I seem to unconsciouly be picking books with horrible parents at the moment. Tess has a very complicated relationship with her family but also with herself. Although she is not an unequivocal likeable character, she grew on me and I was very interested in following her travels and story. It was great learning more of the world’s mythology and dragons of Rachel Hartman’s world. And I enjoyed meeting the Quigtul Pathka - again a complex and complicated character.
I really liked that there was not one big climax the book moved toward but had several ups and downs.
Comparing this book to the previous read The Last Namsara I feel that, while The Last Namsara is a typical YA fantasy novel, Tess of the Road (as well as Rachel Hartman’s other books) feels more like they are for adults who are still young instead of Young Adults. The themes as well as the way they are presented and dealt with are very grown up. The writing also remineded me more of an adult novel than YA (and once again Rachel Hartman manages to write a book for YA/adults without an explicit sex scene yet still with romance and enough hints that you know what happens - I am so glad that this seems to still be a possibility!).
Although you do not have to read Seraphina and Shadow Scale before this novel, I would recommend it because otherwise you will learn major spoilers for the earlier books. And that would be a shame. I cannot wait for the next book (because I have a very stong suspicion of at least one thing that will happen next - and I wish it wouldn’t).