign. But I’m sure it will be revealed in next book. There might be a love story or love triangle in next book, I hope not love triangle.

Overall, it was fun and wonderful fantasy with lots of adventure and magical gifts, interesting characters and broad world. I definitely recommend this book to all middle grade readers and fantasy lovers, but read it in order.

Book Links: Goodreads
Affiliate Link: Amazon.in | Amazon.com | Book Depository

Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book?
Have you read this books or any book by the same author?
Are you going to add it to TBR?
Which is your favorite book that was set in parallel world?

HAPPY READING!!

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Author Interview: Elizabeth Foster @e_foster3

Hello Book Lover! I’m really glad to share with you all an author interview with Elizabeth Foster- author of debut novel Esme’s Wish. I reviewed this book last month, it was really great read.


About book:

Esmes-Wish-Book-“A fresh new fantasy of an enchanting world.” – Wendy Orr,author of Nim’s Island and Dragonfly Song.

When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver objects at her father’s wedding, her protest is dismissed as the action of a stubborn, selfish teenager. Everyone else has accepted the loss of Esme’s mother, Ariane – so why can’t she?

But Esme is suspicious. She is sure that others are covering up the real reason for her mother’s disappearance – that ‘lost at sea’ is code for something more terrible, something she has a right to know.

After Esme is accidentally swept into the enchanted world of Aeolia, the truth begins to unfold. With her newfound friends, Daniel and Lillian, Esme retraces her mother’s steps in the glittering canal city of Esperance, untangling the threads of Ariane’s double life. But the more Esme discovers about her mother, the more she questions whether she really knew her at all. 

This fresh, inventive tale, the first in an MG-to-YA series, is an ideal read for 10-14 year olds.

You can check out my review here ⇒⇒ Esme’s Wish (Esme Series #1) by Elizabeth Foster


About author_edited

Elizabeth Foster.jpg

I live in Sydney, Australia, and try to write every day. I had no idea I would end up being a writer, and I still can’t quite believe that I can make up stories. I really had no clue of it when I was younger. I did know that I wanted to do something creative but I had no idea what!

Q&A

This is your debut novel. How does it feel?

The launch period was an emotional rollercoaster but now that things have settled down I feel very accomplished! A high point was when Wendy Orr, a very well-known Australian writer (author of Nim’s Island) read my book and offered a commendation for the cover. I blubbered for about half an hour (she told me by email so fortunately no-one was watching!) That was when I really knew that I had written a book that people might find worth reading.

When and why did you begin writing?

I finished reading the Harry Potter series with my children many years ago and missed the world J.K. Rowling had created so much that I decided to try and write a story of my own.

How did you come up with the idea for your book and a new world in it?

I knew writing my first book would be a difficult task, and figured that it would be slightly easier If I wrote about things I was interested in (it was!) I love islands, the ocean, mythology and magic so I wrote about those. I chose to set the story in a parallel realm, instead of a totally separate universe, so that I could include elements of our own history and mythology in the story – making it easy for non-fantasy readers (and Esme) to immerse themselves in the world.

What sort of research did you do to write this book?

I bought tons of books! I bought so many books on the ocean, Venice, magic and myth that I still haven’t read them all. Homer’s Odyssey was a huge influence too – I read that quite early on in the process. I also went to Venice (twice!)

What was your favorite chapter (or part) of writing this book and why?

I like the chapter where Esme runs off to Spindrift, to the place her mother was last seen alive. I really enjoy writing description and had to cut it back in most chapters but I managed to keep a little more of it in that one. It’s also a favourite because it was one of the easiest chapters to write!

What was the hardest part of writing the book? Was there anything that you deleted or altered?

The hardest part was learning everything from scratch. I did lots of drafts, focusing on mastering different writing elements each time.

Getting the first chapter right was also quite difficult.

I also had to delete a couple of dragon-focused chapters that didn’t really move the story forward – I had such fun writing them though!

Your favorite quality in a protagonist. Which character was hardest to create/write and why?

I don’t find it hard to create characters – in fact I tend to create too many, and have to get rid of a few after the first draft.

I like characters who never give up. Esme was probably the hardest to get right as she was a little too passive in early drafts. Lillian and Daniel, the two main supporting characters, kept taking over! I focused on giving her a more active role and I am pleased with the result. She is an observant, smart and determined character and one I am proud of.

How many books are you planning to write in this series?

I have always planned three books for the series.

What is the main thing you want readers to take away from your book?

The value of friendship and the power of love.

Describe how your ideal writing space looks like or include photo.

I write in all sorts of places. I write best when I’m relaxed, and there is a lovely beach near where I live which is the perfect spot – I love writing to the sound of the sea.

Who are some authors that inspire you?

I like a mix of classics and contemporaries. I love Jane Austen, and I’ve read all of J.K. Rowling’s books for both children and adults. I also enjoy Maggie Stiefvater’s stories, and those of Australian author Melina Marchetta. 

Your favorite childhood book.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Do you read book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?

I do read my reviews. I’ve been fortunate to have had lots of positive ones so when a negative one comes along I cope okay. The vast majority of critiques I’ve gotten so far have been constructive, and I love getting feedback about what readers enjoyed the most (and what they want more of.) For example, lots of readers are obsessed with dragons and I really enjoy writing about them so I was pleased to find that out. There will be plenty more scenes involving dragons in book two. There might even be one on the cover!

What are your future project(s)? What’s it about? (*if relevant)

Book two in the series is entitled Esme’s Gift. In this instalment Esme turns sixteen and things get a little darker. She goes to school in Esperance and also goes on a quest outside the city. Book two will be a little longer than book one.  

Advice for aspiring authors.

Read plenty, write plenty, and try to keep things in balance – if you can. Don’t do what I did – spend every minute either writing or talking about writing. I think my family has forgiven me – almost! Writing fiction is a huge learning curve but it does get easier over time: even if you don’t feel like you are progressing you probably are.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?

Keep reading! And authors love it when you write reviews. Post them on Goodreads or Amazon – even a couple of lines will do. Authors rely on reviews to get their books noticed and into the hands of more readers.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website: http://www.elizabethfoster.com.au

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethFosterAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/e_foster3

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33634667-esme-s-wish

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/elizabethfoster_/

Book Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Esmes-Wish-Elizabeth-Foster/dp/1925652246/

https://www.bookdepository.com/Esmes-Wish-Elizabeth-Foster/9781925652246/

To Readers If you like to read and review Esme’s Wish, author will be happy to send you a review e-copy. For that just comment on this post below with name and email ID and I will forward it to author or you can text author on Twitter.

Many thanks to author for taking time out of busy schedule to take part in this interview. 


I hope you enjoyed this interview. 

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Esme’s Wish (Esme Series #1) by Elizabeth Foster

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Publication Date: October 30th 2017

Publisher: Odyssey Books

Read Date: May 24th 2018

Genre: Fantasy / Middle Grade / YA

Pages: 252

Stars:5/5

5 star_crop

Goodreads blurb_edited

“A fresh new fantasy of an enchanting world.” – Wendy Orr,author of Nim’s Island and Dragonfly Song.

When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver objects at her father’s wedding, her protest is dismissed as the action of a stubborn, selfish teenager. Everyone else has accepted the loss of Esme’s mother, Ariane – so why can’t she?

But Esme is suspicious. She is sure that others are covering up the real reason for her mother’s disappearance – that ‘lost at sea’ is code for something more terrible, something she has a right to know.

After Esme is accidentally swept into the enchanted world of Aeolia, the truth begins to unfold. With her newfound friends, Daniel and Lillian, Esme retraces her mother’s steps in the glittering canal city of Esperance, untangling the threads of Ariane’s double life. But the more Esme discovers about her mother, the more she questions whether she really knew her at all. 

This fresh, inventive tale is an ideal read for younger teens.


review_edited

Esme’s Wish is first in the series really sets its level of creativeness and inventiveness that blurb promises. Book is Middle Grade fantasy that can also enjoyed by YA readers. It was about lust for power vs love and doing a right thing for greater good and mainly about daughter-mother love with a struggle of teenage girl in finding truth behind her mother’s disappearance, discovering the world she knew only in stories which was bigger part of her mother’s life, and her trust and love for her mother that takes her through many challenges on the way of her quest. 

Characters_edited

Esme was teenage girl but what I really liked about her was she was not like typical teens- grumpy or sarcastic. She did rebel against her father who was moving on, stopped searching for her mother and now marrying Penelope. But her rebellious nature was genuine. She couldn’t move on or believe and was suspicious regarding her mother’s disappearance as her father never revealed the truth. People kept secret from her. She was nice, kind, strong, conscious and instinctive. Ooh and I loved her gifts. It was amazing.

Her friends Lillian and Daniel were amazing. They eventually became friends she never had whom she can rely on and trust for anything. Lillian was bit timid, less adventurous but sweet and kind who stick to Esme no matter how dangerous the situation was. Daniel was fun, lively and cheerful, and adventurous.

Esme’s mother- Ariane– was missing and so all about her we know by the Esme’s search and her memory of her mother before she went missing. She was great artist and was nice. As Esme got to know more about her, along with her me too felt some things weird about her actions. But I have feeling the next books of the series reveal more about her nature and actions. Same goes with Esme’s father- Aaron. I have few questions regarding his actions as well. Let’s see how these two parents turn out and react in next books. I’m excited to hear their story from their end that I’m sure will come in next books.

What I liked_edited

That world building was so creative and awesome. Esme and her father lived in small village on a Picton Island that was a part of an archipelago. It was described nicely specifically the people of the village. The major part of the book was set in the other world that is Aeolia that she found accidentally during her search for her mother. This world had everything you would love to read in fantasy world- It had its own history and myth that was based on Greek mythology, Dragons, Sirens, people with magical gifts, creatures, and many other things which was even more interesting to read. I loved to read Aeolia’s history and its origin and all the info about this new world. Oh and there is a map as well.

Everything was depicted amazingly with stories and all required explanations. Most amazing thing about the book was, readers get to know all the answers they seek and expect from the book. Nothing was left unexplained and yet there was feeling that you will find more about the world in next books. Another best thing was no romance

All characters were great. Those three teens were a bit more mature than I expected. Esme did learn lot in this book about her mother, her gift, and specifically about friendship. Author gave all satisfactory info on characterization with the surety that you will find more about them in next books

Third person narration made the world even broad. Esme’s feelings, grief and curiosity, doubts and her fierce determinations on finding her mom was remarkable. I couldn’t guess a thing how she will find her mother and where the clues that she got from people of Aeolia will lead her. Author created suspense so nicely that it had cozy mystery feeling. As I said earlier, along with Esme I also doubted her mother’s sanity and actions on certain points.

Twist and turns were unpredictable. Climax and end was amazing. Author put all the pieces of puzzles so smoothly. End was minor cliff hanger. There is hint on what you will find or expect in next book but makes you curious to know how that will happen. All in all climax and end were satisfactory.

I don’t have any complains for the book. It turned out as great as was promised and I have great expectations from the next book of the series ‘Esme’s Gift’ that I eagerly want to read.

conclusion_edited

Overall, Esme’s Wish was refreshing focusing on daughter-mother love with creative and unique world that will take the readers of this genre to a new adventure. I definitely recommend this book.


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Author: Elizabeth Foster 

To know more about author click HERE.

Purchase Link: Amazon.com / Amazon.in

*** Note: I received review copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to author for giving me a chance to read this book. ***

What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this book already? Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.

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