Series: Beka Cooper #1
Published by Random House LLC on 2007-10-23
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BEKA COOPER IS a rookie with the Provost's Guard, and she's been assigned to the Lower City. It's a tough beat, but Beka can hear the voices of the dead on the wings of pigeons, and Beka's birds clue her in to two major murderers on the loose. The rest of the Guard is busy investigating the fire opal killer, so it's up to Beka to nab the Shadow Snake.Tamora Pierce begins a new Tortall trilogy introducing Beka Cooper, a young woman who lived 200 years before Pierce's popular Alanna character. Pierce employs first-person narration, bringing readers even closer to a character that they will love for her unusual talents and tough personality.
Terrier is the first in the Beka Cooper trilogy, set in the world of Tortall. Beka is a rookie, a “pup” who is learning to be one of the Provost’s Dogs. Having helped with bringing a man to justice at a young age, she has already started her legend and ends up with the two most seasoned Dogs on the watch – Matthias and Clara. What holds Beka back from being amazing is how shy she can be. Her training and experience on the streets help her in every aspect of the job, and her special ability to talk to murdered souls which cling to the city’s pigeons.
I’m one of those readers that loves writing that brings out the life of the world and the journal format with slang included really threw me into Beka’s world. I know others can be put off when it comes to accent writing and speciality slang, but I love it and it’s pretty easy to read in context. Pierce also includes a glossary of terms at the back of the book, which helps for some of the trickier words used.
Beka herself is such an interesting character. I love seeing her failures along with her strengths and was rooting for her through the whole book. I also love Pierce’s honest and realistic approach to romance. Pierce broaches the subject of sex without being naughty about it. It’s part of the culture of the books and especially in a world with looser morales it’s not always going to be PG. That being said, it’s not explicit but implied and I loved seeing Beka’s response when having feelings towards someone who does not fit into her own moral beliefs. I like a character who can think for herself but still realize her own wants and desires.
Tortall is one of my favorite worlds and I love that this one is set in the slums, giving it more danger and intrigue than found in other fantasy books. I felt the city was really brought to the life and fleshed out. Beka has a lot of room to grow and I cannot wait to read more of her adventures in the next books. This will be a series I start and finish this year, although I will be sad to say goodbye to the world of Tortall, as this is the last of the books set in that world that Pierce has written.