Saturday, September 3, 2011

Book Review: Terrier

Tamora Pierce

Terrier is set two hundred years before Tamora Pierce's best known series, Tale of the Lioness, but remains in Tortall. Terrier is basically a rookie cop's story, in which the rookie comes across two truly ugly cases. "Beka is a slum kid who was brought into the household of the realm's top cop, the Lord Provost, eight years ago," Pierce said in an interview. "Now, at 16, she's returning to the slums of her childhood as a Puppy, which is what the Provost's Guards, or Dogs, call their rookies. Her life expectancy in this year is slim: Police work in this medieval-esque setting is hard and nasty, and even veterans don't always survive. Beka's lucky to have two of the best Dogs for her trainers, and she'll need them. Hers is a truly brutal world of tavern brawls, murder-for-hire, rivalry between thieves and murderers and those who profit from their work and those who will kill to keep their secrets. She's facing someone who is kidnapping children and killing them if their parents won't pay up and a man who slaughters the crews who dig treasure for him so they won't give away what they are doing." Pierce said that Beka is cool, tough and shy and has a powerful but subtle kind of magic. Beka is able to hear magically well, and is, like Alanna, guided by her cat - whether she wants to be or not!

Star Rating:

I liked Beka's story because it was one of Pierce's, but that was about the extent of my interest. I found some places to be tedious, as though it took Beka a very long time to find one little piece of information, but she discovered the whole plot in a moment. I understand that Pierce is working towards a trilogy, and so the things that bore me now are likely to be important later.

This book is written in the first person, and that must be expected before going into it. Traditionally Pierce writes in the third person, so the journal-reading experience is a new one for readers of hers.

There were many charming aspects. I liked Beka's friends - the rouges more than the Puppies and Dogs. You can tell from the start which are going to be important based on the way she writes about them, and I look forward to hearing all of their stories in the later books. I also loved Beka's cat, Pounce, and I remember Alanna's trusted cat-friend who turned out to be a deity and I cannot help but wonder if it is that same handing guiding Beka....

Pierce does not disappoint. I believe that Terrier is far from being her strongest work, but it is a good read nonetheless and should not be missed by any fan of her work.

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