The Legend of Beka Cooper: Mastiff (#3)

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4.3
 
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The Legend of Beka Cooper: Mastiff (#3)
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
October 25, 2011
ISBN
0375814701
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The Legend of Beka Cooper gives Tamora Pierce's fans exactly what they want—a smart and savvy heroine making a name for herself on the mean streets of Tortall's Lower City—while offering plenty of appeal for new readers as well.

Beka and her friends will face their greatest and most important challenge ever when the young heir to the kingdom vanishes. They will be sent out of Corus on a trail that appears and disappears, following a twisting road throughout Tortall. It will be her greatest Hunt—if she can survive the very powerful people who do not want her to succeed in her goal.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

A Great for Fans and New Readers
(Updated: January 21, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Opening at the burial service for Beka’s betrothed, a fellow Dog named Holborn, Tamora Pierce’s The Legend of Beka Cooper: Mastiff takes off from there.

Beka and her partner Tunstall, are teamed with strange mage, Master Farmer Cape, to find the kidnapped heir to the throne. As they fight off ambush after ambush, it soon becomes clear that someone on the team is betraying their movements to the kidnappers.

When things come to a head and Beka identifies the traitor, she—and Tortall—will never be the same again.

The Beka Cooper books are Ms. Pierce’s darkest, focusing with gritty realism on Dogs, the criminals they chase, and the slums where they work. The Hunt in Mastiff offers all the elements fans expect: the team follows the trail through the dangers of Tortall’s wild lands and the perils of its noble houses, making enemies at every turn.

Beka is true to form: hardworking, stubborn, practical, and full of both integrity and dry humor. In this book, she matures more than Ms. Pierce’s main characters usually do. She keeps her mind strictly on her Dog work, but she also struggles to understand her feelings for Holborn…and for Master Farmer.

The journey also leads Beka among slaves and the noble families who deal in them. What she witnesses makes it difficult for the more adult Beka to mask her growing opposition to the slave trade.

Fans will enjoy seeing Tortall become the country they know from the author’s other series. Those new to the series should be fine starting with Mastiff, though they may stumble over the “cant” or street slang that Beka uses occasionally(less than in the first two books).

I wish the author had fully committed to a story about Beka’s newly complex emotions and motivations, which sometimes seemed glossed over in favor of details about the day-to-day work of a Dog. The story wandered a bit as the author tried to bring together all its threads, but I always wanted to keep reading.

While Mastiff would benefit from a tighter structure and more focus, it’s a satisfying story for fans and new readers alike.
Good Points
Fun, believable characters
Gritty realism
Suspense that will keep you reading
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