Series: Esme Trilogy #2
Published by Odyssey Books
Publication Date November 30, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Main Character Ages: 15-18
Written for: Middle School, High-School/Young Adult
Terror was within. Terror was without. Like her mother, she was at the water’s mercy.
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.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Also in this series: Esme's Wish
I’m always curious how much I will enjoy the second book by an author, especially when it is in a series. I have found that some authors consistently write books that I love, some authors consistently write books that I dislike, and some authors get mixed reviews from me.
Esme’s Gift picks up with Esme returning home after an exciting adventure in the enchanted world of Aeolia. And nothing is as she had left it. When she discovers a terrible secret about her new stepmother and is threatened with being put into an institution because of the fantastic claims she makes that “prove” she is crazy, she runs back – and attempts to save her mother.
As Aeolia is a world filled with people with special “gifts” that manifest themselves when they are teenagers, the things that happened at their high school as the teens were learning to use their gifts were humorous. My favorite of these was Lillian’s accident!
I still really like Esme’s new friends, Daniel and Lillian. They are loyal and true and stand by her. Daniel is protective and sweet. So fun!
I was surprised at some of the secrets they uncovered along the way. Especially the secret of the sea eagle who delivered her messages!
There were a couple reasons I took away a star for Esme’s Gift. The first is that there was too much retelling the events from Esme’s Wish. While I appreciate having an author give me hints in second and third books in a series, I prefer when they are only given when the details will cause me to be lost if I don’t remember them, especially in a trilogy such as this. If I read the books one after the other, I don’t want to feel like I should be skipping through things I already know. Not only were the details repeated, it felt a little more like telling instead of showing and caused the story to drag at the beginning.
Once Esme returned to Esperance and began to attend school, there was some more telling instead of showing and, again, the story dragged for a bit. Once I got past this section, things began to pick up and became interesting again.
It seemed like there was more “magic” in Esme’s Gift than there was in Esme’s Wish. There were also more ghosts, mythological creatures, mythology, and violence which made me a little uncomfortable. I didn’t reduce the rating because of these with it being just my personal preference and not a reflection of the quality of the writing.
The ending was satisfactory and except for a small detail that remained unresolved, it could have been the conclusion of the series. Which leaves me with a decision to make, whether I will read the final book when it comes out. I’m currently guessing I will…
Lovers of young adult fantasy, and especially those who like magic and mythology will likely enjoy this series.