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Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
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Description: The Hunt is on! Three years have passed since Beka Cooper almost died in the sewers of Port Caynn. Now her life takes an unexpected turn when her fiance is killed on a slave raid. Then Lord Gershom himself appears at her door and in the span of hours Beka is plunged into a case that threatens the future of the Tortallan royal family and therefore the Tortallan government itself. This Hunt will take Beka to places she's never been and challenge her tracking skills beyond the city walls, as well as her ability to judge exactly who she can trust with her life and her country's future.

Thoughts: This was a very hard installment to decide my feelings on. There is a lot to love about this one: Beka and Achoo get to really show their skills, Beka and Tunstall are entrusted with a very important mission, and the new characters are interesting. We get to see how the poor live outside of Corus. It's all good stuff.

But the beginning and the ending were quite disappointing. First, why skip Beka's relationship with her fiance completely and only mention his death? If there was a point to it, I never got it. Not only is he simply dead from the first mention, the entire situation sounds completely unlike Beka. It felt very much tacked on.

And the ending. I had a terrible feeling that the traitor was going to end up being Tunstall and it was heartbreaking when it was confirmed. Again, it was so out of character that it didn't ring true. Tunstall would have known that Sabine would never forgive him and that it would all have been pointless. I hated it. I hated that this was how the series ended.

But I did quite like Farmer and wasn't disappointed that Beka fell for him. He is a good match for her.

This was a very good subseries of the Tortall universe. I liked it almost as much as the Lady Knight series. I just wish this very last book hadn't left this sadness and disappointment regarding Tunstall.

Rating: 3.66
Liked: 3.5
Plot: 4
Characterization: 3.5
Writing: 3.5
Audio: 4

http://www.librarything.com/topic/188600#5215763 ( )
  leahbird | Jul 20, 2015 |
Loved the audiobook version of this (the voice acting was great). It's a worthy addition to Beka Cooper's story, especially the very final resolution. Like many others, I didn't love the big plot twist -- not so much because I thought the idea was unbelievable (it actually made a lot of sense) but something about the delivery of it rang so hollow that I spent chapters waiting for there to be some sort of secondary reveal with magic or something to tie it back together. Still, I enjoyed the book immensely even if it made me want to construct some sort of headcannon so that the twist made more sense. ( )
  terriko | Jun 20, 2015 |
I get the problems, but I liked it. Beka Cooper, the ancestress of George Cooper of later books, deals with the problems of love that wasn't, losing a partner, finding love, being betrayed and rescuing a prince. She's a great character and I liked how it was done. Yes I would have liked to know how Holborn played with her but it's almost irrelevant. I am somewhat sorry that she didn't make it with Rosto, but this was a nice change from the insta-eternal-love that often over-populates fiction.

I could see how Farmer worked for her, how he challenged and accepted her. And that will lead to a longer healthier love.

There were times when it lagged a bit and I did spoiler myself, and I do think that the treachery was understandable, regrettable, but understandable; tragic and heartbreaking but understandable. ( )
  wyvernfriend | May 8, 2015 |
aaaaaah can't wait ( )
  JazMinderr | Jul 31, 2014 |
Beka Cooper is an easy heroine for young women to identify with - especially those who might be shy, awkward or saddled with low self-esteem. Over the course of the series, we see Beka grow from just such a withdrawn young woman herself, into a fiercely loyal, determined and tenacious cop who yearns to protect the helpless from those who would abuse them - most often those with power and privilege. This character model is one that Pierce has used frequently and to great effect in her previous work, and it works well here, too.

The heart and charm of Pierce's writing is as evident in Book 3 as it was in Book 1, and I enjoyed the journey just as much. But I felt a slight unravelling this time around. Perhaps it is because Beka's journey is coming to a close, but I felt that too many of the story lines felt like they were being forced to a sudden resolution.

And I was decidedly not pleased with the twist ending, that seemed to run against well established character principles from previous books for the slim benefit of having a suspenseful climax in this one. The thin explanations offered did not justify the choices made, IMHO, so I wasn't held in suspense - I was disappointed. But still, it wasn't a huge disappointment, so a decent conclusion to a fun series. ( )
  Jefficus | Apr 25, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tamora Pierceprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Denaker, SusanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Whether it's for debt, for work, for sex:
For the slaves,
in the hope that one day your freedom comes not through
purchase, illness, or death,
but because slavery and the slavers have been sought out and stamped out
in every home, business, warehouse, ship, quarry,
bar, factory, and nest they inhabit.
First words
We buried Holborn today.
Beka and Pounce's dialog, when Beka observes separate seating for men and women during dinner:

How do they expect folk to understand each other if they're separated when they aren't rushing about their work?

They aren't expected to understand one another, he replied.  The women will learn to flirt over a friend's shoulder, instead of close.  The men will see the women as distant and unknowable.  Their friends will be only men.  The women will see men as strong and unknowable.  Their friends will be only women.

COPYRIGHT PAGE NOTICES (for the Random House hardcover first edition):

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data are included.

Visit us on the web! randomhouse.com/teens

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Random House Children's Books supports the First Amendment and celebrates the right to read.

First printing of first edition line: 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
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Book description
Beka and her friends will face their greatest and most important challenge ever when the young heir to the kingdom vanishes. They will be sent out of Corus on a trail that appears and disappears, following a twisting road throughout Tortall. It will be her greatest Hunt—if she can survive the very powerful people who do not want her to succeed in her goal
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Beka, having just lost her fiance in a slaver's raid, is able to distract herself by going with her team on an important hunt at the queen's request, unaware that the throne of Tortall depends on their success.

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