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