Mastiff by Tamora Pierce


MastiffTitle: Mastiff
Author: Tamora Pierce
Series: Beka Cooper #3, Tortall #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Medieval fantasyStrong women
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Random House
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: “She needs to sniff the riverbank,” Tunstall said.

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Three years have passed since Beka Cooper almost died in the sewers of Port Caynn, and she is now a respected member of the Provost’s Guard. But her life takes an unexpected turn when her fiance is killed on a slave raid. Beka is faced with a mixture of emotions as, unbeknownst to many, she was about to call the engagement off.

It is as Beka is facing these feelings that Lord Gershom appears at her door. Within hours, Beka; her partner, Tunstall; her scent hound, Achoo; and an unusual but powerful mage are working on an extremely secretive case that threatens the future of the Tortallan royal family, and therefore the entire Tortallan government. As Beka delves deeper into the motivations of the criminals she now Hunts, she learns of deep-seated political dissatisfaction, betrayal, and corruption. These are people with power, money, and influence. They are able to hire the most skilled of mages, well versed in the darkest forms of magic. And they are nearly impossible to identify.

This case – a Hunt that will take her to places she’s never been – will challenge Beka’s tracking skills beyond the city walls, as well as her ability to judge exactly whom she can trust with her life and her country’s future.


I love this conclusion to Beka’s tale. From the very first page, you know that she is the famous ancestress of George Cooper and there is an allusion to the fact that she was incredibly famous. Terrier and Bloodhound both make you think that this could be the tale. But Mastiff is so amazingly obviously the reason why Beka is so famous. It’s a great tale of betrayal and trust, fate and destiny. But also, just a great crime story and hunt. After all, Beka is a dog on a mission.

I really loved Master Farmer in this story. He’s an incredibly unorthodox magician, and someone that I steadily fell in love with more and more throughout every scene. Although Beka is quite rigid and an adamant pursuer of justice, Farmer is quite possibly completely cracked. He pokes fun at everyone and manages to find a way to seemingly enjoy himself every step of the way. The balance between the characters is really well written. Not only did it help to round out the cast, but it was also a fantastic way in which to balance out Beka’s quite intense characterisation. Although I do enjoy her intensity and independence, it was nice to have a more obviously humorous character throughout this hunt.

One of the things that I really love about this series is that it starts with Eleni Cooper’s introduction to Beka’s past. Throughout the storyline, she meets with many other ancestors of the characters which I have begun to know and love throughout the tales of Tortall. Ending the tale with George’s impression of his ancestor and her famous cat really helped to bring this full circle. The fact that it is so seamlessly woven throughout her tale just makes the mastery of Pierce’s work even more enthralling. It provides an extra layer to the tale of Tortall and gives it a function and form that spreads over generations, rather than characters in the same years.

 <- Bloodhound Review Student of the Ostriches Review ->
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11 thoughts on “Mastiff by Tamora Pierce

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