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.
A coming of age story of a girl who survives a shitty world that is full of malicious people, and keeps on fighting, keeps on seeking answers. I absolutely loved this story, and I can’t wait to read the sequel!
I want to start by saying that I haven’t read Seraphina. It is in my tbr list, but I never picked it up, yet.
Rachel Hartman breaks all of of the YA Fantasy stereotypes and expectations in Tess of the Road. From Taboo subjects, to having a very flawed and troubled main character that most people look down upon, to capturing the essence of Rape Culture, Tess’ story has the spark of novelty, freshness, and necessity.
Tess is seen as a disgrace; as a shameless person who dives deep into the ocean of sin. That is of course, from the outside looking in. As we dabble into her past and her present, we get to see the strength and determination she has to move on from the past, and decided that her perception of her reputation is the only one that should matter. She goes from hating her existences, to discovering the road to her soul. She redefines what good and bad means. And all of that doesn’t happen magically by swallowing a dragon’s egg. Hell to the no!
I also really loved how caring and protective she was when it came to her sister.
The structure of sentences used in this Fantasy novel are as exotic as the Dragons of this fictional world. The writing style was simply, beautiful!
Tess’ story is raw and honest. The storyline and events don’t preach any form of ideality; instead, it follows Tess as she battles to figure out what is considered to be right or wrong for her. This is a book that will shatter your soul, so make sure you add it to your tbr.
I received a review copy in an exchange with an honest review.
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