More on Esme’s Gift

In the enchanted world of Aeolia, fifteen-year-old Esme Silver faces 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 face their deepest fears and find hope in the darkest of places.

Esme’s Gift, the second instalment in the Esme trilogy, is a gripping fantasy adventure for readers 12 years and over.

Check our review excerpts below!

I already loved Esme’s Wish, and we all know sequels have a terrible reputation; The Middle Book Syndrome. Well, I can safely and gladly say this book does not fit into this syndrome! In fact, I prefer it to the first book, as the world building part no longer needs to be done and we get a full book of story!

It’s once again an easy read, and I got swept away into this magical world all over again. I still want to go so badly! Basically, after never getting my Hogwarts letter, or a painted door, I will now have to lament I never found a magic portal rock pool and got a Gift. Such a shame.

I love these characters so much, and their relationships to each other, including the new characters. Especially Seth! I can’t wait for book 3 for him alone! One of the things I love most about this series is that there is no romantic plot, not really. I have a feeling that’ll change in the final book, but I hope that it’ll still be a side plot only, besides the fantasy and adventure!

– Carmen, Goodreads

Esme’s Gift is much more action packed than its successor, Esme’s Wish, but still doesn’t lose the enchanting feel. Fans of Harry Potter will love this book for its similar themes. More of the magical city of Esperance is described in detail and just makes you yearn to live there! The genuine friendship of the characters make this book a satisfying read, and hints at romance in the next book. The conclusion of the trilogy will be greatly anticipated!

– Sorcha, Goodreads

Esme’s Gift explores a grittier, darker, and at times more beautiful Aeolia. Elizabeth Foster’s strong world-building cultivates a story that’s even more mysterious and layered than Esme’s first swim into Aeolia. While a thriller element is woven into the fantasy plot in a way that kept me on the edge of my seat at times, where the book really stands out is in the characters. Upping the action a bit from the first book, Esme, Daniel, and Lillian take on a lot of personal growth tasks suitable to their ages, from majestic dragons to terrifying oracles, medical secrets, Aeolia’s violent history–and the ghosts who tell it–and the sometimes accident-prone development of their own special Gifts. Esme’s Gift captures the angst, growing pains, and courage of adolescents while threading in some gentle moments of true friendship and affection.

– Sarah Scheele, Readers’ Favorite

ESME’S GIFT is the perfect book to sit, and read right now. You can immerse yourself in the unforgettable world of Esperance…time flies by because you will become immersed in this tale of magic, mystery, family ties, dragons and the fascinating and scintillating world of Aeolia.

Elizabeth Foster truly has a talent and a gift for creating fantastic worlds that readers will wish they were able to experience firsthand. Elizabeth does for water what J.K. Rowling did for Platform 9 3/4 at the train station.
Anyone who loved the Harry Potter series will enjoy this book series. It is planned as a trilogy and I am going to be eagerly awaiting the next and final installment.

The descriptions of the magical city of Esperance are so vividly rendered that it is easy to picture it in your mind. The characters are not just superficial, they are realistic and have flaws and foibles just like everyone does. These characters will draw you in and you will find them 100% unforgettable.

If you choose to read only one young adult fantasy fiction series this year, you need to ensure it is THE ESME SERIES.

Without hesitation, I rate ESME’S GIFT AS 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

– Amie’s Book Reviews, Canada

An excellent conclusion to everything that one experiences in the first book. Esme’s Gift is a much stronger story that keeps a reader turning the pages. So much adventure, new friends, and hard truths. Elizabeth Foster has a way of making you feel for all the main characters. Even in the end, you find that you cannot hate the bad guys even though they’ve done so much damage.

– Erica, Goodreads

It is rare that the sequel of a book is as good as or better than the first. I consider this a happy exception. This book really got me engrossed in the series. I knew fairly early one what the story was going to entail, and I enjoyed that. It felt like a quest, much more unified than the first book…

Four out of five cows. A higher rating than the first book because I love when books have me conspiring over possible twists and turns, and this book had me putting on my tinfoil hat and making mental maps the entire time!

– Seraphinah, Goodreads.

I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the book and find illustrations that fascinated me, first of all there is the map of Esperance and then there is a brief outline of a school dairy, and a school guide. I love the feel of this book too, it felt like velvet and when I put it down on a slippery surface, it just stayed there, it grips.

I loved the dynamics in this book. I loved Esme, a typical 15 year old teenager, sharp and speaks her mind and never misses a beat.

I’ve put my favourite quotes at the end of this book review, so you can look at them and ponder over in your own time.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 stars

I recommend this book to any Harry Potter fans, and anyone who love fantasy fiction.


The busker was only half-there.
A disembodied leg, hip, arm, and shoulder protruded from the claret-coloured wall. The arm held a violin, across which a bow moved gracefully. The rest of the busker’s body, however, was firmly stuck in the stucco.
Wearing a blazer over your everyday clothes does not constitute a uniform. Remember, too, that while piercings, dyed hair, and tattoos are acceptable, unenclosed shoes are not, for safety reasons.
The alley’s long walls were splashed with psychedelic street art: rainbow-tailed mermaids, paradisiacal forests, and an enormous blue-haired Zeus.
In a meditative state, slipping into the past is as easy as slipping into a dream.
– Pauline Reid, Goodreads

I enjoyed returning to Esperance with its beautiful canals, wonderful and, at times, frightening dragons, incredible and magical ‘gifts’.

Esme, with the help of her friends Daniel and Lillian, embark on a desperate search to save Esme’s mother. Time is of the essence. Esme’s gift emerges, and she uses this to attempt to decipher a medical formula that might save her mother.

I think Elizabeth Foster did a wonderful job with her world-building and handled the coming-of-age of her young characters. New characters were written into this second book and we see Esme, Daniel and Lillian grow.

Over and above all of this is Elizabeth Foster’s evocative writing. Her prose is beautiful and it’s her writing that makes me love Esperance and her three young heroes.

Definitely a 5 Star read.

– Ellen Read, author of The Thornton Mysteries

I loved Esme’s Wish, the first book in the Esme trilogy. When I was offered the chance to read and review the second, I grabbed it with both hands. Initially, I was concerned that Esme’s Gift would suffer from the same fate as many sequels: mostly filler and setup for the final battle in the third book. To my absolute delight, Esme’s Gift was just as strong, if not stronger, than Esme’s Wish.

This was a brilliant continuation of Esme’s story. Having found her mother, Esme’s quest shifts to finding a cure for Ariane’s condition before she slips away for good. The stakes are raised; not only is Esme running out of time, but she also must tackle school and the inevitable trouble of telling her father about Aeolia, a world beyond his own. In addition, she must develop her own gift, which becomes both a help and a hindrance.

Esme’s Gift never loses the wide-eyed charm reminiscent of The Chronicles of Narnia that I so loved about the first book. Nor does it ignore the real-life implications of portal fantasies. Esme returns to her home to discover she has been missing for an entire summer. It’s a topic that the Narnia books waved away with alternate timelines, but Elizabeth Foster is brave enough to tackle it. I commend her for it.

With Esme’s journey unearthing more questions in this novel, I am eagerly anticipating the final book in the series.

Bethany Martin, Goodreads

Esme’s Gift follows 16-year-old Esme as she and her friends travel around Aeolia tracking down ingredients for a magical elixir to try and save her mother. We see Esme’s gift (magical ability) develop further and she her learn to control it just in time. Esme and her friends all must use their varied gifts to figure out the correct ingredients for the elixir, collect them and outsmart the bad guy.

The founders of Aeolia were refugees from Ancient Greece and the stories architectural backdrop reflects this bit of Foster’s world-building. The world of Aeolia is familiar enough for the reader to feel at home, yet unique enough to keep you entertained. As with the first book, the writing followed well, was well-paced and easy to read.

I thoroughly enjoyed journeying with Esme and her friends again. I found this book to be like a good long hug from an old friend. It lifted my spirits immensely.

Esme’s Gift is a story of friendship, a story of love, a story of never giving up and never losing hope.

I would recommend the Esme series to any #LoveOzYA aficionados and lovers of YA fantasy like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and The Medoran Chronicles.

– Sarah Fairbairn, Goodreads

After Esme’s Wish, I didn’t even waste a second in diving back into the world of Aeolia and Esperance along with Esme. And it didn’t disappoint. Where Esme’s Wish was a toe dipped into the water, Esme’s Gift was the full dive into it. Aeolia and the city of Esperance never seemed more real (like with other beloved fantasy worlds) with Foster adding even more depth to this world with even more history, lore, politics, Gifts (absolutely loved the diversity) and information about magical beings and creatures (again : dragons!).

The characters and story gains depth as well with the main characters becoming even more lovable as their journey continues through the story with Esme’s quest of reuniting with her mother by awakening her from her coma to learning to master her Gift (same as her mother’s) through her internship at the Anais Clinic to her unique school going experience at Pierpoint.

If you absolutely fell in love with Esme’s journey along with Aeolia and Esperance and want to explore this fantastical world even more, I highly recommend picking up this book. You don’t want to miss more of Esme’s adventures in Esperance.

– Jeane Grimbeek, Goodreads

If you liked Harry Potter and The Hunger Games…

I noticed several shared themes with other popular YA series, but Ms. Foster approached the similarities in very different, more nuanced ways.

If you look beyond a school full of magical classes, conflict between purebred families and otherworlders (kaff — muggles) and corrupt politicians campaigning for control, there is a solid story about how Esme handles herself and the work she needs to do to master her magical abilities. There are themes of inner conflict between loyalty to her father and staying in the new world to help her mother. There are also undercurrents of empathy vs. cynicism as well as trust and overcoming prejudice from peers, teachers and authority figures. It’s a lot to pick apart, but they are ably and naturally woven into the story.

What’s good about this book?
Like the first book, there’s lots of adventure and travel to absolutely beautifully-described places. The characters are intriguing and more dimensional, and some of the unanswered questions from the first book are resolved, while other mysteries are introduced (this is a trilogy, after all). And of course, there are dragons.

The author’s use of language has matured, and descriptive metaphors take the place of similes. And — it’s happening — there are awkwardly sweet attempts at setting up a romance (come on, book 3!).

Overall, this book is a wonderful sequel to Esme’s Wish, with increased character development and maturing themes (still very sweet), as well as even better writing than in the first.

Age recommendation
I’d recommend Esme’s Gift to 12-15-year-olds. The themes of trust vs. distrust and the cynicism towards authority are a little darker than in the first book, as well as creating empathy via the various villains backstories, but there is nothing really inappropriate in it for younger teens.

– Karen, Amazon UK

I need the third one. I NEED it.

This woman has a GIFT. The way she uses words to paint the most beautiful images, the most riveting plot, the most interesting characters, it’s intoxicating. I’m a mother of two, so it takes a bit for me to make headway in a book, but when I finally get into it, I don’t stop. I started at 20% in yesterday and stayed up until 12:40 am today to finish it. I couldn’t put it down. It’s thrilling. The plot twists. I love it. These books easily made their way into my library of favorites.

I impatiently await the next instalment.

– Jess Rineer, Goodreads

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