Tess of the Road

Tess of the Road

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, Te...

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Title:Tess of the Road
Author:Rachel Hartman
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Tess of the Road Reviews

  • E.K. Johnston

    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 wi

    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

    in TotR. I JUST. I JUST. IT'S SO GOOD.

    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.

  • Misty

    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.

  • Dianne

    My Rating: 2.5 Stars

    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

    My Rating: 2.5 Stars

    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.

    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, 2018

    Genre: YA Fantasy | Coming of Age

    Print Length: 544 pages

    Available from:

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  • Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net

    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 bec

    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.

  • Simona Bartolotta

    *I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

    Buddy read with

    , whose review you can find

    !

    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

    (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

    *I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

    Buddy read with

    , whose review you can find

    !

    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

    (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;

    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 -

    : I'm a bit

    about

    . 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—

    —so this circumstance may not look as annoying to other readers.

    On the other hand,

    (and a YA heroine at that!)

    . 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.

    is lush, rich, and in principle I like it, but I notice a certain

    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 -

    : 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

    .

    Let's start with Feeling One.

    The

    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

    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

    to make matters worse,

    . 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,

    . 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 -

    : It seems to me that

    . 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

    symptomatic, and I'm a bit ashamed to say it, but I haven't really understood what this “

    ” 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,

    , 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

    , just seems to me completely pointless and

    . I'm super disappointed.

    ➤ Day 4 -

    : 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

    make my exit.]

  • ☙ percy ❧

    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:

    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:

    ))

  • Cait • A Page with a View

    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...

  • Sherwood Smith

    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 like

    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

    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.

    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.

    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

    Won a copy in a goodreads giveaway

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