Series: Beka Cooper #3
Genre: Fantasy (YA)
Pub. Date: October 25th 2011
I discovered the joy of Tamora Pierce’s writing a long while ago, however recently I have re-devoured all of her Tortallan books, Beka Cooper being the latest of my caffeine fuelled escapades. Full of mystery, action, Achoo (!), and, of course, that classic Tamora Pierce flair, Mastiff is a brilliant end to the Beka Cooper trilogy that I would recommend to everyone.
I often say how I find heroines strong, or brave, but it is only after reading Ms. Pierce’s books that I realise how much I have been lying to you all. Beka is a true heroine, she is tough, strong, incredibly smart, and an idol for feminists everywhere. I have no idea how she does it, but Pierce manages to consistently provide us with brave, independent young women who put other heroines to shame. I liked Beka’s attitude to things, straightforward, no nonsense – if something bad happens she doesn’t run around crying why me?, she picks herself up and makes sure she does a better job in the future. My kind of girl? Definitely.
On the plot: Loved it – although others may find it does to tend to drag on a teeny tiny bit, not that I cared. It was a big finish for the end of another successful series, with plenty of political intrigue, annoying characters you just relished hating, magic, and betrayal. That betrayal. WHY, Ms. Pierce, why? I was just saying to myself, it can’t possibly be them, and then you have to go stomp all over my dreams! I applaud you for, as they say, ‘throwing us a curveball’, but i feel as if it was done more for shock factor than anything else. The villain could have been someone new and i would have enjoyed it just as much.
I can see why Tamora has stuck with her world of Tortall for so long, she’s built it up into a truly magnificent figment of the imagination, and whenever I think of fantasy this is always one of the first things that pop into my head. It has that lovely quality of old – or medieval –fantasy with it’s kingdoms, regal castles, Gifts and just the general atmosphere that the author manages to create. Pierce’s writing is unique in that is straight forward with no messing around, you get everything you need without reading pages and pages of poetic babble. And trust me, it’s lovely and all, but after reading about ten books in a row FILLED with it, this is a welcome break.
I'm a big fan of the added touch of romance, and I really mean it when I say it was just a touch. If you’d told me Beka would fall for him in the first hundred pages I would have laughed till I cried, but towards the end Ms. Pierce somehow worked it in flawlessly so that it ended up feeling completely natural. Before Mastiff I’d hedged my bets on a certain King of Thieves, but i guess you'll just have to read the book to find out who the lucky man is...
If you haven’t read any of Tamora Pierce’s books yet, just…just leave. And then go find a book store or a library and borrow as many as you can, it’s so worth it. If you’re a fan of proper fantasy, or just a good book with amazing characters; you seriously cannot go wrong with the Beka Cooper trilogy.