Tess of the Road
by Rachel Hartman
My Rating: 2.5 Stars
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (February 27, 2018)
Publication Date: February 27, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy | Coming of Age
Print Length: 544 pages
Meet Tess, a brave new heroine from beloved epic fantasy author Rachel Hartman.
In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can't make a scene at your sister's wedding and break a relative's nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy.
Where Tess is headed is a mystery, even to her. So when she runs into an old friend, it's a stroke of luck. This friend is a quigutl--a subspecies of dragon--who gives her both a purpose and protection on the road. But Tess is guarding a troubling secret. Her tumultuous past is a heavy burden to carry, and the memories she's tried to forget threaten to expose her to the world in more ways than one.
Returning to the fascinating world she created in the award-winning and New York Times bestselling Seraphina, Rachel Hartman introduces readers to a new character and a new quest, pushing the boundaries of genre once again in this wholly original fantasy.
Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman
Tess, the main character is proof that we are NOT cut from the same cloth, that we all dance to the beat of a different drum and that no matter how hard one tries, that square peg will never fit into that round hole of conformity. Unfortunately for Tess, in the medieval kingdom of Goredd, that is totally and completely unacceptable for a “lady.” Rebellious acts, even if justified have consequences and Tess has spent her life facing them, head on, but she is who she is, period. The final straw came that sent Tess on a journey to find herself, her place in life and a purpose to go on.
TESS OF THE ROAD by Rachel Hartman is NOT light reading or even easy to read at times. Ms. Hartman can write, there is no doubt, but the chaos that is Tess’s life and the dark and heavy feel to this tale is sometimes too weighty to be immersed into.
Tess is NOT the misunderstood victim, nor is she the perfect heroine. She is flawed and has some serious self-image issues that show in the way she acts out at times. She also seems almost to flaunt her “differences” with her actions instead of trying a little self-control. There were times I felt I was not being allowed to be “in the story” but being held outside or it. Perhaps it was my own misinterpretation of feeling I was being told, not been shown what is going on.
All told, in spite of some very nice writing, this dark and emotionally draining tale just wasn’t my cup of tea, it was far too bitter for my taste.
I received a complimentary ARC edition from Random House Children's. This is my voluntary review.