“I really enjoyed this series. Beka and her partners are on another chase, this time for the kidnapped prince. One major character turns traitor, which made me sad. ”Mrs. Guthrie wrote this review Saturday, October 19, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I think this book could stand alone, but I'd still recommend reading at least the two books that come before in the trilogy, Terrier and Bloodhound, if not the Alanna novels to which this is a prequel.
This is a mix of genres that meld well together. It's high fantasy, set in an imaginary magical-laden realm reminiscent of medieval Britain or France in the world to Tortall but filled with mages, magical beasts such as dragons and lady knights. This particular trilogy focuses on Beka Cooper and it has been a favorite from the first, as good in my opinion as the Keladry or Aly books--believe me, I couldn't give higher praise.
Tamora Pierce can be found in the Young Adult section and is famous for her strong heroines from her first book in 1983. I think she's only gotten stronger through the decades as a writer. So many favorites of mine in the fantasy genre--particularly those who wrote high fantasy series such as Mercedes Lackey have jumped the shark or gotten tired blood. Not Pierce. This trilogy is as strong as any and different from any despite being set in a shared universe. For instance, it's told in journal format, and I think that particularly set off a coming of age tale. And it's a great voice. Pierce not only through syntax but by use of words such as "coves" and "mots" suggests Beka's working class roots and profession as a street cop, without resorting to eccentric spellings and elisions that drove me crazy in Mercedes Lackey's most recent Valdemar book that features a protagonist with a similar impoverished background and calling.
Beka is a cop--a "dog" in the mean streets of Corus, the kingdom's capital and works with a scent hound Achoo--and a cat companion, Pounce, from the realms of the Gods who boasts he once was a constellation. As such, this isn't just fantasy, it's a historical fiction police procedural, because Pierce is very convincing in details of how medieval police might have done their jobs. The last book dealt with the corrosive crime of counterfeiting threatening the kingdom. In this one Beka is set against slavers who have kidnapped the four-year-old heir to the throne. Together with Achoo her human partner Tunstall, his lover the Lady Knight Sabine and a mage, Farmer, they go on a Hunt to track the young prince down.
It was an absorbing, well-paced adventure tale--and I think Pierce does something rather gutsy here. Pierce is still at the top of her game and I'd recommend this highly to any lover of high fantasy with strong heroines.”
“While there is no denying that I enjoyed this book, I can't help but feel like it wasn't a worthy final installment to Beka's tale. 'Mastiff' features very little of the series' original cast; and while the stakes were raised in terms of the Hunt (a plot involving slavery and the royal family), they were not raised as well in terms of Beka's character development and the emotional stakes--Pierce's attempt at it comes at a rather late point in the novel for it to have any real impact. Thus I can't feel that it truly came full circle. Still, I did enjoy the characters who were added, particularly Farmer, and the book as a standalone read is very worthwhile.”Stevie T wrote this review Tuesday, June 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“For the original review and more, please visit http://markedbybooks.blogspot.com/2013/03/review-of-mastiff-by-tamora-pierce.html
The end is here.
No, it's not the apocalypse, but it feels pretty darn close right about now. I still can't believe this is the last book in the Beka Cooper trilogy. It felt like there was a huge hole in the center of my heart as soon as I turned the last page because I was so not ready to let go of anybody yet. I'm still not! In fact, I'm probably going to have to reread more Tamora Pierce books pretty soon to fill that gap because, writing this, I feel like I'm about to split in two.
Not cool, Tamora Pierce!
I'm just kidding, I love you. So here's to the first review on this blog of a book by my very author, Tamora Pierce! Yay!
But now on to what I'm actually supposed to be talking about: Mastiff. While I'm obviously not too fond of the fact that this is the last I'll being seeing of Beka, I am pretty happy with how things ended up. Of course I was devastated by the betrayal she faced by someone that should have been too close to hurt her, and I also wish that I could've seen a little more of Rosto, Kora, Aniki, and Goodwin before everything ended, but I'm very proud of Beka and glad that she finally got her happily ever after.
Even though I didn't get to see as many of Beka's old friends as I had hoped, I really enjoyed all of the new faces. First off, Gareth. I know that I didn't get to meet him until the very end, but I have to say, that kid's a boss. Seriously. The little guy's only four years old, but he handled being kidnapped better than many people ten times his age would have. He's so kind to everyone too, especially considering his lineage. He is one of the sweetest, bravest, most determined little boys I've ever had the pleasure of reading about, and I only wish that I could have had more time to spend with him.
I really liked the queen as well. It was very obvious how much she loved her son, and that none of wanting to get him back was a political battle; I know she would have turned over the entire kingdom if she thought it would mean getting to see him again. Their reunion was so sweet, and she always treated Beka like an equal, regardless of whether or not Beka thought she deserved it.
Then there's Farmer. There's no way I could have talked about this book without mentioning him. He's just that awesome. Like Beka, he'll play up the stupid Lower City Dog act to make people underestimate him before completely blowing their minds. Unlike Beka, however, Farmer does it with style. I'm not picking on Beka here, but she just tends to slip into a bit of an accent and act really shy around nobles, whereas Farmer goes full throttle with the whole country bumkin act. I swear, if he said, "Ma allus said...." one more time, I don't think I could have contained the laughter.
And then we have Pounce. Oh, Pounce, Pounce, Pounce, Pounce, Pounce, how I adore you. After Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch, I never thought I could love another talking cat so much again, but you completely blow him out of the water (sorry Salem). You are the best character in this book, and you know it. Thank you so much for your meddling, even if it did confine you to the stars for a hundred years. Your smugness will forever live in my heart, and I'm so glad that I at least didn't have to say goodbye to you, Pounce (or should I call you Faithful?).
Overall, the first half was a little slow at times, but still enjoyable, mainly because I loved spending time with all of the characters so much. I probably would have only given this book four stars if it continued on like that, but what came later more than made up for it. By far, the most exciting parts of the book came a little after halfway through. That was when things really started to pick up, and it felt like I had been thrown in the middle of a whirlwind of excitement and suspense. It really never calmed down from there until the very end, and even that may be stretching it. The ending was certainly something huge, but I can't say anything else without spoiling the book for you. I really felt like everything had finally come full circle, especially after going back to George Cooper in the epilogue. It seemed very fitting for him to close things up, especially since he and his mother started Beka's story off in the beginning of Terrier. Oh, back when she was just a Puppy.... it's making me sad just thinking about it. Goodbye Beka! I'll never forget you! Probably because I'll end up rereading your books every year!
For the original review and more, please visit http://markedbybooks.blogspot.com/2013/03/review-of-mastiff-by-tamora-pierce.html”
“I couldn't put it down! I loved it, and the end was really quite unexpected. A fitting end to the trilogy, and she ties it in so well to the Alanna series.”Kira wrote this review Monday, March 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This was a very satisfying conclusion to an excellent series. As usual, Tamora Pierce is able to create strong characters and an exciting story line. I couldn't put this book down!”Stephanie Wallis wrote this review Thursday, February 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Beka has really grown up in this book. The book starts with the funeral of her fiance, but is a little unbelievable since we don't have a lot of romance in the Beka Cooper series to make the supposed relationship seem real. Her growth and coming to terms with her guilt, however, are more believable. The pace was exciting, and the twist conclusion was heartbreaking (if a little out of character).”Melanie Terry wrote this review Saturday, February 9, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A stunning ending to one of the best series!”Kelsey Josette wrote this review Wednesday, February 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I could help but be disappointed by the change in character of Tunstall at the end, but I think that it underlines how real this book felt to me. ”Candidia wrote this review Thursday, January 17, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A disappointment in the Beka Cooper series. No sense, forgot characters very easily. And a random engagement to someone no one knew. And a traitor. broke. my. heart. not a good ending to the series”Sami Alyx wrote this review Monday, December 17, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No