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Review: ‘Terrier’ by Tamora Pierce

November 30, 2010

Beka Cooper lived in the worst parts of Corus, the capital of Tortall.  The Lower City is filled with criminals and thugs, and the seedy underbelly of the city is no place for a weak young girl.  Good thing for Beka that she isn’t weak; but she is young, and it’s her job to hunt those criminals and bring them to justice.  In her rookie year with the Provost’s Guard, who are also known as Dogs, Beka is paired with two of the best to learn the ropes.   And her assignment is the Lower City.

But Beka has more cards in her hand than even her partners know: she can speak with the dead who travel on the backs of the Dark God’s pigeons, and she can gather information from the strange dust spinners scattered throughout the town.  From the spirits of the dead Beka learns of a tragic conspiracy that steals peoples’ lives in exchange for opals, and another crime of children being stolen and (sometimes) returned–dead.  And Beka and her Dogs are the only ones who can solve these mysteries.  Scrambling to find the killers and the connections in time, Beka learns more about her city, her people, and herself than she ever could have guessed.

My Thoughts:

I could not put this book down.  Seriously.  I took it everywhere it was conceivable for me to read.  I’ve read the story once before already, and I still got so hooked.  There is just something about the story, the characters, Pierce’s writing…whatever it is, Pierce did an absolutely wonderful job.

Beka is sort of the typical young heroine in that she wants to help people and she ends up saving the day.  What is not typical, and thus interesting, is that she skirts the line of being bad, and she works in the roughest, meanest places dealing with rough, mean people.  She accepts bribes, she tricks people, she is friends with people she shouldn’t be friends with (like the king of the thieves), she beats people up (granted, they warranted it, but still, not your typical YA heroine fare)… All around, Beka is unusual.

Other characters are equally interesting, but Beka carries the story.  It is, after all, her story.  We get a good look into what she thinks and feels through the journal-style of the story, in which Beka writes the story in her own words using first-person as if she were writing in a journal.  At first when I began to read the story, I was surprised and put-off by the style, but once I began reading I really got into it.

Another thing I liked was how Pierce introduced the story and the character by using characters from her previous books.  George and Eleni Cooper, who are characters mainly from the Alanna series, are descendants of Beka, and they introduce the story when Eleni is trying to convince George not to be a thief.

I don’t think I have anything negative to say about this book.  The characters are awesome, the plot is good, the writing is excellent, and I enjoyed it as I enjoy a good Thanksgiving turkey dinner–I walked away satisfied.  Five stars, and I’m sure I will read the book many times again!

Buy on Amazon * Author website * GoodReads

Book info: 608 pages, published 2007, ISBN: 0375838163

Copy from personal library

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