Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Series: Beka Cooper, book 3
Recommend to Others?: Yes
Favorite Quote: “The harder the goal, the more important it is.”
Summary (via Goodreads):
Three years have passed since Beka Cooper almost died in the sewers of Port Caynn, and she is now a respected member of the Provost’s Guard. But her life takes an unexpected turn when her fiancé is killed on a slave raid. Beka is faced with a mixture of emotions as, unbeknownst to many, she was about to call the engagement off.
It is as Beka is facing these feelings that Lord Gershom appears at her door. Within hours, Beka; her partner, Tunstall; her scent hound, Achoo; and an unusual but powerful mage are working on an extremely secretive case that threatens the future of the Tortallan royal family, and therefore the entire Tortallan government. As Beka delves deeper into the motivations of the criminals she now Hunts, she learns of deep-seated political dissatisfaction, betrayal, and corruption. These are people with power, money, and influence. They are able to hire the most skilled of mages, well versed in the darkest forms of magic. And they are nearly impossible to identify.
This case – a Hunt that will take her to places she’s never been – will challenge Beka’s tracking skills beyond the city walls, as well as her ability to judge exactly whom she can trust with her life and country’s future.
Mastiff is one of those stories that stays with you long after the story is over. It’s one of my favorite books of all time. I loved it even more the second time around, though it didn’t make dealing with the conflict of the story any easier. Still, Mastiff is a book that will easily exceed all expectations.
The Beka Cooper trilogy can be read out of order but you won’t get the linear progression of Beka’s character and growth from Puppy to Dog that way.
The writing in Mastiff – and the other books – is so on point, so natural! The books are Beka’s private journals and presented in such a way. It’s more narrative than stream-of-conscious journal entries but the blending of the two is seamlessly done. You almost forget it’s a recount of events that have already taken place. More on that – yes this is a recount so you at least know Beka is there in the end (in what state you’ll just have to read to find out!). But in this series it’s all about the journey, and not the destination.
Mastiff is an adventure unlike any other. The suspense. The thrill. The Hunt. All will leave you turning pages quickly to learn what’ll happen next.
Knowing what’s going to happen did not hinder my reading experience. But as mentioned before the conflict was a heavy thing to read, especially after picking out all the bits of info early on that connect to later major plot points. Death too was a heavy thing to bear witness too and the antagonism that’ll leave you speechless. The task Beka and her fellow Hunters are given is probably one of the most difficult obstacles I’ve ever read in fiction (or even seen in movies and television).
I really appreciate the include of all the characters mentioned in Mastiff and who they are, the glossary of terms/lingo/language, and Achoo’s (Beka’s scent hound) commands at the back of the book. It was good to refer back to all this information as I read.
I highly recommend this series. Tamora Pierce is a master storyteller and Beka Cooper’s story – a heroine unlike any other – is one you’ll want to read.