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Esme’s Gift by Elizabeth Foster is book #2 in her MG/YA Fantasy Esme trilogy. I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review from the publisher via NetGalley (and got auto-approved by the publisher after this review!)
Attention fellow NetGalley reviewers: This is a “read now” title archiving on September 20, 2020.
Published in November 2019, the average rating for this title on Goodreads is 4.51 from 86 ratings.
My rating: 5 stars!
This review was included in a YA Fantasy Roundup video on my YouTube channel!
I actually found Esme’s Gift on NetGalley first, but thankfully there was a note that this was book two, book one was also available, and they’re better read in order. Well, when I finished Esme’s Wish I couldn’t download Esme’s Gift fast enough!
This book picks up right where the first one left off. Esme emerges in our world and races home to tell her father that Esperance is real and her mother is still alive. She begs him to return with her, but he thinks she’s losing her mind just like her mother and great grandmother before her and doesn’t believe a word. Esme has no choice but to run away back to Esperance on her own, lest her father send her to a sanitorium, and she lose her chance to return before it’s too late to finish what she started.
The following paragraph implies light spoilers of the previous book:
We follow Esme’s adventures both as a high school student in a new world and as a brave young hero venturing near and far on dangerous missions to retrieve items needed to revive her mother. We meet a few new characters at school with Esme, Lillian, and Daniel, and we learn a lot about convict Nathan Mare and historical Tyrian war leader Mann, but there are still plenty of loose ends left to tie up in book three.
I dare say I enjoyed this book even more than book one! This book really explored its fascinating world, the creatures that live there, and the magic system. The characters we already met in book one continued to be developed, and the new characters introduced were blended into the cast flawlessly.
My only complaints are that the book wrapped up rather quickly (but I usually say that about books that don’t linger past the conclusion, so perhaps ignore that), and partway through this book, I realized that the names Mann and Mare are far too similar for two notorious men who people tend to refer to by surname only.
I truly can’t wait for the third book, and I would be honoured if I get the chance to review it pre-release. This trilogy has been compared to Narnia, and I believe that’s apt. This is one of those middle-grade/YA novels that makes me look forward to a time when my daughter is old enough to enjoy books like this.
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