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review 2018-01-21 18:50
Tess of the Road
Tess of the Road - Rachel Hartman

Tess of the Road

 

Rachel Hartman, 2018

 

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.

 

Disclaimer 1: This book is a spin-off of Hartman's Seraphina series... which I have not read. I think that reading Seraphina and Shadow Scale would probably be beneficial to do before reading this book, but mostly for world-building purposes. It is, however, not completely necessary - there is nothing in this book that failed to make sense and the world was easy enough to pick up after a few chapters.

 

Disclaimer 2: I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from NetGalley. I would like to thank the publisher for the opportunity to read this book. The expected publication date for Tess of the Road is February 27, 2018.

 

Disclaimer 3: I have seen some reviewers who were disappointed because they went into this book expecting to read about dragons. If you are looking for a book about dragons, this is not that book. Dragons are peripheral to the plot, but feature very little. I understand that the Seraphina books involve dragons much more heavily, however.

 

Okay, with those disclaimers out of the way, on to my review. 

 

I wasn't really sure what to expect with this book. It sounded interesting to me, so I requested a copy and started to read. Once I was a few pages in, however, I realized that I had missed the fact that this was a spin-off book. Oops. But I kept reading, and I'm glad I did. While there were details glossed over in the first few chapters that I wish I knew more about - Why was Tess seen as such a screw-up? There are half-dragons? And are all half-dragons Saints? What the heck is a quigutl? - I found that as I read most of those details didn't matter to the story (and the ones that did were explained as it went on). 

 

This is a hard book to qualify for me. It's a fantasy, but aside from the quigutl (which, by the way, is a sort of large chameleon-looking sentient animal with its own language that is really good at working with tools), we didn't encounter a whole lot of fantastical elements. (Well, there was one other, but it's a spoiler). It's honestly much more of a coming-of-age novel, where the main character starts out on a journey and encounters different people along the way and finds herself. Which is not a bad thing. But if you're expecting a high-action fantasy novel, you'll probably be disappointed. 

 

Really, I hope that this book is marketed well, but I fear that it won't be. My fear is that it will be marketed as an epic fantasy instead of a coming-of-age novel, and that does this novel a disservice. Because it's a really good young adult novel, and I think that a lot of different readers - not just fantasy readers - will like it. It had a great female protagonist with a lot of flaws who I think teenage girls could really like. I love that the author decided, after writing the Seraphina books, that she wanted to explore Tess a little more. I think she did a great job of fleshing out a character that you don't see a lot in this type of story.

 

Overall, I thought this was a well-written, interesting story. There's not a lot of action and a surprisingly little amount of fantasy elements for a fantasy novel, but it's a well-told story and I found Tess to be likable despite her flaws (and sometimes because of them). There is a little adult content in this book, so I can't recommend it to the younger crowd, but I definitely recommend it to young women who like a good story and who won't be put off by a slower pace and a slightly confusing fantasy world. 

 

[I also plan to read the Seraphina books at some point, so I'll be curious to see how this world is first introduced there.]

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text 2017-12-06 10:33
Reading progress update: I've read 45%.
Tess of the Road - Rachel Hartman

More on the road and more backstory.

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text 2017-11-18 16:17
Reading progress update: I've read 34%.
Tess of the Road - Rachel Hartman

So we get a lot of backstory about Pathka and the Quigtl which is nice to have and bit more about Tess's childhood.

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text 2016-11-06 12:11
My October 2016
Serafina: Das Königreich der Drachen - Rachel Hartman,Petra Koob-Pawis
Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
Throne of Glass 2 - Kriegerin im Schatten: Roman - Sarah J. Maas,Ilse Layer
Serafina: Das Königreich der Drachen - 5 stars
Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray - 3.5 stars
Throne of Glass 2 - Kriegerin im Schatten - 5 stars

 

Favorite book(s) of the month: Serafina, Throne of Glass 2 - Kriegerin im Schatten

 

Books started this month but haven't finished yet: Stopping the Noise in Your Head, Shopaholic, Alice hinter den Spiegeln, Here I am, Mister Lugosi und die verschwundenen Kinder, The Fearless Travelers' Guide to Wicked Places

 

Oh well, reading wise the last month really sucked. But oh well, I had a lot of soul searching and future planning to do (and that sucked even more). October is also the month that my knitting obsession started. I'm the proud owner of two loops and a regular scarf (this is going to be a present, tho) now and I'm currently working on the third loop, this one is also going to be a present. I swear to god, if the winter isn't really cold this year, I'm gonna stab someone with my knitting needles. Kidding. I think.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-10-23 19:40
Serafina // Seraphina!!!
Serafina: Das Königreich der Drachen - Rachel Hartman,Petra Koob-Pawis

German and english review

 

Ich habe es tatsächlich noch geschafft, diesen Monat ein Buch fertig zu lesen. Ich habe das Stricken für wieder entdeckt, was im Moment sehr viel Freizeit in Anspruch nimmt. Dafür wird mir im Winter der Hals nicht kalt, das ist ja schließlich auch etwas.

 

Das Buch habe ich von einer ganz lieben Person ausgeliehen bekommen und hab es dann doch noch auf meine Bücherliste geschrieben, ich muss das Buch unbedingt selbst haben, genauso wie die Fortsetzung, die ich unbedingt bald lesen will.

 

Aber genug davon, jetzt geht es ums Buch.

 

Kann EIN Mädchen ZWEI Welten vereinen?

Die Drachen könnten die Menschen vernichten. Doch sie sind zu fasziniert von ihnen. Dies ist die Basis des fragilen Friedens zwischen beiden Völkern, die jäh brüchig wird, als der Thronanwärter ihres gemeinsamen Königreichs brutal ermordet wird – auf Drachenart. Die junge Serafina hat guten Grund, beide Parteien zu fürchten. Hütet doch das erst seit kurzem am Hofe lebende Mädchen selbst ein Geheimnis. Als sie in die Mordermittlungen verwickelt wird, kommt der scharfsinnige junge Hauptmann der Garde, Lucian Kiggs, ihm gefährlich nahe und droht, ihre Verstrickung mit der Welt der Drachen zu enthüllen und ihr ganzes Leben auf immer zu zerstören.

 

-

 

Ich liebe alles an dem Buch.

Die Charaktere waren einfach klasse, richtig viele unterschiedliche Beziehungen, die einfach nur wunderschön waren. Ich fand die Welt in der die Story handelt, einfach richtig schön und auch wunderbar erklärt, dass man wirklich schnell reingefunden hat. Und die Geschichte ansich, war auch wirklich richtig schön. Klasse Schreibstil.

 

Serafina ist der Hauptcharakter in dem Buch und ich fand sie von Anfang an, einfach total besonders und sie ist mir wirklich schnell ans Herz gewachsen und war/ist mir wirklich total wichtig. Aber auch Charaktere wie Kiggs, Glisselda, Orma, Viridus und die Charaktere aus Serafina's Garten, von denen wir ein bisschen mehr bekommen haben.

 

Ich fand die Beziehung zwischen Serafina und Orma wirklich total interessant. Genauso wie die Momente mit ihr und Viridus (der Moment als er ihr sagte, dass er weiß, wer sie ist, wer ihre Mutter war. AAAAAAAH!!!!). Und dann natürlich alles was mit Serafina und Glisselda und Kiggs zu tun hatte. Ah, ich mag die Drei total als Team zusammen, deswegen fühle ich mich echt schon ein bisschen schuldig, dass ich Serafina und Kiggs zusammen so toll finden würde, obwohl er ja mit Glisselda verlobt ist. SCHWIERIG.

Und dann natürlich alle Garten Bewohner, die Serafina dann auch in Wirklichkeit getroffen hat. Ich hoffe wirklich, dass man in dem anderen Buch, dann auch die anderen besser kennenlernt. Was ich auch unbedingt mehr haben möchte, sind Momente zwischen Serafina und ihrer Familie.

 

Von der Story her, war es wirklich sehr spannend gemacht und das hat sich auch bis zum Ende hin wirklich so gehalten. Da gab es doch die ein oder andere Wendung, die mich einen Moment die Luft anhalten ließ. So liebe ich das.

 

Alles in allem kann ich das Buch wirklich nur empfehlen.

Wo wir beim Thema Drachen sind, jeder sollte unbedingt Eon/Eona lesen.

 

*******

 

I actually did it, I finished a book this month. I rediscovered the joys of knitting and well, that's taking up most of my free time at the moment. At least my neck won't be cold this winter, and that's important too.

 

A very lovely person borrowed this book to me, and of course, I already put it on my list of books I need to own, together with the second book, that I wanna read very soon.

 

But enough of all that, let's talk about the book.

 

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

 

-

 

I love everything about this book.

The characters are awesome, all the different kinds of relationships, wonderful. I loved the world the story was set in, amazing and wonderfully written, so I got into the story very fast and easy. And the story itself, amazing.

 

Seraphina is the maincharacter in the book and right from the beginning, she was just very special to me and now she's super close to my heart and very important to me. But I also really loved characters like Kiggs, Glisselda, Orma, Viridus and all the characters from Seraphina's garden, especially those we got a bit more from.

 

I loved the relationship between Seraphina and Orma. So interesting. And the moments between her and Viridus (seriously, the moment he told her he knew who she was and who her mother was, AAAAAH!!!!!.) And of course everything that had to do with Seraphina, Glisselda and Kiggs. Ah, I love these three together as a team, makes me feel really guilty about really liking Seraphina and Kiggs together, because he is engaged to Glisselda. DIFFICULT.

And then of course all the people from the garden, that Seraphina got to meet in reality. I really hope, that in the second book, we will get to meet the others as well and get to know them more. I would also love more moments between Seraphine and her family.

 

The story itself was very good and really intriguing, from beginning to the end. There were some twists, that really took my breath away for a second there.That's how I like it.

 

Overall, I really recommend this book to everyone.

And speaking of dragons, I need everyone to read Eon/Eona.

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