Meet Tess, a brave new heroine from beloved epic fantasy author Rachel Hartman.
"Surprising, rewarding, and enlightening, both a fantasy adventure and a meta discourse on consent, shame, and female empowerment." – Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Not to be ignored. Absolutely essential." – Booklist, starred review
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 bestselling novel Seraphina, Rachel Hartman explores self-reliance and redemption in this wholly original fantasy.
As a child, Rachel Hartman played cello and lip-synched Mozart operas with her sisters. The famous Renaissance song "Mille Regretz" first moved Rachel to write a fantasy novel rooted in music, but her inspiration didn't end there. She wrote Seraphina while listening to medieval Italian polyphony, Breton bagpipe-rock, prog metal, Latin American baroque, and Irish sean nós.
Rachel Hartman lives with her family in Vancouver BC.