Thursday, March 29, 2018

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman - OPTIONAL

Hartman, Rachel Tess of the Road, 536 pages. Random House, 2018. $19.00. Language: G ( 0 swears, 0 “f”); Mature content: PG-13; Violence: PG.

In this sequel to Seraphina, Tess, a seventeen-year-old Goredd, runs away from home on the eve of her twin’s wedding. Her childhood hero, Dozerius, the pirate, gave her the idea and the courage to escape a life of puritanical life. Along the way, she meets up with a childhood girlfriend, Pathka. This lizard friend is in search of the World Serpents, who are like God’s to their race.  Tess enjoys her freedom and eventually she and Pathka find Anathuthia, the first of seven world serpents. Tess continues to travel her road of self-discovery.

Although Tess is independent, teachable, and truly wants to find herself and her vocation, I found her character lacking great purpose like you would expect of a heroine.  I really wanted to like Tess but couldn’t.  There was too much talk of sex and minimal on-page sex that took the plot off course too often and gave it the PG-13 rating. Some violent and bloody scenes could disturb young readers, including Tess’s first violent sexual encounter. Hartman breathed life into the Goredd world.  She created a fun and believable world.  Her prose is vivid. But, the story fell flat for me as the plot line did not resolve adequately.



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