Beka Cooper is back in Tamora Pierce’s latest addition to the Legend of Beka Cooper series, Bloodhound. Fans that have been patiently waiting since 2007 were finally rewarded when the book hit shelves Tuesday, April 14th. In this installment, Beka has finished her training and is now a full-fledged dog. Unable to keep a partner for more than a month, she is sent to Port Caynn to investigate rumors of counterfeit coin operation. Out of her element, Beka must rely on her magical talents and observations to nab the slippery criminals. It’s been a year since Beka finished her training as a Puppy. She’s gone through four partners, and is beginning to wonder if she’ll ever meet her match. To make matters worse, counterfeit coins have started appearing in Corus, prices have soared, and riots have broken out. Beka traces the source of the coins to gamblers traveling out of the nearby coastal city, Port Caynn. Together with her old training partner, Goodwin, and her newly acquired scent hound, Achoo, Beka is sent to discover who is responsible for the counterfeit coins. To do this, she must integrate herself with the gamblers, players, and thieves of Port Caynn in hopes of sniffing out the biggest lawbreaker of them all.
Although I enjoyed Terrier, I wasn’t quite sure as to how this installment would turn out. The way this series is set up is extremely different from Pierce’s usual style, and I was still apprehensive about reading it. I can now safely say all doubts in my mind have been completely annihilated. Bloodhound was far superior to its predecessor in every possible way.
One of things that I enjoyed most in Bloodhound was the new setting. Just like the first book in the Beka Cooper series, readers are able to get an in-depth description of the lifestyle of those living in Tortall. Because Beka is new to Port Caynn, there is even more detail and back-story divulged about the city. Some may find the excess information a bit unnecessary, but those who have been long-time Tortall fans will welcome it with open arms. It really does help the reader completely immerse themselves in the setting; sometimes you’ll feel as though you are actually there.
Beka’s shyness in Terrier had bothered me somewhat; I wasn’t sure if she could measure up to some of the other female heroines that Piece has created. In Bloodhound, Beka’s character really begins to develop a stronger personality that surpasses any other I’ve ever encountered in fantasy. No longer is she the timid nobody that she was previously. It’s almost as if Beka’s character refuses to act in a way that the reader expects her to. At times, it seems as though Pierce is setting her up to respond to something in a certain way, but Beka turns around and makes a completely unique decision, leaving the reader happily surprised. It really enhances the excitement of the novel in a way that I’ve never seen before.
Without a doubt, Piece has certainly outdone herself with Bloodhound. Readers who aren’t familiar with the first installment of this series will find themselves a little lost at first, so we recommend that you read Terrier first. Otherwise, expect to be caught up in a whirlwind of adventure and espionage that will leave you hungry for more.
Bloodhound is the second episode of renowned author Tamora Pierce’s Provost’s Dog Trilogy (also known as The Legend of Beka Cooper). The first novel in the series is Terrier, previously reviewed and highly recommended by the staff of Shur’tugal.
This review was written by Allyson Czadowski as part of Shurtugal.com’s new weekly book recommendations and reviews column. On Thursday of each week, Shur’tugal staff will review a new fantasy or sci-fi book (or recommend an old one), posted on the home page of Shur’tugal, in partnership with Lytherus.com.