Esme's Wish by Elizabeth Foster
Book One of The Esme Series
Published by Odyssey Books
Esme’s mother has been missing for seven years. While her father is ready to move on, Esme is not. She’s never given up hope that one day her mother will come home. Esme decides it is past time for her to investigate her mother’s disappearance. When she finds herself at her grandmother’s sea cottage, she is unexpectedly swept into the world of Aeolia. A land where dragons soar through the sky and magic exists. To Esme’s surprise, her mother often visited Aeolia. She begins to trace her mother’s journey, but not everything she learns will be pleasant.
This is an engaging adventure suitable for young adults, and it is age-appropriate for a younger reader. The bonds of friendship Esme forms are refreshing to read as romance does not enter the picture. I always say there is so much more to stories than developing a romantic relationship between characters. It is just as important for young readers to learn how to form friendships.
Esme was a well written and developed character. The emotions she felt as the realization that her mother spent time away from her, time that Esme would have cherished before she disappeared, made her so emotional and angry. The realistic emotions stood out to me and still linger in the back of my mind. Following Esme’s adventure was fulfilling and intriguing as she discovered more about her mother and the world of Aeolia. I do wish the secondary characters had been as well developed as Esme. But given the age range this book is for I don’t think the target audience will mind as much. I admit I am a highly detailed reader.
I would also have liked to see a bit more interaction between Esme and her stepmother. The reader gets a sense of how they feel towards each other, but don’t ever see it fully told in the story. Esme does interact with other members of her stepmother’s family, and I don’t blame Esme for not liking them. Esme’s new aunt is overbearing and doesn’t hesitate to try and erase Esme’s mother from their house.
The world-building of Esme’s Wish was wonderful. I could see myself in the city of Esperance, breathing in the sea salt air and marveling at the dragons as they played in the ocean. The culture and magic system were well explained. The magic of the world was unique, and I can’t wait to read more into this series to find out more about the world.
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