Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

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, Tess yanks on her books and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending ot 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. But the 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 tumultous past is a heavy burden to carry, and the memories she's trying to forget threaten to expose her to the world in more ways than one. 

Review

I have been wanting to read this book since I first heard about it and saw that awesome cover! I had also been wanting to read Seraphina's books. So when I got a copy of this book from NetGalley and read that it was set in the same world as Seraphina, I decided that I should read Seraphina first so that I could get as much out of this book as possible. I am glad I made this decision!

Although TotR is not part of the same series, and you could probably read TotR without reading Seraphina first, I wouldn't recommend it. TotT takes place in the years following Seraphina's books, and Seraphina's books contain quite a bit of (very well written) world building and background information that may make parts of TotR difficult to interpret without.

I love how Rachel Hartman talks about important issues that we face today in such a unique way that captivates readers! She takes topics that are so prevalent and important to talk about in today's culture and perfectly fit them into a story about dragons! For example, Seraphina focuses heavily on racism and the acceptance of interracial relationships.

Both Seraphina and this book talk quite a bit about religion. In Seraphina, the Sons of Ogdo use religion as an excuse to hate. In this book, Tess' mother uses religion to keep her family in line. This book even touches on gender identification (Quigutls can change their gender), rape, and slut shaming.

Tess takes place in a time after the war, in which people are supposed to be more accepting of dragons.

I ♥ that we get to learn more about quigutls in this book! We meet several briefly in Seraphina's books, but they are not the focus. We get to spend much more time with them in this book, and we get to learn more about their personalities and the way they live.

Tess dreams of being an adventurer like Dozerius the pirate that she read about as a child. She runs away from her family after an embarrassing, drunken wedding. Luckily, she runs into Pathka, her childhood quigutl friend, and they go on an adventure together, like they talked about when she was younger.

This was an awesome book! I highly recommend it! I can't wait to see what happens next! My only issue is how long I am going to have to wait to read the sequel!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 


Other books by Rachel Hartment, based in Tess' world: