Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mastiff by Tamora Pierce

Welcome to the world of Tortall, where an attack of unimaginable proportions has left the Royal Summer Palace in ruins, and the young Prince spirited away in the night towards destinations unknown.  Summoned in the middle of the night, Beka Cooper is called away from to join the Hunt for the missing boy, leaving behind her friends and the funeral of her betrothed.  Her Hunt will not be easy, not only is the person they search for meant to remain a secret, but even their small hunting party is attracting unwanted attention. 

By her side during this Hunt are her partner Senior Guardsman Matthias Tunstall, Pounce a constellation disguised as a cat who at times is both a blessing and a curse, Lady Sabine of Macayhill a lady knight and close personal friend to Tunstall, Farmer Cape a mage from the Provosts Guard, and her scent hound Achoo whose powerful nose leads the way.  This will be a dangerous Hunt, and Beka may have to risk it all to save the Prince.

This is the third book in the Beka Cooper series, and this series is very different from the other series Tamora Pierce has previously written.  One of the biggest differences with this series is that it is written as a journal from Beka's point of view, rather than being a story that unfolds through the eyes of the author.  This is also a much more mature series, covering themes and content that is not suitable for children and younger teens, a feature that made previous Pierce books such a great find for readers of all ages. 

The world Beka lives in a rough and at times downright brutal, full of murders, assaults, and all the other things you would expect to find in a medieval world.  This is not violence for violence sake, but it does strike a marked contrast from the other series.  The adventures that Beka enters into are also more about the mystery behind them and the police work, using clues to help unpick the crime and while there is magic is in this series, it is not featured as prominently as it was in the Alanna series which is set several hundred years later.

I have to confess that I felt a bit annoyed with Mastiff at times, finding myself stumbling over certain parts of the story and wondering if I had misread something because sometimes it didn't seem to match up between what was said a page or two ago and what was said now - something that other readers may not feel as strongly.  I hate to say it too, but I think that Mastiff could have benefited from losing a few pages (or a few dozen pages). 

The story was built up a little too slowly for my taste, and the adventure itself seemed to take a little too long and be a little too detailed for my liking, it just seemed to be going on and on at times.  It was a very epic story, but at times it seemed a little too epic - but again that could just be me.  It has been a long time since I read Terrier (book one) and Bloodhound (book two) which may also have made it a bit more difficult for me to get into the story.

If you have read Mastiff and completely disagree with my review or if you only agree with part of it then please post your own review by adding comments.  All comments are welcome (unless they are profane or offensive).

If you like this book then try:
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
The diamond throne by David Eddings
By the sword by Mercedes Lackey

Reviewed by Brilla

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