Author: Tamora Pierce
Series: Beka Cooper #2, Tortall #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Medieval fantasy, Strong women
Publisher: Omnibus Books
5th sentence, 74th page: I will write my proper Sunday journal tonight.
Beka Cooper is finally a Dog – a fully fledged member of the Provost’s Guard, dedicated to keeping peace in Corus. But there’s unrest in Tortall’s capital. Counterfeit coins are turning up all over the city, and merchants are raising prices to cover their losses. To avert a looming crisis, Beka delves deep into the gambling world, and she won’t let anything – or anyone – jeopardize her mission. To succeed she’ll have to learn to sniff out the criminals – to be a bloodhound…
No matter how many times I read the Beka Cooper series, I am entranced by the stunningly simple and provocative words. This time, Beka is after forgers and her chase brings her to the bright and vibrant port city. Here Beka is not only forced to face up to a Rogue gone very wrong, but also her own feelings towards a man, and the first movements of a binary view on women that are beginning to surface. This story is not only a great addition to the world of Tortall, but it begins to tell the tale of just why Alanna is forced to hide her gender when she becomes a knight many generations later.
One of the reasons I have long loved Pierce’s books is that she normally focuses on a female as the story’s hero. The sexism that is inherent throughout the world is normally quietly written into the story. But, in Bloodhound Cooper and Goodwin are told in no uncertain terms that women can’t do the same job as men. That they are meeker, should be veiled and certainly aren’t up to the rigours of crime work. Beka’s ability to capture the criminal that no one else is willing to tackle definitely begs to differ. I love that although there are many who think that Cooper isn’t able to stop a potential kingdom destroyer down because of her gender and her background, she ignores them and acts in a morally inspiring way. It is also a wonderful reminder that we can all find our own autonomy, regardless of what others think and say.
There is something terrifying about someone idiotic being in power… (anyone thinking of America right now?). Pearl is the perfect example of this – power, drive and an inability to think beyond immediate pleasure are a horrible mixture in such a vindictive package. It is a pleasure to see the karmic justice which is meted out to her.
This is one of the darker stories of the world of Tortall, although, the entire Beka Cooper series flows in this vein. It really makes you look further into crimes and the reasons why people commit them. It makes you question what is morally right and wrong, and what would happen in a lawless existence. Or at least, a world like Beka’s where corruption and bribery has an overt place in society…
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