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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, TeIn 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....

Title : tess of the road
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 33123849
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 544 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

tess of the road Reviews

  • Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net
    2018-12-10 00:38

    The prose is undeniably well written, but unfortunately the story left a lot to be desired. Things happen, and characters move around a bit, but nothing exciting ever really happens. There's lots of small moments with heavy-handed moralistic messages to be had, but I just couldn't get into the way it was delivered. I've never read any of the Seraphina books, and unfortunately, this book has retroactively put my interest off Rachel Hartman's earlier series. For those of you drawn to this book because of the prospect of dragons - as I was - look elsewhere, as that is a promise left totally unfulfilled. I may or may not write a longer review in January, closer to this book's review date. But as it stands I'm ready to move on to better and brighter horizons. 2/5 starsThank you to Random House and Netgalley for an ARC of this book! Review to come closer to publication date!

  • Simona Bartolotta
    2018-12-06 22:30

    *I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*Buddy read with Vippi, whose review you can find here!DNF 50%This book sucked all my will right out of me. I'm an empty well. I don't even want to write a review. Vippi and I posted our thoughts here (though the latter half are in Italian, I'm afraid) and what I'll do here below is copy and paste my comments on each block of chapters (translating, partly or entirely, those in Italian). They are complete with both the good and the bad; they are more like diary entries than proper review paragraphs, which means they are completely different from what you'd expect from a real review, and I apologise if that is annoying for you.➤Day 1 - From the prologue to chapter 3: I'm a bit conflicted about Tess's character. E.K. Johnston in her comment on the book described her as "uncooperative", saying this is precisely (one of) the reason(s) why she adores her, but I'm not so sure. Take the disaster she causes at her sister's wedding, for instance. Tess is an extremely clever person, and I can't doubt she could have avoided all that fuss easily. It is also true that this is a pet peeve I have in general—I just hate it when characters behave stupidly (by the standards of each) without a reason—so this circumstance may not look as annoying to other readers.On the other hand, I found myself completely won over by Hartman's choice to give voice to a heroine (and a YA heroine at that!) with such a past. I'm really looking forward to seeing Tess's development in this sense and I hope with all of myself her character development will include (possibly not marginally) the problem of dealing with her past, and I also hope (about this I have no worries, however) it will be done in a healthy, respectful way.The writing is lush, rich, and in principle I like it, but I notice a certain tendency to wander off a little bit. In this respect, the length of the book worries me. I hope it won't turn out to be one of those smoke-and-mirrors plot in which a million things happen but only one or two are actually relevant to the plot itself...➤Day 2 - From chapter 4 to chapter 7: I'm going to be blunt. My reaction to these chapters was to feel a bit awed and intrigued, a bigger bit sorry and mostly mortally bored.Let's start with Feeling One.The criticism on the view of women as domestic angels & co and on sexuality still goes strong, and I wish, deeply wish, only for the sake of this thematic thread, I enjoyed the book more. Which explains my Feeling Two, sadness with shades of regret.And now, Feeling Three. I read these four chapters some three or four hours ago, and already I can't remember the details. I should have been able to infer this from the title, I guess, but I've got the feeling Tess of the Road is going to develop on the lines of the picaresque genre (mind that I said "on the lines of", not "exactly as a picaresque novel") and I'm not sure I'm going to like that. But anyway, the problem with these chapters is not that they are not good in any way I can point out; their events are just plain boring and, to me, uninteresting, and to make matters worse, they happen to play on the notes of a trope (heroine dressing as a boy and setting off on a journey) that I don't particularly love. Tess is losing her edge, and I would like to have more show and less telling when it comes to her past—or so I thought until the scene with the first meeting between Tess and her dragon friend came. I didn't care one bit about that.On a side note, I guess reading this will be easier for those already acquainted with the world having read the Seraphina duology. It's not a big problem, but I guess I would have noticed more nuances in the narrative had I known those books, and I feel like I've missed some fundamental beginner's lesson. It would be nice not to have to grope in the dark so much.➤Day 3 - From chapter 8 to chapter 10: It seems to me that the more I read, the less the story goes on. In chapter 8 there is this childhood episode, and in the other two, well how about pretty much nothing? It is symptomatic that there's a moment when Pathka says, “Today we find the best one [cave entrance] and begin our journey toward Anathuthia,” to which Tess replies,“I thought we'd begun.” Exactly my thoughts. Even more symptomatic, and I'm a bit ashamed to say it, but I haven't really understood what this “Anathuthia” is supposed to be or do... in the text you find, “Anathuthia will hold a mirror to your heart, answer the unanswerable, plane the rough place,” and, “The World Serpent... will restore us to ourselves.” But these are just fluff that might mean just about anything, do you follow me? On the other hand, I admit to skipping a couple of lines here and there because it was either that or die of boredom, so I could have accidentally missed the bit with the full explanation. If that's the case, please forgive me, and if you can shed light on this matter, please come forward.Long story short, as of now, the book, or more specifically I should say the plot, just seems to me completely pointless and aimless. I'm super disappointed.➤ Day 4 - From chapter 11 to chapter 14: Fluff, fluff, and some more fluff. How wonderful. [And here I drop down to my knees to beg Vippi to forgive me my weakness and shamefully run for the hills make my exit.]

  • E.K. Johnston
    2018-11-13 23:17

    YOU GUYS.What Hartman did here is something I have been wanting the fantasy genre to do FOR A WHILE NOW in that Tess is, in response to her direct situation, "unlikeable" and "unsympathetic" and therefore AMAZING. She's ungraceful, uncooperative, and unrepentant. I love her so much I might burst. It's all "Come for the fantasy quest adventure STAY FOR THE DISSECTION OF RAPE CULTRE" and it's absolutely on point throughout.One of the hallmarks of Hartman's work is her ability to kill your heart with grammar. She did it in Shadow Scale, and she did it again times a billion in TotR. I JUST. I JUST. IT'S SO GOOD.(view spoiler)[I was built for fantasy; for allegory and allusion and metaphor and GODDAMNED DRAGONS. It's how my brain is wired. Yet I find that "issue books" are still largely ignored when they come from a fantasy viewpoint, especially an epic fantasy one (books like Crooked Kingdom deal with sexual assault, but not as the main plot). This book will have to be noticed. I think elevator pitches sell books short a lot (by which I mean the "a meets b, with c!"), but in this case it's worth it: All the Rage meets Speak, WITH. DRAGONS.There's still all the quest and self-discovery and whatnot we'd get in a regular quest novel, except Hartman added on this extra layer, and then murdered me with parts of speech, AGAIN. It was amazing. And it didn't get in the way of Tess's self-loathing and lack of understand of her own soul.(That's not sounding right, so I'll be blunt: it doesn't read like Hartman had Tess be raped so she could grow as a person, it doesn't read like rape was a punishment for being an interesting child, it doesn't read like all rape victims need a quest to right themselves, and it doesn't read like plot device.) (hide spoiler)]SO ANYWAY. The pub date is a while off, but this book is worth the wait. And we've been waiting for a long time.

  • ☙ percy ❧
    2018-12-04 20:33

    AGH i'm not a fan of the girl-dresses-as-boy trope but i love rachel hartman so DUH i'll be reading this ((if you're interested in why i don't like it: (view spoiler)[well, i'm a trans boy. and let me tell you, it's not just a matter of cutting your hair and wearing boy clothes and BAM everyone's like "yes this is a boy". yet in these books that's how it goes, and idk, i don't like that. it's just a personal thing, i guess, nothing inherently wrong with the trope it's just... yeah. also i feel like it's overdone, and furthermore i feel like an actual trans boy tryna be a trans boy in a world with a v strict gender binary would be more interesting. also why do they even have to dress as boys, can't they just kickass as girls? usually i feel like there's not a particularly huge reason why? but like i said it's nothing against the trope itself, exactly, and it's cool if it's done well, it's just me as a person. none of that probably made sense bc i just took my pain meds and it's 1am and my brain is all FHHFSMSNDJDJ but anyway.but i trust rachel hartman and i think she's gonna do it well, so i'm not that worried. that's just my thoughts on the trope in general. not that anyone cares. but anyways (hide spoiler)]))

  • Cait • A Page with a View
    2018-11-28 19:34

    DNF at 30% so I won't leave a rating, but I generally give up if I can't get into a book after trying super hard for a few weeks. I couldn't connect with anything and the story didn't seem like it was going anywhere original anyways. It just drained all enjoyment for reading right out of me...

  • Dianne
    2018-11-29 22:28

    My Rating: 2.5 StarsTess, 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 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 of 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.Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (February 27, 2018)Publication Date: February 27, 2018Genre: YA Fantasy | Coming of AgePrint Length: 544 pagesAvailable from: Amazon | Barnes & NobleFor Reviews & More: http://tometender.blogspot.com

  • Sherwood Smith
    2018-11-28 03:35

    I don't like to read reviews before I've jotted down my own impressions of a book, though I usually cast my eyes rapidly down the Goodreads column, picking out words here and there. While doing that to this book, I got more whiplash than usual: superlatives in one chunk of text would be followed by "bored" "hated" "impossible" and the like.I guess I can see that. My own impression of this book, which I finished a few days ago, and have been contemplating since, is "a glorious mess."Things I liked: the dragon creatures and their anarchic, truly weird, customs and outlook and (rather gross) physicality.I liked Tess's entire arc. It's an earned arc. I might have misgivings about how we got there, but when we arrived it was so satisfying, and the underlying emotional damage resonated with soul-damaging truth. (view spoiler)[ Hartman does an excellent job with the self-hatred that too often results from the betrayal of trust by someone we love, whether family, friend, or lover. There is a scene in which Tess is given a massage--after prickly mistrust of letting someone that close physically--in which the massager works the muscles where we hold pain, and Tess's emotions unlock with shocking power. It happens, just like that.I found the generosity and hard-won beginnings of wisdom at the end positively exhilarating, and I hope readers make it all the way to find those pages, and read them again and again. The dash of a sense of wonder given through the discovery of the great worms (and how different people react to the news, and what happens) intensified everything. (hide spoiler)]I loved the writing, with its closely observed bits of human behavior, contributing to complexity. (And some really nifty turns of phrase, with only one grammar bobble in the entire thing, so rare!) Hartman writes with such rich, wild imagery, and zings of humor when one least expects it.I loved the nuns we met later in the book, including older women with refreshingly acerb and practical outlook, while squarely placed in the given worldview. These are not twenty-first century Americans shoehorned into a fake-fantasy world with a religion specifically designed to be horrible. (Though at first it read that way.)Which brings me to stuff I had trouble with. (view spoiler)[I had trouble getting into this book because it seemed at first yet another puritanical women-are-the-devil fantasy, and there are so very, very many, which seem to be protesting against a way of life nobody actually has been living for many generations. The news makes it plain these days that there are still horrible problems with power imbalances, but society led by punitive scriptures and priests preaching Female Sinfulness just is not one of today's problems. Whereas dangers at school and the workplace, in entirely secular settings, are. I also had trouble reading Tess's alcoholism and self-destructive, angry lashing out. I believed it. I've known people like that. I also know there are readers who will hail that very aspect as totally awesome when it's a female character acting out, because yay for books in which women get to be jerks too, but I don't like reading about jerk protagonists whatever their gender.I had trouble with the cross-dressing, as the detailed descriptions of highly gendered behavior made it clear that whatever Tess looked like, I couldn't believe anyone would take her as male for two seconds: whatever her hair and clothes looked like, she would move like someone raised from early childhood to Be Female.Finally, though I could understand the sudden jump from young Tess to older-teen Tess, hinting at Terrible Things in-between--in other words, highly repressed--I felt that there were too many flashbacks through the middle that stuttered the pacing to a halt.(hide spoiler)]But these are all highly subjective reactions, which I hesitate to call flaws. Which is why I think of the book as an eminently readable, insightful, glorious mess.Copy provided by NetGalley

  • Crazy4Books
    2018-12-08 19:24

    UPDATE FEB 5TH: Still no book.Won a copy in a goodreads giveaway but havent received it yet and that was December 22nd.

  • Farhina The Wanderer Of Inked Adventures
    2018-12-08 22:31

    My rating: 1.5OKAY, FIRST THINGS FIRST : WHERE THE HECK WAS THAT DRAGON THAT'S ON THE COVER IN THIS WHOLE STORY?!?!? THE WHOLE 544 PAGES OF ITT?WHERE? WHAT? WHAT WOULD YOU DECEIVE ME!!!?!?!?! AND WHY THE HECK WOULD THERE BE A DRAGON ON THE DARN COVER WHEN NONE OF THEM APPEAR IN THE BOOOK!I just can't with this fact. 🙄I was just so excited when I found this book and that cover.... I couldn't wait for release day as I added it to my want to read list.... Sigh! And than oh I got the book. And haay excitement ends a few pages into the book! 🔥and honestly 1/3 of the way in it became a chore I had to finish!Blurb:This book is about Tess and how she is very unconventional to the societies mold of what a women should be like.She is a troublemaker and ends up in a lot of trouble through out the years of her life. And one day before she is going to be sent to the nuns she decides to leave home and go on an adventure on the road.Tess, ah i don't how to explain. She is a flawed character. With lot of angst and baggage. When we first meet her in her childhood years she is such a mischievous troublemaker. But in her later year we meet this guilty in a shell Tess. I don't know if I liked her. Her arc was nice and well earned but her as a whole I just didn't like her.The title and the book heavily makes you think ADVENTURE. But guys it's misleading. Nothing adventurous happens Or remotely exiting. People and character move around from place to place and meet new people. But it's just a BIG DRAG AND A SNOOZE FEST TO BE HONEST. I didn't find this any bit of adventurous or fun.This book is instead a JOURNEY TO FIND ONE SELF. This was about forgiveness. This was about being okay with your own self and just turning away from self hatred and moving on. So yeah the whole "Tess Of the Road" is not about having an Adventure but instead it's just about catharsis and therapeutic thinking 🙄 while you walk and walk and waaaaaaaaaaalk.There is whole cloud or like the main theme of feminism over this book. It takes on and on about this medieval thoughts that surrounded ideals about how a women should be. And how Tess defys them. It's was just there were like two extremes in this book. One like very pious and one that is atmost whore-ish (words used in book). Their are several line or passages from words of saints and religion about how pious and domestic a women should be. And how much hey should not sin. It was a big fat discussion thought out. Periods are discussed through out the book. Having sex, rape, finding contraceptives, pleasuring one own self and meeting a whore (used in book) were just some of the things done in terms of finding/discussing womenhood and ideals of what's right and what not. Sometimes this book was a bit to adult not ya!There are no DRAGONS IN THIS BOOK. None what so ever. At least not the type the book cover says. Their is a sub specie who is Tess's friend from childhood but it's a weird lizard type animal with four hands and all! NOT A DRAGON. NO DRAGON MAKES AN APPEARANCE IN THIS WHOLE BOOK!!Other characters are also huh? Tess sister is ugh! The special snowflake syndrome is the matter with her and is the character of the story who is such a special rose and doesn't do any wrong and has no backbone and is just annoying. Tess's parents are infuriating. The quigtul (the sub dragon lizard things) are just huh and very peculiar and lots of biting each other ah?!?!I have no idea what the heck was the plot?!@)*!$?"!$! Other than just putting on boots walking and walking and having cathartic ideas?!?!?! The whole world serpent thing was idk what? We never found much about it. I was all the waaaay confused about it all?!?! What was? what? who was Anathuthia?!?!?! And well I didn't end up solving my confusion even till the end..... It was just so inconclusive and over the place. And slooooow!The writing even though has a nice prose and style. I just found it way too complicated and if a person hasn't read the Seraphaina duology they will be pretty much lost half the time. Also it felt like we had to work for information. The past of Tess the oh so scandalous thing that happened to her was revealed in 50454848550 short snippets. And we don't really know all of it will like the 70 pages are left in the book. I mean wow so much dangling.The world building is just not done and left to the person's knowledge of Seraphina which is very weird since these are two separate series one should not require to read another series to understand this one.We don't even have a map?!?! I mean it's a book about adventure and doing on a road trip? Hello where the heck is the maaaap?Over despite some interesting theme and messages this book was not for me. It was too much. And so boring nothing interesting ever happens. Or the things that were supposed to be interesting for me where a big fat dull dud. It's just pages upon pages of boring and snooze fest!This was my face and feelings when i ended this book......If you enjoy over the top themes of feminism this book might be enjoyed by you.Just don't go expecting a dragon and amazing road trip!!I’d like to thank Penguin Random House International for my advance reader copy!--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Feb 16, 2018 Look i was so excited about this one but all the dnf's and 2 star reviews that are now up by people are scaring me! I WANT TO LIKE AND ENJOY YOU PLs.... Why does this happen to me ugh?! :(Sep 21, 2017 THIS BOOK : THIS COVER : THIS EVERYTHINGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NEEEEED IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOOOOW!!

  • Dani - Perspective of a Writer
    2018-11-21 23:40

    Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...In this medieval fantasy world of Seraphina fame, Tess is a stubborn troublemaker. She refuses the opportunities she does have to hare off into the world. When she runs into an old friend, a quigutl, she finds a purpose that hearkens back to the dreams of her youth.The short review...First I feel a need to explain my rating... the writing is top notch, clearly a 5 star... the storytelling though leaves a lot to be desired, a 1 star and perhaps even a zero star... That is how much I disliked Tess, her journey, her attitude and this book. I could almost leave it at that, I have wasted enough of my life on this aimless, wandering, nothing of a book, but as a reviewer I'd like to share why I feel this way so you can gauge whether you'd in turn love it...Tess is a supremely modern girl birthed into a world specifically to be in conflict with it. Part of a person's growth is nurture and part of it is nature... she is ALL nature (which is quite unnatural). She was irritating to me even though I didn't necessarily agree with those she was fighting... I just didn't want to be on her side! I couldn't relate to her jealousy of Seraphina, I couldn't relate to the situation she got herself into (though it is horrible she had no one she could tell) and I couldn't relate to her choosing the road over fulfilling her mega dream of all time. All's well that ends well doesn't cut it, the journey was miserable, the dragons disappointing and while I can appreciate all the people she met along the way it didn't change how I felt about Tess. This felt like a soap box of a book... and setting it in a fantasy world with a dragon didn't help the story one second!Cover & Title grade -> A+This cover is so deceptive!! You believe from its beauty that this will be a roadtrip to end all roadtrips and with a... DRAGON! Yeah, no... Well sort of. It indeed has a quigutl or a subspecies of dragon (think lizard compared to a dragon, dragon)... but it doesn't really embody the shape as presented... The thing is this cover DOES ITS JOB! It got me to pick up the book... it is gorgeous and you want a book that has such a cover... even if it ended up disappointing you.Why do I HATE this book, but you may LOVE it?-The writing was excellent!Tess wasn't inconsistent, she was true to the character that was presented... All the modern philosophy babble was woven into Tess' thinking and filtered into her actions. As a writer I admired the skill this took. I can say this author wrote this from her heart. YET I COULD NOT RELATE TO TESS!! She seemed to fit her nickname which meant stupid.-A modern feminist outlook set in a fantasy world.This entire story was designed to pit modern thinking against "old world" ideas that can be said to be embodied in fantasy worlds. Tess has sex at 13 years old, and is taught how she can be sexually active without getting pregnant. Her period is mentioned often. And she has a consultation with a whore (her word) about how to pleasure herself. She spends a lot of time drunk out of her mind. IF I WANTED TO READ ABOUT THIS I WOULD READ ADULT BOOKS!! YA books can be a vehicle to teach girls but not at the expense of the story entertaining us...-A journey to find and forgive herself.If you are excited about anything in the above passage then this will EXCITE you further... The plot was very loose as Tess is really on an exploratory journey to find herself. She can't do this as a woman so the ENTIRE book she poses as a man. Honestly not much happens that can be called fantasy (there is a tiny portion at the end) but it's all about the mistakes Tess made and how they weren't really mistakes but unhappiness at society. The end is happy as this is resolved! BUT FANTASY STORY IT DOES NOT MAKE... The cover says fantasy and dragons and it just wasn't compelling... in fact, the dragon part made me sick... at Tess and the author.As a Writer...As a writer I'm pretty split on this book hence my 2.5 star rating... I HATED it... thought about DNFing it except I was determined to resolve that gorgeous cover with whatever dragon appeared. I really, really LOVE the idea of a girl dressing as a man so as to find who she is as a woman. I understand that this type of mold breaking character will make a ton of mistakes... BUT FREAKING MAKE ME CARE ABOUT HER FIRST!!!While the establishing of a world and the creation of a character is important... if the reader doesn't give a fig about the character then they don't get your soap box messages. You want to root for your MC, whether they are morally grey, evil or a goody two shoes, doesn't matter! MAKE ME CARE... even reluctantly coming to like Tess would have turned this book around for me... BUT by the end I was fed up with her and good riddance I say...If you LOVE the idea of a modern girl set in a medieval world... if you want to witness that epic battle of wills then this book is for you!! There are many modern messages that are crammed into the story and play out so that Tess can find the modern woman she is... You can count on it!!⋆ ⋆ ⋆⭐⭐ Authenticity⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style⋆ ⋆ ⋆⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing⋆ ⋆⭐⭐⭐ World BuildingBOTTOM LINE: Modern Girl Takes to the Road in a Medieval World.Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions.______________________You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. See my special perspective at the bottom of my reviews under the typewriter...

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    2018-11-23 21:34

    3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/02/18/...I enjoyed Tess of the Road more than I expected, but probably less than I had hoped. I wasn’t a big fan of Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina duology when I read it, but nevertheless felt optimistic about her new book because I have a love for “wanderlust” stories and the description of Tess as a “troublemaker” immediately piqued my interest.To her credit, our protagonist was living up to that promise from the start. When she was a little girl, Tess was caught trying to stage a pretend marriage between her twin sister and cousin because she wanted to know where babies came from. Just a child’s innocent curiosity, perhaps—but it does foreshadow a lot more to come. Years pass, and all of Tess’s energies have turned towards helping her sister Jeanne find a good husband, having ruined her own prospects in the eyes of her family. Society now considers her “damaged goods”, and Tess is forced to hide her past like a shameful secret. Lashing out at Jeanne’s wedding, she winds up drinking too much and causing a scene, jeopardizing the entire marriage. Driven to her last nerve, her mother decides to send her to a convent, but before any arrangements could be made, Tess dons the disguise of a boy and runs away, taking to the road.What follows is an almost episodic narrative that traces the ups and downs of Tess’s journey as she travels across the land, meeting new people and trying new experiences. It is also a deeply personal tale of self-discovery and coming to terms with one’s own past.The problem, however, is the book’s structure, consisting of a present timeline with flashbacks inserted throughout, revealing the events which made Tess such a social pariah and why her own family holds her in such contempt. In truth, it is not hard to guess; as I said, there were plenty of hints provided in the early pages. But knowing exactly what happened makes Tess a more sympathetic character and easier to understand, and unfortunately, these important details are held back until late into the novel. In light of these revelations, Tess’s troubled personality is cast in a different light, but of course, by then it might be too late for readers who have already made up their minds about her character.The “episodic” nature of Tess’s adventures also made the pacing feel uneven. Some parts of the story, especially in the middle of the novel, were slow and I had some difficulty trying to stay focused. Most of the time, I just found myself hoping for another flashback so that I could find out more about Tess’s past. To be fair, the book did pick up again near the end with the introduction of Josquin, though by then my attention had already been severely tested.Finally, Tess of the Road is a very “mature” book, dealing with a lot of issues modern teens face today. Personally, this made the story a much more compelling read, though I fear these themes might lose a bit of their significance due to the fantasy context, or they could potentially become a mere distraction to those who rightfully just want a bit of escapism. In a way, some of the novel’s greatest strengths are also its biggest drawbacks, and the mixed response from the YA community now makes a lot more sense to me.Despite some of my mixed feelings, I’m still very excited to read the sequel. The book ends on a high note just as things were becoming interesting, promising more excitement in Tess’s future. For better or worse, I don’t think the next volume will focus as much on our protagonist’s inner turmoil, considering how far she has come in this first book with regards to realizing her own self-worth. As long as Tess continues to travel and grow as a character though, I can definitely get behind a more adventurous and action-oriented sequel.

  • Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
    2018-12-04 02:11

    I'm trying to gather and organize my thoughts on this one but let me tell you, I'm having a hard time. This book is a hard one to review in the fact that it was in total opposition of what I expected.Before I get into the review, I do want to recommend that before reading this book, read the prior two novels set in this world entitled, "Seraphina" and "Shadowscale". I have not read those novels and I think if I had it would have made everything more clear. This fantasy world is a difficult one to understand with all of the various mythical creatures, languages, and settings which the reader is sort of thrust upon as if they have knowledge or have been introduced to before. Also, although I have not read the original duology, I can guarantee that there are cameos from those characters within this novel along with mentions of those particular stories.Now, onward to my review. When I picked this novel up, judging by the summary and the fairly innocent (yet beautiful) cover, I thought I would be reading a fantastical novel surrounding a young woman's quest. Although, there is a physical quest in this book, the story is more about the character's own personal development and discovery while on this quest. This novel is HEAVY. The content is dark, it's raw, and for me I didn't see it coming. For that, I have to give some content warnings for abuse, assault, rape, death and I feel that there is probably more but I do want to avoid spoilers. Do not think that this is a light novel about a simple character's quest because it's not. It is an important novel because although it's fantasy a lot of the darker content unfortunately can play a part in reality.The writing in this novel was amazing and an obvious example of the author's talent; however, I did not find myself enthralled and captured by the story. At times I was confused with the world, the unfamiliar languages, and the timeline (as the story would alternate between now and in the past with no predictable pattern). Also, as much as I did have sympathy for the main character and her struggles, I did not find her (or any of the other characters) likeable. Personally, I do like to have at least one character that is likeable in a novel that I'm reading. I find that I say this a lot in reviews but with this novel it's especially true: you're either going to love or hate this book. It's important content fictionalized so I believe some will benefit and love the story for it's rawness and depiction of realistic events. However, there may be others whom like me expected more of an innocent fantasy quest novel. For those people, they may be drastically surprised with the actual story.***Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review***

  • Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.)
    2018-11-16 23:27

    I want to thank Netgalley and Random House Children's for providing me with this copy in exchange for an honest reviewMy expectations were quite high with this one, I think that actually sounds much better than it really is2.5/5 StarsYou can find this one and more of my reviews on my blog A Book. A Thought.This is a book that takes place in the same world as in Serafina, personally I haven't read that book, but I think that if you have read it, you may enjoy more aspects of Tess of the RoadTess is a very particular girl, in Goredd women must be ladies and men must perform the function of taking care of women, but Tess has other plans for her, she has always been rebel since she was little, always looking for adventures and getting into trouble. Until one day her parents decide to send her to a nunnery to correct her behavior for which she decides to escape pretending to be a boy, along the way she'll meet a faithful friend, a dragon who will protect her in this adventure. But soon Tessa will realize that the past is a heavy burden to bear.One of the things I enjoyed the most was the author's writing style, I read that it has been one of the weak points for alot of people, but not for me. I feel that it's obvious that she knows how to write in a very beautiful and lyrical way and although I really liked this aspect, it hasn't been enoughI think that this book really doesn't have a solid plot, the idea of reading about a character like Tess was unique to me because of the fact that I think she's a character that is obviously very ahead of her time, she has very strong feminist thoughts and It doesn't categorize people according to their sex, which is brilliant for a character from the medieval era. Returning to the plot itself, I think the book has several moments where it seems that finally the plot reached its most important point but that actually never happens. It has brief moments where there is action but they're cut very abruptly, which has prevented me from enjoying them 100%. Anyway, this is something very personal, maybe you enjoy this particular aspect, but I prefer when the plot is more solid and really is directed to something in particular.The idea of the dragon is another of the things for which I wanted to read this book but it hasn't been entirely convincing, I think that it lacks more development to this character and the promise has fallen shortI mentioned in my Goodreads Update that although the book is indicated as YA I have found that it leans more for the genre of MG, even though the ages of the characters are classic from YA, their behavior and the way in which the book is handle It seem pretty much MG.Centralizing in Tess for a moment, I want to mention that although she's a character who obviously has noble intentions, I think she has never fully matured. There are many moments where she simply ruins things for the other characters but never ends up recognizing that it was her fault, there are also moments where her rebel spirit reaches the limit turning into stupid, this makes me feel annoyed with her on several occasions. You know how important it's for me the construction and development of the characters and I haven't felt particularly atached with Tess, this obviously influences my rating a lot. So in summary I warn you about Tess I think she's not an easy character to loveSadly I've seen many people DNF this book, which is a shame, but in some way I get it, it's built in a very messy way and I think it's honestly too long when there is not much happening really

  • Misty
    2018-11-25 02:24

    You guys. I loved Seraphina, don't get me wrong, but HOLY SHIT, DO I EVER LOVE TESS. I'll have a full review up soon, but until then, I recommend I recommend I recommend I recommend.

  • Melissa Jacobson
    2018-12-10 22:15

    Guysssssss. THIS. BOOK. This surpassed all expectations I had for this story. Tess is such a wonderfully flawed character and her healing journey broke my heart over and over again. I cam genuinely say she is one of my absolute favorite main characters in a book now. This book tackles so many important and hard topics that I am deeply passionate about. Religion, slut-shaming, the glorification of virginity, and the dissection of rape culture. Not even to mention the poignant commentary on parenting. this book shattered me and I adored every word. Please do yourself a favor and read the Seraphina duology then dive into this book. You won't regret it!

  • Scrill
    2018-12-03 03:17

    ARC received from Random House Children’s via Netgalley for a fair review. It is my policy to not give a star rating to a book that I DNF.“We are adrift, and the thinnest breeze may blow us where it will.”+As Tess was growing up it became exceedingly evident that she was the bad child in her family. After a series of situations that find her on the bad side her family decides to send her to a nunnery. Tess decides to take her future to the road instead.The StoryI only made it to 32% before I decided I just didn’t have it in me to push any farther, which is actually farther than I usually give since I tend to quit at about 20%. I didn’t want to be put into the position where I was forcing myself to read. Because honestly, that just takes the fun out of the whole experience.This book didn’t really feel very YA to me. I think a big part of that was the extensive vocabulary that was used in the writing. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think YA readers are a bunch of morons with vernacular that would fit a child’s. However, I did find myself highlighting a lot of words such as: salubrious, nomenclature, grandiloquently, bloviations. I personally love learning new words, unfortunately I felt the use of these large words actually bogged down the text quite a bit. So much time was spent describing how Tess was basically screwed that there really wasn’t much forward movement in the story. With that in mind I think it just added to the fact that I thought the story was just plain boring.The storytelling itself was rather disjointed. Because of the nature of how Tess’s biggest mistakes (I’m assuming) are revealed we are given partial history as she continues to carry on in a selfish, yet somehow still self sacrificing way.I originally thought that I would pick up the Seraphina books after I finished the ARC. I am now disinclined to read them at all. The style of writing just isn’t for me.The World BuildingI saw that it wasn’t exactly necessary to read the Seraphina books prior to this, but I feel like a lot of the world wasn’t exactly explained in a way that I could understand it. I had a hard time visualizing creatures and surroundings because of their obscurities. While I was reading I felt like it was assumed that you would have had already read those books. Because of this I had a hard time mentally jumping into the story and seeing it through Tess’ eyes.The CharactersI had a very hard time getting behind and supporting Tess. The prologue lead me to believe she would be a curious and fierce character. What I was later introduced to was an adult Tess who did things to help her sister, but only because she had put herself in a situation that left her with little options. Please do not take this in the way that I support the type of society that she lived in, however, if you are within a society like that it should is understood that she should have known the consequences of her actions. I am a firm believer in positive vocal reinforcement, so I can say that I do not support how her mother did educated, disciplined, or chastised her. Still, I could not get behind the fact that she continued to badger the problem by her excessive drinking and her use of it as an escape from her mother. It all made me rather sad for her lack of self preservation and pride for what she could be.+Quote was taken from an advanced reader copy. The final version may changed or removed it.Blog | Bookstagram | Instagram | Twitter

  • BAM The Bibliomaniac
    2018-11-23 21:13

    Netgalley #8Many thanks go to Rachel Hartman, Random House, and Netgalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review. This is the first of a duology set in the world of another of the author's characters- Seraphina. I've read that book, so I thought I'd check out this one.This is really good, but i dont know if I agree that twelve year olds should read it. I'm just thinking of my nieces, and there are a few subjects discussed that I wouldn't feel comfortable about them reading about in the sixth grade. But I guess kids are growing up so soon nowadays. Tess was always one to get into trouble. As a child she was known as a "spank magnet". It didn't help matters that her older half-sister was part dragon (read the book Seraphina). So Tess goes on a journey. The book follows her on her travails most importantly one that includes a great serpent of the underworld with healing powers that no one else believes exists. She begs for food, she falls in love, she learns truth about her best friend. It's a growth experience. I just kept scrolling the pages. I forgot that eventually there would be an ending and I was not ready. I was happy following Tess on her journey. Thankfully there will more than likely be a Book Two to pick up where this one left off. I wasn't ready for the ending. I wanted to continue on her adventure. 3.5 stars thinking about a 4

  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    2018-11-13 22:14

    *I received a free ARC copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*DNF at ~40% Sadly, this book is not for me. It greatly lacked the spark and magic of Seraphina. I tried to like this. I really did.Generally, with ARCs, I always try to push through until the end. But even my effort to try to push through until I about the halfway point was a bit of a struggle. Because all this book makes me feel is bored. First off, let me start by saying the writing is not particularly bad. The book tried, I think it really did, to reflect on the backward thinkings of patriarchal and overly religious societies. However, I just felt little to nothing from it. Because I did not care about the anyone directly involved in the story. This book, for lack of a better comparison, is just like how Tess sees herself compared to the actual Seraphina, dull and the unfortunate shadow of her far more interesting sibling. I know I am supposed to feel sorry for Tess, and at times I did feel bad and/or angry on her behalf. But just like she does to most people who try to help or reason with her in this book, she ruins it. Rather than coming off as relatable or endearing she just comes off as a whiny brat with a rather serious drinking problem, who also happens to have the constant voice of her dreadful, nagging mother in her head. Maybe someone with more patience, who is able to push through the rest, can let me know if it gets better or ends well, but I for one cannot afford the time right now.Disclaimer:I have read Seraphina, but not Shadow Scale. For which, this book is considered a companion. For those looking to avoid spoilers for either, make sure to read those books first. But overall, I think you only really need to read Seraphina to get an overall feel of this world.

  • Vicky Who Reads
    2018-11-21 20:32

    4 starsTess has been a troublemaker at birth, ever since she shoved her way out of her mother's womb before her twin sister. She's now suffering consequences for some of her trouble-making ways, and instead of heading towards the nunnery her parents are looking into, Tess puts on her boots and journeys across the Southlands, pretending to be a boy.Tess doesn't know where she's going, but with the help of an old quigutl (a dragon subspecies) friend, she now has purpose and protection on the road. Yet her tumultuous past is a heavy burden and she's threatened with the idea of being exposed to the world.After reading a few of the reviews, I ended up being unsure of if I was going to enjoy this or not, but I jumped in anyways.And I'm so glad I did.Although this is the spinoff to Seraphina, you don't have to read Seraphina to read it. I haven't (but now I want to). The books are very different and if you're expecting something similar to Seraphina, throw that notion out the window and off the penthouse floor now.Because this is Tess, not Seraphina, and she's going through vastly different struggles. (Vastly different struggles which I loved, that is.)If you're looking for political intrigue and action and fantasy adventure, you won't really be getting that. But if you're looking for a character who's growing up, a journey to find oneself, an adventure where you don't know where you might end up, then Tess of the Road should be right up your ally.And even if you're not looking for those things, I think you should still check this out.Because it's a coming-of-age story wrapped in a fantasy world, and what's better than a coming-of-age? It's relatable on all levels to people of all ages.And Tess is our troubled little main character who's taken to the Road to find herself--because where she was before definitely wasn't the right place for her.I do think, before we go to all the gushing (which will definitely be coming), I should address the one thing that dropped this book down a notch:The length.It was much longer than I think was necessary. The beginning especially was much longer than it could have been and I feel like it would help if it was condensed.The first paragraph of the summary? Well, that's basically the first 100-something pages of the 500-something pages of the book.I can't really pinpoint where it could be condensed except for the beginning. Dropping us off in some action or shortening the exposition would have been very helpful in just making this easily digestible and preventing DNFs.But, I do appreciate how Hartman set up the world and introduced it to new readers like me who are unfamiliar with anything in this world.So although it was helpful to me and I didn't mind the length too much, I know some people will think it's redundant and dragging.But the book slowly got better and it worked with so many important and interesting themes. It's very much a book of buildup, adding layers and layers of history and different themes and feelings on top of each other and then peeling them away and spurring on change.Tess deals with everything from body positivity/sex/romance to something I'm not going to spoil to figuring out her purpose to dealing with her family. There are so many different layers to this book and it's hard to explain how they build up.But I found it all to be very cohesive, each piece intersecting with the next and working together like gears in a clock. The whole novel just worked and that's really what I liked about it.It's all very character based and although things happen, it wasn't like there was this one-track plot to "win the competition" or "stop the war" or some other common fantasy trope. It's just not very fantastical--there are different species (dragons, quigutl, World Serpents, etc.) but it's mostly about a girl on a journey, discovering who she is.I ended up really enjoying this and hope that there's a second book in store for us all because Tess isn't done growing and I have high hopes for what else she'll discover. I would definitely recommend this to lovers of contemporaries, not fantasies (although if you like fantasies, still check this out) and I think anyone will fall in love with Tess and her journey if you give her the chance.Thank you to Netgalley and Random House for providing me with a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review!Blog | Instagram | Twitter

  • Amber
    2018-11-30 03:11

    This is going to be a very difficult review to write.Tess of the Road filled a void for me that won't (I hope) exist for most people, and because of that, Tess is my soul.  I'm convinced there must be a better word in German to describe how much I love Tess Dombegh and how much I am Tess Dombegh.  I can't find it, so I will try to explain.I have felt Tess' pain.  I have known Tess' rejection.  Although she has certainly had greater misfortune than me (and certainly greater adventure) her heart is my heart in countless ways.  I have forced myself to find the strength to let the Road carry me until the Road itself became the reason.  I love Tess Dombegh more than any other character I have ever met.Because of this, my review is going to be skewed.  It's going to be praise through-and-through.  I am completely unable to be objective about this book because I needed it with every fiber of my being.  I have met books that I have loved, I have met books that I will forever cherish, but never before have I met a book that I felt was written for me.1.  If you are going into Tess of the Road expecting the adventure and political tensions of Seraphina, you will be hopelessly disappointed.  Tess of the Road is a story about an individual, not a country.  It is about healing and growth.  As a reader, I love character driven books, and even if I did not relate as heavily to Tess as I do, this would not have been a problem for me.2.  I really appreciate the rawness of this story.  Never once does Rachel Hartman glorify any experience Tess has been through.  Never once does she force an ideal upon the reader.  We follow Tess completely and watch as she untangles her own thoughts to find that medium between right and wrong.  And not a single time is that ideal pushed upon the reader, because we see Tess suffer with all of them.3.  I really love the inclusion of the quigtl in this one.  I found them fascinating in Seraphina and wanted to see more of them (I haven't read Shadow Scale yet).  Pathka and Kikiu are great characters in their own rights, and I love seeing Tess's interactions with them, even when she does harm.4.  Throughout the book, I kept waiting to run into Will, and I was so pleased that it didn't happen.  This may be a little bit spoilery, but I think it was so good that Hartman kept Will in Tess's past rather than weaving him into her present just because it would be an interesting twist.5.  The emotional transformation of Tess is so subtle, and it's perfect.  I don't recall the moment when Tess stopped making her morning promise, only that I reached the end of the book and it occurred to me that she didn't need them anymore.  The handling of her grief is so true and real and perfect.  Modern society has no time for grief (I took a month for physical and emotional recovery, and I am an exception), but most people lock it away.  Tess has bottled hers for years until it shattered her.  It's almost a cautionary tale of the importance of grief and self-care.6.  Also, lets talk about Tess for a second.  She's an incredible character.  Tess is strong, brave, honest when it matters, clever, and makes her own messes.  I love every bit of her.  She doesn't shy away from hard work and she doesn't leave a friend in need.7.  The word "selfish" gets thrown around a lot in this book, but I think it really comes down to not being "selfless".  This is a HUGE problem in our society where self-care can be perceived as selfishness.  I loved this underlying theme because I think selfishness/taking care of ourselves is a struggle most people can relate to.  When Tess makes her decision regarding Jeanne, it's not because Tess is greedily taking all the love and attention and adventures for her own ego - it's because she can't bear another moment and knows she isn't truly needed.  Tess isn't selfish and neither are most of us.  I think a lot of us need to reflect on that word and realign our meanings.8.  The Road is so intriguing.  How difficult it must be to leave everything behind and go only where the Road takes us?  I envy Tess' courage, and I love journey stories.  If you don't like books with a lot of traveling, Tess of the Road isn't a good fit for you.  The Road itself becomes a character in this novel, and although there are discussions and flashbacks and side adventures to be had, this book is a journey and I delighted in every step.9.  I think that I would argue the age group of this book - while Tess of the Road definitely could be read by the YA audience, it's subject matter seems closer to an adult book.  It's mature and serious, a far cry from the fluffy relationships we see in a lot of YA.  I would trigger warn for grief, loss, elder abuse, miscarriage, still birth, and rape (though this is very subtle).  Keep in mind that all these things are addressed in a very mature manner, but they are present.10.  This book made me cry every time I sat down to read it.  Maybe it was just because of how much I relate to Tess, but I have never cried this much during a book.  I rarely cry for books.11.  Tess and Pathka's journey to find the World Serpents is not just a journey of healing for Tess - it becomes a philosophical and religious experience - especially for Pathka.  I adore philosophical discussions in books and religion has always been a very central part of this world (Saint Seraphina...).  This book is not just an adventure story - there are a lot of philosophical discussions about origin and belief and right and wrong that I thought were fabulous.Tess of the Road is going to have a specific audience.  It is brilliantly written, but I also feel that a lot of the YA community will be bored by it.  And it's a shame, because if you sit down and open your mind, it's an amazing book.  Everything in me wants to start reading it over again right this very moment.  I really, truly, and genuinely loved it.  This didn't feel like a 500+ page book to me - this felt like a journey and I was bummed when it was over.  I want more, I need more.  And I need Tess to materialize into a real person so I can hug her and we can weep together.

  • Sheila {ShesGoingBookCrazy.com}
    2018-11-15 00:38

    See my FULL review of this book on my blog along with others at: shesgoingbookcrazy.comI received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!DNFing at 30%Content Warning: Underage Drinking, Drunkenness, Sex-Shaming”If Tess pretended she was married hard enough, could she fool herself into having a baby?”I can confidently say that I have given Rachel Hartman a second chance with reading this book, hoping for the best. I readSeraphina in 2017 and ended up DNFing it. Unfortunately, I’m finding myself in the same boat withTess of the Road. While the writing is well-composed and encompassing, I just didn’t like the main character Tessie, or the way in which the plot was headed. Tessie Dombegh is the main character. At a young age, her curiosity got her into rough waters with her mother. Holding onto her past mistakes, she becomes rather spiteful towards others, making her a very unlikeable character to follow.”I don’t envy you, if that’s what you’re worried about,” said Tess, not lying exactly. It wasn’t envy so much as self-pity. Did that make her “all right” or not?When her twin sister Jean is proposed to, Tess tries to hide her jealousy of her sister’s position. However, her true feelings bubbling beneath the surface pour out at her sister’s wedding, when out of her drunkenness, she starts a fight.From this point on, I simply lacked interest in the plot. With the main character being so unlikeable, I fail to see a reason to move on.Another point to mention is that there is a lot of focus on sex, in a very tactless way. ”Is it true what they say, that the saar are slow to warm up, but once they get going they burn hot as the sun?”Sorry, but I don’t think this is a necessary addition to a YA novel. If anything, this book reads more like an adult fantasy novel due to its content. This is where the book crossed a line for me. Tess' obsession with the topic was just off-putting.Vulgarity: While there wasn’t a lot, (I counted six up until the point of stopping) the overall mannerisms of the characters were vulgar.Sexual content: There isn’t anything explicit, but this topic is constantly being discussed between characters. Violence: Minimal.Since this is a DNF read, I will not be assigning a star-review.My Blog ¦ Bookstagram ¦ Twitter ¦ Pinterest ¦ Facebook

  • Ricky
    2018-12-05 02:19

    Trigger warnings for this book: miscarriage, slut-shaming, rape.I was lucky enough to acquire the ARC of this book in a trade, and I've since passed it along to one of the team leads at the Stanford bookstore, who's quite the Seraphina fan, enough to have made that book one of her official Staff Picks. Tess of the Road, it's quite a different kettle of fish than Hartman's previous two fantasy tales, and while I give it the same official GR rating, it's really more of a 4.25, if not a 4.5, than Seraphina or Shadow Scale were. While Tess has a way of rambling over its not-inconsiderable 500+ pages, and builds up to a strangely abrupt ending that doesn't feel like an ending at all, the character of Tess herself, and her interactions with a variety of other characters on the road (and also Seraphina from time to time), proves extremely endearing and supremely sympathetic.Perhaps the strongest selling point of this book is its feminist take on the fantasy genre. Especially when it comes to sex-positivity, because one thing that Tess of the Road reflects from our world is the absolutely ridiculous preoccupation with sexual "purity," and particularly that of women, while men are expected to "sin" repeatedly and often and that's just the way nature goes, or so the culture of this world (the human culture, that is, not so much dragon culture) and ours would have you believe. Religion is greatly to blame for this problem, with so many references to St. Vitt and his Biblical-style admonitions. Not to mention how women are so repeatedly taught not to enjoy sex, ever, while men are told they have a basically saint-given right to do whatever the hell they will with a woman's body (and, during scenes when Tess takes on a male persona, the guys she winds up traveling with at one point actually set up a fund to relieve "Tes'puco" of his virginity. No joke.) And, on a related front, how does consent figure into this warped-as-hell dynamic? The answer...probably won't surprise you, but it'll leave you feeling pretty down and wishing to all the saints that you could use this book, literally, to beat some sense into those who would uphold the patriarchy.This book was a very good, very thought-provoking return from Rachel Hartman. I imagine it'll be a hit when it comes out early next year, but again, be warned - it's not for the faint of heart, this book.

  • Tiffany
    2018-11-18 01:37

    I received a copy of Tess of the Road via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.The concept is good and the plot is there but I will be honest, I DNF'd Tess of the Road at 17%. This is the quickest I have ever decided that a book is not for me but I just cannot stand it. Because everything to make a great story is there I am giving it two stars. It has promise but that is it.Tess is angsty and angry. She does not care for others feelings and is very poor me, sob story, everyone hates me. I had trouble staying focused and found myself having to force myself to read one chapter all the way through. The whole time I was reading I wanted to stop. It is so slow. That is ultimately what led me to DNF. I just was not enjoying this story. I am not saying that you will not.

  • Bri •Books and Bri•
    2018-11-18 21:39

    *Update - 1/19/18*Ohhh how I tried with this one. I love Rachel Hartman, but reading this was like wading through molasses. While the characters were complex and original, particularly Tess, I just couldn't get into it enough to read more than a few chapters. The prose just caused my mind to wander and trying to decipher the meaning from certain passages left me exhausted.I'm disappointed in myself with this one, and I think down the road I will give it another shot. For now, after three months of struggle, I'm putting this on the shelf as DNF. Hopefully it won't stay that way forever. I'm leaving off a rating since I didn't finish. For other Hartman fans, I hope you enjoy this and show it more love than I was able to. *Original review*WHOO HOO! I got an ARC from the publisher, and I'm SO EXCITED! I freaking love Rachel Hartman!

  • Nikki (Book Allure)
    2018-12-01 03:13

    DNF. Review to come.

  • Vippi
    2018-11-21 22:39

    ~I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review~Buddy read with Simona :3DNF 50%I was a bit scared that not having read Seraphina & The Shadow Scale could affect/spoil this reading*. I wish that were the case.However, sadly, I hated this book for very different reasons.➤ Tess was a huge disappointment. The prologue presents us Tess as a child and I adored her: she was a wildfire, pure energy. Comparing that little girl with Grown-Up-Tess… well, I wondered where all her sparkle went. Grown-Up-Tess took life lying down and seemed just a faded, grudging version of that little, adorable troublemaker. I never linked with her.➤ The other characters weren't any better: Tess’s parents were detestable; a hamster has more personality than Jeanne – Tess’s twin; Seraphina was probably the most interesting one, but - seen through Tess's eyes – she did not come out very nice…➤ The vision about women: I'm just going to be blunt, the idea that the book seems to convey is that women can be either domestic angels or whores. I guess the concept was repeated so often (through Tess’ mother’s bitter reprimands, through St. Vitt’- “the most implacable and unsympathetic Saint in Heaven” - sanctimonious wisdom**, through poor? Tess’ tantrums -Mama’s criticism was too painful to hold on to and too primal to let go of. It was the rock Tess had been pushing uphill her whole life), I nearly started believing it myself.➤ The pace was pretty slow and the overall plot just seemed to me completely pointless and inconclusive. Most of the time I simply had no idea where the Author was going with this. ➤The consequence was that both Simona (here is her review) and I were mortally bored. Eventually, we threw in the towel and decided to give up.* In retrospect, I'd suggest to read them first, because there are plenty of references to Seraphina's world and myths - and Seraphina herself pops up here and there.** Here are some tidbits:‘If you won’t renounce temptation, O woman, there is no saving you. The Infernum burns hottest for the unrepentant harlot.’‘Thou shalt pay for thy sins ten times ten what they cost thee, but if thou hast fallen all the way to the ground, woman, there shalt thou lie.’ ‘Sin is etched into woman’s very form.’

  • Karina Rapp
    2018-11-18 01:16

    I have never read a fantasy book like this. Where to start? Tess of the Road is one of those books that has become essential to me, one of the books that will always be a part of me. I feel like it gave words and shape to the subtle emotional traumas that can make a person turn on themselves and think of themselves as nothing, as inherently "bad." The depression and apathy and anger at everything and everyone. But...what makes this beautiful, and special, and incredible is Tess's step at a time, day by day journey towards healing. It's not some magical overnight fix. The dark thoughts she carries inside are always there, but the voices dim and she learns how to continue despite them, and to try again and again as she carves out who she wants to be. Her tenacity, and fragility, are precious. Her story says it's okay to fail. It's okay to fall down. Even if it isn't your fault, even if it IS your fault, somehow...go on one more day; walk until it becomes a part of you, until that weakness becomes a strength. Sometimes we need to cling to our heroes and borrow their strength until we find our own. This journey of hers is wrapped in a now-beloved world of characters, creatures, and adventure that won't be soon forgotten.

  • Heather
    2018-12-09 20:41

    Tess of The Road will not be for everyone. In fact, I feel like majority of the people who pick this up (because of the gorgeous cover, or because the author recognition) are going to mark this book as DNF. Tess of The Road follows our main character, Tess, who is upset with how her life is going and after several not so great choices that have showed her the truth about the closest people to her, she decides to run away. In order to blend in better, she decides to disguise herself as a boy and takes on the personality and personas of two different boys in order to keep on wandering. She doesn't have anywhere in mind, she just wants to walk along the road.Overall, the book isn't bad. There's pretty good representation. From characters who get a gender change (and it's not talked about like it's a big deal, but like it's normal), to characters with missing limbs, and even paraplegic characters. The world building is nuts. Rachel Hartman took the world from Seraphina and it reads that way. It reads like she's spent years thinking about and developing the world. We get snippets of fictional languages, sneak peaks into different towns, and many different characters and species. The problem is, the first half sucks. After seeing this...I was expecting something more along the lines of....And what we get for the first half is mainly a lot of walking to a place that we're not really sure of. And a lot of listening about how perfect Seraphina and Jeanne are, and how horrible Tess is. And something that makes this seem more prominent, is that in the beginning, there's a lot of jumping back between the "then" and the "now." Maybe fans of Seraphina will be less confused, but it made the beginning drag that much more.Overall, if you're looking for a fast-paced read about dragons filled with lots of action, then this is not necessarily going to be it for you. If you're looking for a slow-burn, centered more around the types of "dragon-like" creatures with minimal dragon-action, and more people action and self-discovery, then this isn't a bad choice.** I received a copy of Tess of The Road from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for a review. However, all opinions are my own.

  • Miranda (MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It)
    2018-12-08 21:17

    Tess of the Road was a book that fell flat for me, which was extremely disappointing. The one thing I really enjoyed about this book was the writing style. The author really has a way with words! The writing flowed so beautifully and really pulled me in. I was hoping the writing style was enough to make me love this book, but I just couldn't get into this story.I think the worst part of this book for me was the main character, Tess. I just had such a hard time connecting with her. I loved her modern and feminist views, but I just couldn't find something relatable about her. There were a lot of times when I was questioning her actions and I didn't really understand her thought process. I did enjoy how open she was about talking about sex. It was refreshing it see sex brought up in a YA book so it didn't feel so taboo. Sex was brought up quite a bit in this book as well as the menstrual cycle. It was nice that the author was normalizing these topics. There also was a lot of underage drinking, which might make some readers uncomfortable. I loved the idea of the journey Tess was going to go on and THE FREAKING DRAGONS, but those sadly disappointed me. The journey was slow and not exciting at all, AND I WANTED TO SEE MORE DRAGON ACTION. I hope there is a second book where action and dragons take more of an important role in the story.Overall, this is a book that had a lot of potential to be a book I loved, but it just didn't work for me. 2 / 5 Fangs*This ebook was given to me in exchange for an honest review. *MrsLeif's Two Fangs About ItFacebookTwitter

  • Wit & Wonder Books
    2018-11-22 01:12

    *** ARC received in exchange for an honest review***In Rachel Hartman's continuation in world from Seraphina, she gives us, Tess of the Road. As we continue in the world of a medieval kingdom where women are to be ladies, men are treat like kings, and dragons roam free, we have the story of Tess and her journey. Every story whether fiction or non fiction, leaves each reader with something different from it. For me there is so many different unlying issues and feelings during Tess's journey. This is not a book for the faint-hearted. There are situations of rape, abuse, stealing,etc. This book was very well written, very detailed, but also a book that is not your standard story. This is a story about Tess from childhood to adult, trying to find where she belongs and where she needs to be. The push and pull of family. Letting go, accepting who you are and that we are not all the same. Tess has been dubbed the "troublemaker" from birth. Her questioning has her being punished more than anyone else in the family. Some bad decisions lead Tess to make a dramatic scene at her sister's wedding, and cause Tess to make a decision to take to the road. Thus begins her journey of walking towards something though she isn't sure what it is yet. As can be read from the summary from the author, Tess pretends she is a boy on this journey, and being the "time" frame that the story takes place that is completely understandable. But by Tess pretending to be someone else can she find herself? You'll have to read it to find out. At times, I felt this book was going to go on forever, but Ms. Hartman does a wonderful job in concluding the story but leaving you wanting to see what happens next on Tess's journey. 4 walking Stars