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Esme’s Wish by Elizabeth Foster is book #1 in her YA Fantasy Esme trilogy. I was granted a review copy in exchange for an honest review through her publisher via NetGalley. (Attention fellow NetGalley reviewers: this is a “read now” title that archives on September 15th, 2020.)
Published in October 2017 with an average Goodreads rating of 4.26 from 347 ratings.
My Rating: 4 stars
This review was included in a YA Fantasy Roundup video on my YouTube channel!
Four star middle great epic!
Esme’s Wish is a coming of age adventure that reads like a Narnia story. We meet young Esme on the day of her father’s second marriage, seven years after her mother was declared lost at sea. It seems only Esme still has hope that her mother is still alive somewhere. When strange occurrences start happening while Esme’s father and new step mother are away on their honeymoon, Esme takes an overnight trip to her great grandmother’s island cottage, but her overnight trip turns into an entire summer spent in other world, one that her mother had been very familiar with.
Even though this is a middle grade novel and I’m a 30-something woman who’s used to reading much more mature books, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I can’t wait to read the sequel!
My only complaints, if you can call them that, are a few minor tropes and potentially confusing names. Despite the fact that the narrative voice and point of view remains mostly Esme’s, we get a few “little did they know” moments, which doesn’t fit in nicely with the limited point of view. There’s also a group of people that come up whenever characters discuss the world’s history known as the Tyrians. I assume this is a play on the words tyrany and tyrannical, but as someone who has read older fantasies, I was constantly being reminded of Tyrion Lanister.
Overall an excellent novel that I recommend to all lovers of high fantasy.
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