I am a fan of middle grade books, I love the fantasy genre and a good dash of mystery is something I enjoy in a book. When new Australian author Elizabeth Foster asked if I would read and review her debut novel that is all three in one pretty book, I was more than happy to read this magical looking book.
Title: Esme’s Wish
Author: Elizabeth Foster
Genre: Fantasy – Mystery
Age Classification: Middle Grade
Publisher: Odyssey Books
Release: October 30, 2017
Esme’s Wish is the story of a teenage girl, Esme Silver, who has just witnessed her father getting remarried even though she does not believe her mother is dead. Following her feelings and some small could-be-clues, Esme makes her way to the last place she knows her mum, Ariane, was before her disappearance and discovers there is a whole other world waiting for her. Esme finds herself in Esperance, a city in a world called Aeolia, where many residents seem to know her mum. Over the course of the book, Esme finds out more about her mother and gradually realises she did not know as much about her mum or herself as she originally thought she did.
Esme is a strong character in that she does not give up just because something appears difficult. She is determined, resilient and independent but she also allows the people around her to help her when she needs support, something I think is great for the main character to do. The two friends Esme makes soon after arriving in Esperance and continues her journey with are Daniel and Lillian. These two educate Esme on life in Aeolia, it’s history and the magic that has not been working right for many years. They both have stories of their own and both of them are interesting additions to the story.
The world in which the story takes, Aeolia, is somewhat simplistic but beautifully described. Not sure if it is what Foster had in mind, but I pictured Esperance as an ancient European style city with lots of light architecture standing out amongst the deep blue skies and waters.
The only issue I had within the world were some of the creatures in it, specifically the dragons. When there is mention of dragons in a book I want a great dragon story or at least a cool dragon side-story, but they were mostly described as a transport with only a few hints at them being something more. I hope that the plot of book two will allow for more of the dragon story I was hoping for.
Speaking of the plot, it was, in my opinion, brilliant for a novel aimed at younger readers. Being 241 pages, I did not expect a whole lot to happen in the first book of the series, but Foster managed to pack it will quite a lot of story. There was a large dash of fantasy elements, such as magical talent and mythical creatures, mixed up with the large mystery that surrounds Esme and her mother and those two elements mixed well together. There were no dull stretches as most of the major plot points overlapped with each other, but it was all rather realistically paced with the events making sense and occurring naturally.
I personally enjoyed the way this book was written – detailed but not overdone. Every element, whether it be the character, the world or the events taking place, were all written in a way that made them easy to picture without feeling like I was being smothered with descriptions. The writing felt natural and made the story feel more real. Despite Esme’s Wish being targeted at younger readers, I, as a young woman in my twenties, thoroughly enjoyed the magic this story had to offer.
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
I thought this was a wonderful novel and I have only a minor complaint that I do not believe is worth deducting a star for. I cannot wait to see where Elizabeth Foster takes this series!
Have you heard of Esme’s Wish?
Do you have a favourite fantasy mystery novel?
Let me know below or on my Goodreads review!
Until next time bibliophiles!
A paperback copy of this book was supplied to me by the author – Elizabeth Foster