More on Esme’s Wish
When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver objects at her father’s wedding, her protest is dismissed as the actions of a stubborn, selfish teenager. Everyone else has accepted the loss of Esme’s mother – 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. Esme soon discovers that her mother, Ariane – a talented painter of myths and legends – once led a secret second life in the crumbling canal city of Esperance. The more Esme discovers about Ariane, the more she questions whether she really knew her mother at all…
Esme’s Wish, a fantasy with a mystery at its heart, leads the reader into a beguiling world to which they’ll want to return again and again.
Esme’s Wish has met with a great reception! Most recently it was awarded first place in the Science Fiction/Fantasy category of the 2018 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards. Here are snippets from some of the reviews so far.
“Esme’s Wish is a delightful story of a vulnerable girl stepping into another world. She makes friends there, discovers new and terrifying creatures, and above all, follows the clues to try to discover what happened to her mother.
In this classic coming-of-age story, Esme finds her own gift, and uses it to help save the islands of Aeolia from destruction. Esme and her friends, Daniel and Lillian, are excellent characters, full of life and hope for their futures. As Esme discovers more about what her mother had been doing all her life, she goes through so many heartbreaking emotions. It reminded me that as we grow older, we realise that our parents are separate people with their own lives and desires.
…I can’t wait to see what comes next in Esme’s story! If parallel worlds with mysterious creatures and island cities sounds like your thing, give Esme’s Wish a read.”
“This is an amazing tale about friendship, dragons and a beautiful world with big oceans and small islands…The author’s writing is beautiful. She made me fall in love with a world I was totally unfamiliar with – Esperance.”
“…Esme’s Wish is not focused on a romance or even about a war or rebellion against some evil force. Rather, it is a story of familial love and friendship. While Esme seeks to uncover the mystery surrounding her mother, her friendship and teamwork with her friends grows.”
“…It is always a pleasure to discover a fresh new world, especially one with as much depth and back story as this one. The characters are generally beautifully developed and mostly sympathetic with nicely villainous villains and complex heroes. It was also a pleasure to read a story without violence and where the love stories are those of parents and their children and the give and take of true friendship. I look forward to the next instalment in the series!”
‘Superbly-written fantasy adventure by a talented debut author, I so enjoyed diving into the world of Aeolia with Esme as she searched for her mother and found friends, magic, and mystery along the way. The world-building was a treat, and the prose flows like water. Lovely!”
“ Esme’s Wish is a captivating, excellently-written novel. This colorful, well-constructed tale is as much detective story as fantasy and deftly blends both elements into a page-turning plot that hooks the reader in. I was fascinated by the creative water world of Aeolia, described in Elizabeth Foster’s limpid, seductive prose. As Esme learns, “The history of Aeolia is writ in water,” and I liked the elaborate, detailed spin the story took on this idea.”
“Having had the pleasure of reading thousands of fantasy and science fiction over the years I was provided an advanced reading of this novel for review. I like to see the flow of the storytelling, the realisation of the fantasy aspects and whether I became emotionally invested in the main protagonist. I was not disappointed… Esme’s wish was a lovely surprise, bright with energy and a promise that leaves you wanting more. I look forward to reading more from Elizabeth Foster.”
“For fans of “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “Harry Potter”… This is a heartwarming and whimsical story young fantasy readers will surely love.”
“A sympathetic heroine and a wonderful fantasy world. Esme is an excellent travelling companion and the landscapes of the story-both real and fantastic-are places that I look forward to visiting over and over again. Highly recommended for all ages!’
“Esme is smart, kind, persistent, and is mature enough to cope when she finds herself facing the world without her parents. After all, isn’t that the challenge of growing up? Esme’s Wish explores this theme in a way that allows for fast-paced adventure and engaging mystery, while still allowing the main character to feel safely anchored by the love of her parents. I wish this story had been around when my own children were the right age for it. I know they would have gobbled it up, and begged for more.”
Esme’s Wish is a beautiful example of a light, friendship-focussed fantasy, which I can see appealing to avid, peer-absorbed, teenage readers, with a yen for escapism… and dragons.
… The strength of Foster’s debut novel is its flawless prose style, underpinned with an intriguing and slowly unravelling mystery, based on the universal truth of the bond between mother and child. Esme and the omnipresent Ariane, draw the reader’s sympathies and keep us guessing their fate until the end, only to be rewarded with the promise of a continuing saga, like any good debut in an intended fantasy series.”
“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of Esme’s wish and with it came the above wonderful quote which fits the book beautifully. Esme’s Wish is a well-crafted story that is further enhanced by superb detail in the world-building of Esperance. Shimmering canals, ancient buildings rich in history, magical gifts and creatures all bring the world of Esperance to life.”
“With themes of loyalty, friendship, never giving up and love triumphing over greed, the adventures of Esme and her friends will have you spellbound. When you read the last few pages you’ll find yourself feeling sad to leave Esperance behind. Thankfully, Esme’s Wish is the first in a trilogy and while the key questions are resolved in the first novel, there’s a big enough hook to keep readers eager for the sequel.”
“Full of the power of love and the urgency of saving the complex world into which she fits so well, Esme is an engaging and fully-realised hero. Dedicated fantasy readers like me will enjoy the fantastic beasts and magic rationale of this story, and newcomers will be delighted by the concepts and the wonderful sea-world images in this richly described action tale.”
“What starts off as a contemporary story about a 15 year old girl objecting to her father getting remarried, quickly morphs into a highly inventive fantasy novel about Esme’s quest to find her mother which takes her into a fabulous, magical realm. It has such lush descriptions that made the new world come alive for me, all the characters emerged as three dimensional with individual needs and desires, and the story had a good pace, fuelled by the mother’s mysterious disappearance which kept me guessing to the end. As I read it, I was reminded of Philip Pullman’s ‘Northern Lights’ – not because the story or theme are the same, as they are not – but more by the writing style and excellent world-building.”
“If you’re looking for an escape, this fanciful story will take you places you’ve only dreamed of. Esme will take you under the sea to an enchanting world that, nonetheless, has it’s own problems. Lovely world-buildling, a fun mystery to solve, and exciting adventures…”
“Books like this are the reason I’ve never lost my love of fantasy… It’s so fun to read about a world as detailed as ours–and really a lot like ours–but with new twists. There’s nothing gory or inappropriate for young readers, although a few areas are a little creepy.”
“It wasn’t long before I was swept up in the mystery of what had happened to Esme’s biological mother and the worlds of Esperance and Splinter Bay. Foster does an awesome job of building her fictional world and her characters are believable and well done. Perfect for YA fantasy fans.”
“Elizabeth Foster’s characters ‒ human and otherwise ‒ are well-drawn, solidly real in their family tensions and peer struggles; so real that one particular character always conjured up the image of a young teen I used to know, who would have relished being cast in such a tale. But there are other characters at play here: the locations themselves, tactile and vivid, equal partners with the characters in the drama that unfolds. The powerful sense of place filled me up with light and air and sea in the way a long weekend at the coast does… I really look forward to the next in this series ‒ a really great read for YA and higher Middle Grade readers.”
“My favorite books growing up were books like Abarat, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and the Divide, I’ve always loved books involving other worlds with strange creatures and magic, and Esme’s Wish joins those rankings. A story that seems familiar but also unique, it will tug at your heart strings while painting vivid images of worlds and creatures you almost wish you could see for yourself. I cannot wait to read the second instalment!”