Your audiobook is waiting…

Tess of the Road

Narrated by: Katharine McEwan
Length: 16 hrs and 15 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (251 ratings)
Regular price: $38.50
$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Award-winning Rachel Hartman's newest YA is a tour de force and an exquisite fantasy for the #metoo movement.

"Tess of the Road is astonishing and perfect. It's the most compassionate book I've read since George Eliot's Middlemarch." (NPR)

In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons can be whomever they choose. Tess is none of these things. Tess is...different. She speaks out of turn, has wild ideas, and can't seem to keep out of trouble. Then Tess goes too far. What she's done is so disgraceful, she can't even allow herself to think of it. Unfortunately, the past cannot be ignored. So Tess's family decide the only path for her is a nunnery.

But on the day she is to join the nuns, Tess chooses a different path for herself. She cuts her hair, pulls on her boots, and sets out on a journey. She's not running away, she's running towards something. What that something is, she doesn't know. Tess just knows that the open road is a map to somewhere else - a life where she might belong.

Returning to the spellbinding world of the Southlands she created in the award-winning, New York Times best-selling novel Seraphina, Rachel Hartman explores self-reliance and redemption in this wholly original fantasy.  

Named one of the best books of the year by NPR, Boston Globe, The Chicago Public Library, Kirkus Reviews.

"The world building is gorgeous, the creatures are vivid and Hartman is a masterful storyteller. Pick up this novel, and savor every page." (Paste Magazine)

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2018 Rachel Hartman (P)2018 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"This achingly real portrayal of a young woman whose self-loathing takes help to heal is a perceptive examination of rape culture rare in high fantasy. Not to be ignored, this is also a fascinating road trip adventure. 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)

"[A] rousing adventure set in a richly drawn world.... 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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    170
  • 4 Stars
    45
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    183
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    156
  • 4 Stars
    44
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    4
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Fascinating Adventure . I listened twice

The characters and plot are engaging and compelling. My second listening experience was filled with details and nuances missed the first time. The ending is satisfying but I hope Tess's adventure continues in a second book. She is a character I would like to learn more about and her next adventure would certainly include the sea with a new and expanded set of characters, cultures and continents.
Thank You Ms Hartman for a great read/listen and wonderful narration by Ms McEwan

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent!

Wonderful coming of age story. I especially enjoyed walking along side Tess while she grew into a beautiful and confident young woman.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Tess of the Road

I love the narrator so much so I had to listen to this! I do think it's about 100 pages too long and some parts of the plot didn't seem necessary but I love how much emotion and growth in Tess's journey and also Pathka being one amazing creature! If you love more character stories and great writing you'll enjoy this :)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic character arc!

I loved this book! It would be especially illuminating for teenage girls and younger women, not because of the level of the writing but because of the personal growth the main character goes through. I've read books with a similar coming of age theme about boys dozens of times, but rarely do books about female characters get this deeply revealing of the burdens women bear especially in repressive societies. There are also fun linguistics and interspecies communication details. One of the fantasy books I've enjoyed the most in recent years!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fanstinkimgtastic

Deep
Intuitive
Covered a wide breadth of emotion, thought, and senses.
Resonant
I am grateful

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I wish this book had existed when I was in my teens

I loved this book. It has a truly feminist perspective all embedded in a detailed, fascinating world. I want to read the next one immediately!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lori B.
  • Darlington, Indiana, United States
  • 12-27-18

Beautiful Fantasy Book

It's not often I find myself moved by a book. It's so well written... To put it simply, this is a story of a woman who, in this book, slowly finds herself and her self worth. Who heals herself of her pains slowly and it's just so beautiful. It's hard to put into words how much I appreciate Rachel Hartman for writing a character like Tess. I can wait to read more of Tess in the future. In the meantime, I'm going to read the books about Seraphina.

100% recommend this book to anyone looking for a strong female main character in a (more realistic) fantasy setting.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful character development

I couldn't stop listening! She's such a captivating author! Tess is a delightful character with a deep and supremely endearing development. it's so easy to feel her growth and progress, and to rejoice in her maturation after wading through the dross of her life with her.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

just couldn't get into it

I couldn't get into the characters. The reason for their actions were not well explained. I didn't finish the book

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Hartman has out done herself!

I Loved every moment of this book. it's beautifully written. I can't wait for the next one.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susu Bird
  • 02-14-19

Fantastic!

This is one of my all time favourite books. There is a perfect balance of adventure, fantastic storytelling, beautiful prose and insightful character development. This is a book that offers fresh vistas into the human soul and psyche, delivered through an engaging story with characters you might fall head over heels in love with.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-27-18

I want the next one

In some ways this doesn't have narrative push of the others.,however great read and hoping for more