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Mastiff: Beka Cooper Book 3 by T. Pierce

Pierce, Tamora. Mastiff: Beka Cooper Book 3. New York: Random House, 2011. Print.

The final book in the Beka Cooper trilogy begins three years after the close of the previous book, Bloodhound, at the funeral of Beka’s fiancé. Instead of grief, Beka is relieved to be free of this unhappy relationship; enthusiastically, she begins a new hunt for the King’s abducted son, along with her supernatural cat, Pounce; her scenthound, Achoo;  and her partner, Tunstall. Soon joined by the deceptively capable mage, Farmer, and the lady knight, Sabine, the group follows the heir’s trail through noble houses, discovering corruption in all levels of the government.

Pierce is known for her strong female protagonists, and Beka is no different. Fiercely loyal and honest, Beka is an upstanding member of the Tortall police force who believes in protecting the poor. When she discovers that the prince is being held by slave traders, she becomes even more determined to rescue him. Her relationships with her friends are tested by a shocking betrayal that causes innocents to die. The story is fast-paced and includes a growing relationship between Beka and Farmer that provides a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. Although it could be read as a standalone novel, some elements of the narrative are explained in the previous books.

Recommended: 3 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Kristine Moruzi

Kristine Moruzi is a Grant Notley Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta, where she is examining representations of girlhood in Canadian children's literature between 1840 and 1940.