The Legend of Beka Cooper: Bloodhound (Book 2)
I just love Goodwin and Beka. I think they have a very distinct personality, that gives you an amazing feel for what life is like in the book. I liked Beka because she faced many hardships, but she pushed them down, and she had such an amazing strength inside her. I thought it was quite funny when she was in the relationship with Dale, and she didn't have a clue on anything. I laughed at that. My other favorite character is Goodwin. She seems like a two-faced character as she was super tough while doing Dog work, and sweet while she's off duty. I thought that was odd, but very clever on Tamora's part.
In the end, this book is really good. It can be really confusing in some parts, but if you read it again, and look up some words in the glossary at the back of the book, then it might clear up a bit. The characters are great, and were all very different. The idea of counterfeit coins was a smart idea, and very interesting. But you have to read Terrier before you read Bloodhound as it will be even more confusing, because you have to read it order. If you like fantasy kingdoms, with fights, and a different type of romance, then this book is recommended to you by me.
After almost a year as a full-fledged Dog, Rebekah Cooper (better known as Beka) is back with her old partners Tunstall and Goodwin just as silver coles flood Corus, giving birth to riots among the poor of the Lower City (Beka's beat) as prices skyrocket. When Tunstall breaks his leg in a particularly vicious fight, it's left to Beka and Goodwin to track down the colemongers responsible. This time Pounce won't be around to protect Beka, as constellations must occasionally worry about things other than seventeen- year- old girls, but she has her scent hound, Achoo, her ability to speak to the dead, and (most importantly) her wits to rely on.
I just finished this book last week despite the fact that it has been out for about a year and someone who's been reading Tamora Pierce since she was nine, like I have, certainly should have gotten around to it earlier. Despite the fact that I have read and enjoyed Terrier, I was half expecting a generic adventure akin to the Alanna books- I'd forgotten that Tamora Pierce's skill as a writer doubles with each book she publishes, as Bloodhound is her best yet (oh, and Beka and Goodwin are awesome). In a way, I'm glad I didn't read it until recently as it means I'll have to do a lot less waiting for Mastiff, though I think I'll cry when this series is done.
You can't really read Bloodhound without having read Terrier, so I'm just going to recommend the whole series to everyone.
Rebekah Beka Cooper is now a Dog, a fully qualified member of Provosts Guard, which is basically the police force in Corus, the capital of Tortall. Beka is a natural at Dog work, shes observant and persistent, but her magical traits set her apart from the rest, she has the ability to gain information from the spirits that attach themselves to pigeons and the dust and dirt that swirl on the ground called dust spinners. These skills along with the help from the company she keeps make Beka a skilled Dog.
Beka has been a Dog for five months at this point, and her fourth partner has just decided to leave her, which sends her back to her (amusing) training Dogs, Tunstall and Goodwin. One her first day back with Tunstall and Goodwin, they learn of counterfeit silver coins being used throughout Corus, which begins their investigation on the subject. On the second day, the merchants raise their prices in order to cover their losses, which cause a riot in the Lower City. During the riot, Tunstall is injured and in trying to get him to safety, they meet a group of men from a security caravan, who turn out to be quite useful to them.
After the riots, its found that the counterfeit coins are being brought in by gamblers from Port Caynn and the Port Caynn Dogs dont seem to be doing anything about it. With Tunstall on bed rest, Cooper and Goodwin are sent undercover to Port Caynn to try and locate where these fake coins are coming from and who is sending them out into the mainstream. Beka and Goodwin must explore the deep world of gambling and find the root of the problem, in a strange city.
Along the way, Beka sees Dale Rowan, a bank courier that sometimes works on the caravan, whim she met in the riot. Dale becomes more than just someone to help the women learn about the gambling places, and the eating houses that could help aid them, he becomes someone Beka really begins to like. He is handsome, buys her fine gifts, and becomes a bedmate for her, all in a matter of days. There is just enough romance that you almost want to root for him, but personally I am still rooting for her and Rosto, the Rogue of Corus.
With the help of the adorable Achoo, Bekas new scent hound, Slapper, a hilarious pigeon that carries the voices of the dead, and their new friends from the riots, they have just the in they need to get their investigation started. Things finally start falling into place when Goodwin goes to Corus to report what they have so far. Once Goodwin is gone, things come together rather quickly for young Beka, and it is up to her alone, to keep it all from blowing up before help arrives. And it is up to Achoo to teach Beka that there is more to finding a criminal than the chase, and sometimes you have to sniff them out of their hiding place.
I love this story! Its told very well, everything you read is written through Bekas journal and despite the length of the book, the entire story covers just under three weeks. I didnt read Terrier, the first book in the trilogy, but Bloodhound seems to stand on its own, with only a slight temporary confusion. Some of the terminology is quite different, but there is a dictionary in the back, along with a few other things that are quite helpful when it comes to keeping things straight. The cast of characters are quite colorful, and very interesting, particularly when Dogs, mages, thieves, and the Rogue not only live in the same lodgings, but also dine frequently together and intertwine themselves in each others lives as they do. Its easy to see that despite what they all do for a living, they all care and respect each other as friends.
There are some aspects of the story that could become a little much for younger readers and I think I should state that Beka may only be 16 or 17, but in her time, that is classified as an adult. She deals in adult situations, there is crime, gambling, adult relationships, and violence, but nothing is told in explicit detail or anything like that. This is a story that I could totally recommend for almost anyone, male or female, teenager or adult. Either way, it is a good story and I for one, am waiting for the next book, Mastiff.