Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: Tess of the Road

Publish August 30, 2018

Known as the willful troublemaker in her family, Tess’s thirst for adventure and natural curiosity are often misunderstood and discouraged. When her actions bring shame on her family, Tess feels obligated to ensure her twin sister Jeanne marries well to provide for her loved ones in her stead. As Tess begins to see she will never redeem herself in the eyes of her family, meeting up with a childhood friend, Pathka, leads her on a grand journey, full of memorable characters and a touch of the mystical. After a long time on the road, Tess is ready to discover who she is again.

A companion novel in teen author Rachel Hartman’s award-winning Seraphina series, Tess proves right from the beginning that although Seraphina is her older sister, she is a heroine who can stand alone.

Against a backdrop of a legendary quest to find the great snake, Anathuthia, Hartman skillfully uses the fantasy genre to explore women’s autonomy and deep philosophical questions. As Tess wrestles with the issues of her upbringing, the reader struggles with her, but through it all she maintains a kind heart and a deeply empathic nature that allows her to understand and care for others.

In Tess of the Road, Hartman seems to borrow from Seraphina’s talent for composing as her words read like music, touching the soul in a way that only the best works of art do.

Tess of the Road

Rachel Hartman
Penguin Random House
ISBN 13: 9780385685887

Amy Mathers
Amy Mathers

An avid promoter of Canadian teen fiction, Amy Mathers completed the Marathon of Books in 2014. The money she raised allowed the Canadian Children’s Book Centre to fund the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award. She also reviews for the Canadian Children’s Book News and writes a monthly article for the CCBC e-newsletter.

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