Beka Cooper Terrier Book Review

Beka Cooper: Terrier by Tamora Pierce

Beka Cooper is a Dog in training, a puppy, whose job is to police the lower city. Beka was made to be a Dog, she knows it, her friends know it, even the rats know it. But not everyone survives puppy training and Beka, no thanks to her magical gift, quickly stumbles across a series of murders that raises eyebrows even in the lower city. Yet, Beka has to overcome her debilitating shyness or risk failure.

This is Tamora Pierce's fifth series in the Tortall universe, this time following Beka Cooper of many greats grandmother of George Cooper whom we have met in the Lioness Quartet. Beka is smart and quick, and despite her shyness, I never once thought she wasn't able to do her job. I had every faith that she would solve the murders, the real journey was in Beka herself as she learned to assert herself and become bolder with each day. Written in journal format, the story felt right as a first person letter of her accounts.

An interesting aspect of the writing is how Pierce creates her own dialect. The policemen are Dogs, trainees, puppies. Criminals are rats. Women, motts. Men, coves. Girls, gixies. The lower city cadence that Beka adopts when around the rats adds even more flavor. Never mind that rich characters that surround Beka, creating a fabulous cast of characters that makes this world one of the richest ones in young adult fantasy.

I still love Alanna more, but Beka Cooper is a nice addition to the Tortallan universe and I am looking forward to this mott becoming a full Dog.