Tess of the Road | Penguin Random House Canada

Tess of the Road

Publisher: Penguin Teen
Meet Tess, a brave new heroine from beloved epic fantasy author Rachel Hartman.

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.


"Absolutely essential." --Booklist, starred review

"Like Tess' journey, surprising, rewarding, and enlightening, both a fantasy adventure and a meta discourse on consent, shame, and female empowerment." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Newcomers to Hartman's work will be every bit as enthralled as her fans with this companion novel to Seraphina and Shadow Scale." --Bulletin, starred review

"Tess's ultimately unquenchable spirit, her struggles and adventures--be they at home or on the road--are a delight" --Shelf Awarenessstarred review

"[S]o awe-inspiring, smart and relatable that it seems to physically pulse." --The Globe and Mail

"[An] engaging companion volume to the award-winning Seraphina and Shadow Scale. . . . A picaresque road trip in a quasi-medieval, magical world, this is also a lose-yourself-in-it novel of adolescent healing and empowerment, a promise that youthful ignorance and its errors are remediable. Hartman conveys a warm sense of solidarity for girls who must fight off misogyny, sorrow and the burden of their own mistakes." --Toronto Star

"There's much richness in this tale's nuanced, accessible expression of adolescent naiveté and sorrow, and in Hartman's magical imagery and practical themes." --The Horn Book Magazine

"Tess of the Road is astonishing and perfect. It's the most compassionate book I've read since Middlemarch, and I love it, and Tess, fully as much as its predecessors. . . . Every step Tess takes on her road is a needle pricking the clenched parts of her heart into relief; as I read I felt those needles in my own heart, embroidering it with awe." --Hugo Award-winning author Amal El-Mohtar