Bound To Stay Bound

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 Tess of the road
 Author: Hartman, Rachel

 Publisher:  Random House (2018)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 536 p.,  21 cm

 BTSB No: 423622 ISBN: 9781101931288
 Ages: 12-16 Grades: 7-11

 Courts and courtiers -- Fiction
 Fantasy fiction

Price: $22.28

Tess Dombegh journeys through the kingdom of Goredd in search of the World Serpents and finds herself along the way.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: UG
   Reading Level: 6.40
   Points: 22.0   Quiz: 195164
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 9-12
   Reading Level: 5.40
   Points: 29.0   Quiz: 72869

   Kirkus Reviews (+) (11/15/17)
   School Library Journal (01/01/18)
   Booklist (+) (11/01/17)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (00/03/18)
 The Hornbook (00/03/18)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 01/01/2018 Gr 9 Up—Set in the same world as Seraphina and Shadow Scales, Hartman's new book is full of dragons, "quigults," and quests. Tess, Seraphina's younger half sister, is a curious girl. From trying to learn how babies are made to sneaking out of the house to attend scientific lectures, she is constantly straining against the boundaries of a very strict patriarchal society. After getting "in trouble" at a young age, she devotes her life to ensuring that her twin sister will make a favorable marriage, thus securing their family's fortunes. Using alcohol to dull her pain eventually causes things to unravel and Tess runs away from the volatile family drama. Out on the road, Tess makes discoveries both personal and scientific that lead her to find peace within herself and a place in the larger world. The author skillfully weaves Tess's current adventures and her backstory, slowly revealing the rape, pregnancy, and subsequent death of her child—which led to her current pain and bitterness, while simultaneously describing her evolution into a strong female protagonist. Hartman tackles complex issues such as gender identity, rape culture, and a sex-positive outlook without including graphic sex scenes. Unfortunately, there are so many lessons to be learned, and they are so pervasive, this book reads more like an updated version of an allegorical fairy tale than like an epic fantasy adventure. The slow pacing will deter many of the genre's fans. VERDICT Additional purchase for larger libraries where character-driven fantasies are in demand or where the author is popular.—Sunnie Scarpa, Wallingford Public Library, CT - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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