Mastiff: The Legend of Beka Cooper, Book Three
Tamora Pierce has written another stunning and sweeping adventure in the saga of young policewoman Beka Cooper of Tortall. Once again, fans and newcomers alike will be carried away into a mystery that requires our heroine to muster her special talents as she helps solve a crime and bring a hideous practice to an end. Along the way, she gathers in a new friend, a new relationship, and a new future.
"Readers who set aside time for the expansive yet satisfying escapade of MASTIFF will not be disappointed."
MASTIFF is no dainty read. It’s heavy in terms of both pages and action, but as usual, Pierce manages to write with the passion few others can. This will keep readers pinned to the pages to find out what the ending will portray about the beginning of another brilliant series by Pierce. Few writers can claim that a current bestselling series is the explanation of how a different set of Tortallians got their starts. MASTIFF is a relative to Pierce’s beloved Alanna series written over 20 years ago. And it works so well. Readers have clamored for years to know the source of Alanna’s brilliant past, and Pierce is delivering in part with the Beka Cooper series.
Roused in the middle of a dark, rainy night by her commander, Beka and her menagerie (Pounce the cat and Achoo the bloodhound) board a peregrine ship, “…the Crown’s most precious vessels, saved for its most important messages and its greatest emergencies,” bound for a mysterious hunt. Besides the commander, Lord Gershom, she is accompanied on the choppy journey by her work partner and trainer from the early days, Tunstall. They discover the trip’s destination as they disembark and are greeted by the King’s guards and a mage who escorts the Dogs (police) to the King’s summer palace. Here they are informed about the hunt. They are to solve a kidnapping, but not just anyone is missing. A person very dear to the entire kingdom is unaccounted for, and Beka and her comrades are assigned to find and return him.
The team embraces their mission as a simple seek and find, but is soon embroiled in a treasonous plot and the unseemly business of human bondage. They are deep in the belly of the ugliest parts of Tortall’s society as they rush to find their missing person, only to discover he has been sold to slavers. The kingdom’s monarchs are distraught, especially when it’s uncovered that someone from within the inner circle is at the helm of the evil plans. It’s up to the Dogs and Beka to find the proof and the missing person, and expose to the light of day the sickening practice of slavery in Tortall.
Readers who set aside time for the expansive yet satisfying escapade of MASTIFF will not be disappointed.
Reviewed by Joy Held on November 9, 2011