Viki’s ARC review: Tess of the road by 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.

Title: Tess of the road
Author: Rachel Hartman
Published: February 27th 2018 by Random House Books for Young
Genres: YA Fantasy

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Viki's Review

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

Here is the thing I was one of the readers whom absolutely loved Seraphina but unfortunately it can’t be said about Tess of the road.

The writing style is really similar to the one that author used in her debut novel and while I enjoyed it there, because it simply worked with Seraphina’s story, I still like it with it terse edge and lush atmosphere, the whole thing just doesn’t fit with this plot. A plot that started out great and promising but quite quickly turned into something boring and dragged out. There are a lot of underlying thing going on behind the actual events but all of this just not enough to keep me engaged. I had a really hard time to keep progress with this story even so I was quite excited for it. For such a long book there are just too little dynamic and driving things happening in it.

I really liked Tess character and not because she is a likeable one but because she is different, completely different from the usual YA characters. She is relentless, curious, has an inquiring mind and stubborn. She is a rebel in her time, acts rashly and sometimes even irrationally but that’s exactly why her character was so attracting to me. Even if usually this kind of personality would annoy me to hell. Her character development didn’t exactly went as I hoped it would go but it still was the only reason I finished the book and didn’t DNF it.

It was a shame really because I generally like the author style but I also think that this world she writes her stories in, is not complex enough to be the set for so many and such long stories. But that’s just my opinion.

2 stars



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