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5.0 out of 5 starsI Enjoyed It More
Reviewed in the United States on December 8, 2017
I enjoyed this one more than I did on my very first read of this series some years ago. This series served as my overall introduction to Tortall, it's inhabitants, and the wonderful world Tamora Pierce has created. Looking back, now, I couldn't exactly say what made me dislike this book the first time, as it has a rather interesting storyline and some equally interesting(and shady) characters. Beka goes on quite the hunt here for a very large "Rat", and that is all I'll say on the plot. But there is one thing more I have to say, while I enjoyed it much more than I did the first go-round this is still my least favorite in the series. That honor doesn't go to "Terrier", although it is the first book and for me was my introduction to Tortall as a whole, no, but rather that honor goes to "Mastiff", the last book in the series, I'll explain why when I write my review for that one. But I absolutely and highly recommend this installment in the series and the entire series to those who love a good mystery, procedural, fantasy, all three or anything in between.
5.0 out of 5 starsCounterfeit coin smuggling ring in a magical land
Reviewed in the United States on September 17, 2017
Beka has made the leap to first-year Provost’s Dog, replacing her novice puppy status in Terrier, and has a new partner and her very own four-legged dog companion. Together, they travel outside Totall’s capital city to Port Caynn to attempt to stop a counterfeit coin smuggling ring. It’s one hard choice after another for Beka, who struggles with differentiating between the letter and spirit of the law. She trusts her magical ability to hear voices of the dead more than she trusts her new-found friends. We read the coming-of-age action played out in the straightforward delivery written down in Beka’s diary. Kudos to Tamora Pierce, who has crafted this traditionally-difficult style with mastery, lending the story immediacy and high tension. While each of these books (as well as the final one, Mastiff ) can be read as standalone novels, they are much richer if read in chronological order, especially with the help of the appendix of characters and a glossary.
5.0 out of 5 starsBloodhound: Book 2 in the Legend of Beka Cooper series
Reviewed in the United States on April 17, 2009
I'll start by saying that I normally don't like 1st person narratives and avoid them whenever possible. It took me a few months before I finally picked up Terrier, the first book in the series, and flipped through it in the bookstore. I ended up buying it, even though it was still in hardcover, which is another thing I normally don't do.
The second book, Bloodhound, is equally absorbing. I won't summarize the plot, as that is covered elsewhere, but I will mention a few things that I love about this particular series (note that these are geared towards current fans of Pierce's Tortall universe):
1.) Since the heroine of Bloodhound lives so many years before the time of Alanna the Lioness, there are key differences between the two timelines. In Beka's time Tortall has slavery and in Alanna's time Tortall does not. Beka's time has Lady Knights and Alanna's time does not. These differences make me anticipate reading how these changes come about.
2.) Beka works in the worst part of the capital city Corus. The world you see through her eyes makes the court world of Alanna and Keladry seem innocent and pampered. And yet, the book is not dark and gritty as you would expect. Seeing things through Beka's perspective gives color, humanity, and compassion to what could have otherwise been a very depressing atmosphere. I found that Beka's book gave the world of Tortall, overall, a greater richness and depth.
3.) From the very first few pages of Terrier, the first book in the series, I expected Beka to eventually end up with the Rouge (romantically). It seemed just perfect, considering Beka is the ancestress of the Rouge that Alanna eventually marries. It made me chuckle. However, Beka refuses to just fall in line with the inevitable plot mechanisms and continues to go her own way throughout Bloodhound, developing other romantic interests and growing as a character. If she ever does end up with the Rouge (which I still root for) it will be a relationship developed over time and requiring a lot of work from both parties - which is much more satisfying, I must admit.
I highly recommend this book to anyone age 10 to 100. It is an absorbing story that blends adventure, detective work, and fantasy. If you are like me, and don't usually like 1st person narratives, give this series a try - it might change your mind.
A note about adult content: Since the book deals with the criminal underworld (albeit a fantasy one) there is some adult content (example: murder), and Beka is involved in adult relationships. In my opinion this is no darker than found in the HP or Twighlight series, but if you are considering this for someone under 6th grade you may want to flip though it and determine your comfort level.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 24, 2011
Tamora Pierce is best known for her heartwarming stories about troubled young people overcoming adversity in a nasty (but magical) world. The stories are good, rather as Jacqueline Wilson's stories are good, because she writes credibly about difficult topics - abandonment, cruelty, prejudice and suffering.
My children haver enjoyed her books about young mages, wild magic and Tortal and so too have their father.
These stories about Becka Cooper are about growing up. They are about decency, sexual awakening and the relationship between crime and policing. They concern a young gixie called Becka Cooper and her struggle to become a Dog (police officer). The first book appeared a good while ago. This is the second. The third is due out any minute.
Becka is a distant ancestor of George Cooper, who married Alanna the Lioness, for those who know the other stories.
I'm not going to give you any spoilers. It's well written, a good story. My children, both in their 20s, will doubtless read it, partly because they are good stories and easy to read. They are aimed at teenagers, I spose, but could be read by younger children if they have already read the protector of the small or the Daine stories. Good stuff.
Bloodhound is a well written account - the language used aids in the construction of the atmosphere. The author has maintained a fast pace throughout. It is easy to identify with the main character. I can't wait to order and read the next instalment...