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Esme's Wish - Elizabeth Foster

Paperback Published: 30th October 2017
ISBN: 9781925652246
Number Of Pages: 248
For Ages: 13 - 18 years old

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RRP $23.95
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The events of the last few months flashed before her - and the years before them.

This was her last chance.

When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver objects at her father's wedding, her protest is dismissed as the action 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. With her newfound friends, Daniel and Lillian, Esme retraces her mother's steps in the glittering canal city of Esperance, untangling the threads of Ariane's double life. But the more Esme discovers about Ariane, the more she questions whether she really knew her at all.

Industry Reviews

Captivating. 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. The world's lushly described architecture, mythology, sirens, and dragons create the allure of being whisked away into a great adventure. (Sarah Scheele for Readers' Favorite)

Charming and engaging


Before starting this book, the reader is shown a charming map of a mysterious place named Esperance, capital of Aeolia, a map that hints at what's to come. The story opens in our world, on the wedding of Esme's father and her new stepmother, Penelope. Esme isn't happy and she is unable to disguise it. She's missing her mother, Ariane, who was lost at sea presumed dead. Esme is a lonely child, little liked by the villagers of Picton Island where her father is lighthouse keeper. An outsider, she wants nothing more than to find out what happened to her mum. When Penelope's sister, the despicable Mavis, moves in to mind Esme while her father has his honeymoon, Esme experiences strange headaches and dizzy spells. She has a vision of her mum and dad and is puzzled by it. Her anguish over her mother intensifies and she decides to take off to Spindrift Island where Ariane disappeared many years before. As her quest unfolds, Esme is swept unexpectedly into another world, the world of Esperance, where she makes new friends and continues her search. What unfolds is a series of adventures large and small, of dragons and other mythical creatures, and of special magical gifts. To say more would spoil the enchantment. Foster has a fluid, engaging narrative style. The writing is simply exquisite. The pacing, plot twists and characterisation are just perfect. Depictions of the city of Esperance are conveyed in vivid and captivating detail. The various threads and elements of the story are woven together beautifully, culminating in an ending filled with wonder and surprises. This is a story of loss and searching, of ancient Greek myths, of the artistic temperament and supposed insanity, of minds capable of accessing the inner realms the rational mind cannot reach. Absorbing, enchanting, whimsical, Esme's Wish is a story to lose yourself in. I would recommend this book to readers one and all. Thoroughly enjoyable.



A delightful fantasy. Clever and creative


Esme's Wish is a delightful fantasy that captures the beauty of a watery, magical world, the trust of true friendship, and the strength of one girl's loyalty to her mother. I had Esme's Wish sitting on my bedside bookshelf (thanks very much to the author for a copy) for a month before finally getting around to reading it. Why, oh why did I delay? Because Esme's Wish is delightful right from the very first page. And I loved that first page. Hilarious and heartbreaking all at the same time. Esme is a strong and independent main character. She is determined to find answers to her mother's disappearance, stands up to the people she dislikes, physically defends herself, and jumps straight into the action. But she is neither unkind or infallible. As she makes friends with Lillian and Daniel, as she discovers more about the wonders of Aeolia, and as she continues her search for her mother, Esme grows in confidence and strength. Esme's Wish is the perfect middle-grade to young-adult crossover novel. It has a child-like quality and Esme comes across as younger than her fifteen year, but the book is written in a way that will capture the attention of older readers. Aside from a little mild fantasy violence, there is nothing to stop younger readers picking it up. Esme's Wish is very well written and crafted with obvious care. Who wouldn't enjoy a book that employs words like avaricious, phantasmic, and nebulous (and that was just from one page). Overall, Esme's Wish is a delightful fantasy, one I will greatly enjoy sharing with our library's readers. It is the first book in the series, and while it has a very satisfactory ending (I love how everything was neatly and cleverly tied up), I can't wait to read the sequel, Esme's Gift, which promises more adventure, friendship, and magic. The author provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

Brisbane, Australia


It's a great story well written


A well-constructed tale of a young girl's journey and quest, as she seeks her absent mother in an elemental hidden world. Esme (Esm-eee, not Esm-ay) dares dangers and her own untrusting nature to venture to the amazing city of Esperance, where she finds friends, adventure, affirmation, and a perilous task which only she can perform. 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. I hope there's a sequel because there are still some aspects I'd like to know more about! Enjoy. Highly recommended.

Melbourne Australia


A poignant, immersive fantasy read.


I loved the world and characters of this book! The Venice-like city of Esperance is a beautiful, absorbing setting, and the story is self-contained enough to be satisfying while leaving lots of room for a sequel. Can't wait for Book 2!

Sydney, Australia


Esme's Wish

4.8 4


ISBN: 9781925652246
ISBN-10: 1925652246
Audience: Teenager / Young Adult
For Ages: 13 - 18 years old
For Grades: 7 - 12
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 248
Published: 30th October 2017
Publisher: Novella Distribution
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 28.0 x 21.0  x 1.47
Weight (kg): 0.33