The Beka Cooper Trilogy: Mastiff

By Tamora Pierce [LibraryThingGoodreads]

Beka Cooper has just buried her fiancé when she’s called in on a Hunt that threatens the royal family – and the safety of Tortall itself. Along with her partner Tunstall and her loyal scent hound Achoo, Beka must travel far outside of her comfort zone and untangle a conspiracy involving some of the most wealthy and powerful people in the kingdom – while she’s forced to question exactly who she can trust.

I really enjoyed the first two Beka Cooper books, and would have reread them before I read this one, but since all of my books are currently sitting in a storage unit in Red Hook, that was not an option, so I’m working from memory here. My thoughts on the series as a whole haven’t changed: I enjoy the procedural structure of the books and Beka herself, and I’ve always loved the worldbuilding of Tortall.

But I have to say this book disappointed me. For starters, there were a few places where it was hard to follow. Despite having read 17 books set there, I don’t have a detailed working map of Tortall in my head, so whenever our heroes went in depth about which path to take I got pretty lost, and the maps in the front weren’t much help. This may be reading comprehension fail on my part, but I’ve never had this problem with Pierce before, so I’m thinking not.

I also found Beka’s relationship with Farmer, the mage on their Hunt, to be fairly rushed. She doesn’t seem to like him at all for much of the book, and not in the kiss-kiss-slap-slap way – she just seems annoyed and uninterested. Don’t get me wrong – I found them super cute when the romantic aspect of their relationship started to develop. But it seemed to go from interest to engagement extremely abruptly.

Finally, a major spoiler: show

Mastiff was certainly compelling – I couldn’t put it down – and I liked a lot of it, but I found the above issues to be sticking points with me, particularly the last one. That’s why Mastiff only gets three and a half cupcakes. Sorry, Tammy! I still love you!

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    One Response to “The Beka Cooper Trilogy: Mastiff”

    1. Carolyn says:

      I really disliked the procedural format of these books. I found it completely uninteresting, and not what I turn to Tammy for! This final book was definitely the worst – it wasn’t that it was hard to follow, it was that I didn’t care enough to figure it all out. I kept waiting for the interesting parts.

      Beka’s voice was still great, of course, but I was just disappointed overall. Although, I actually really liked her relationship with Farmer. I liked that her fast fall into love happened so quickly, exactly because it was so out of character for her. That’s just….what happens in life. I liked it.

      SPOILERY SPOILERICIOUSNESS: The T stuff was complete BS, though. Like Tammy couldn’t bear to pin it on anyone else, so she just sacrificed her least favorite character. I thought it was terrible, and would have found it MUCH more plausible if Lady Sabine had been in on it with him.

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