Reviews provided by Syndetics
School Library Journal Review
Gr 7 Up-Set in the mystical land of Tortall, Tamora Pierce's sequel (2009) to Terrier (2006, both Random), the second book in a planned trilogy, is set in the mystical land of Tortall. Seventeen-year-old Beka Cooper, a Dog (police officer) in the Provost's Guard, has established herself as an uncompromising cop, above the bribery and corruption that permeates the Lower City of Corus. Through her journal entries, Beka reveals how she discovers counterfeit silver coins flooding the city. She joins forces with her mentor, and travels undercover to the city of Port Caynn to discover the source. Shy, serious Beka must play the flirt to gather information. Danger, romance, and intrigue evolve very slowly. While Susan Denaker does a fine job as narrator, listeners may wish that the voices of the dozens of characters were more distinct. The plot suffers from a lack of excitement, so those new to the series might not be drawn in, but hardcore Pierce fans will enjoy this offering. Libraries circulating the audio version of the first book will definitely want to add this episode to their collections.-Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Broken Arrow, OK (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Readers unfamiliar with the first book in the Beka Cooper trilogy, Terrier (2006), will be temporarily confused by this follow-up's cast of characters and colorful slang, such as cove for man and mot for woman, but this teen police procedural stands on its own. Sixteen-year-old rookie policewoman Beka and her temporary partner, Clary, are sent to Port Caynn to investigate the source of counterfeit coins that have begun to appear in the markets and taverns. The wealth of detail, shared in diary format, occasionally threatens to overwhelm the book's pacing and action, but quirky, endearing characters save the story.--Welch, Cindy Copyright 2009 Booklist
Horn Book Review
(Middle School) Living in Tortall generations before the events of Pierce's celebrated Song of the Lioness Quartet, Beka Cooper (Terrier, rev. 1/07) is making her mark as a Dog-a member of the nation's police force-with just one problem: she's too uncompromising to keep a partner. One of the first to notice the counterfeit coin panic crippling the capital city of Corus, Beka, paired with mentor Goodwin, travels to neighboring Port Caynn to investigate the provenance of the coins-and faces a new enemy in Pearl Skinner, the Rogue of Port Caynn, whose greed, cruelty, and shortsightedness effectively contrast the more Robin Hood-esque tendencies of Corus's own Rogue. The book is structured as Beka's log, and as such is long on procedural details and short on messy emotional entanglements-a daring and ultimately successful departure from Pierce's usual fantasy formula. Juggling an extensive but vivid cast of characters, Pierce brings to life a squalid, colorful world brimming with magic, misdeeds, and ordinary folk just trying to get by. The central mystery is complex and credibly untangled, with plenty of unsavory subplots to make its intricacies (who knew a fantasy novel could so incisively explain the economic impact of large-scale counterfeiting?) accessible. Beka's moral compass never wavers, but secondary characters introduce all sorts of ethical gray areas, leaving readers plenty to ponder. From HORN BOOK, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
In this second volume in Pierce's historical Tortall trilogy, Beka Cooper is now a junior Dog (police officer) in the Corus slums. Beka's uncompromising morality will never make her popular, but it nets her a high class of friendsand gains her a new scent-hound (endearingly named Achoo), rescued from a brutal former master. Her latest adventure starts slowly, with creeping worry about the large number of counterfeit silver coins she's seen. Soon she's investigating the counterfeits in the nearby city of Port Caynn, befriending gamblers and making enemies of both magistrates and criminals. Beka's Tortall is clearly distinct from the 200-years-later Tortall of the Alanna books: Elizabethan-inspired (and decipherable) slang adds earthy flavor, and the thin line between crime and law shows more subtlety than the high-fantasy good and evil of Alanna's world. Despite the languid pace, Beka's detective work will appeal not just to Pierce fans, but to lovers of police procedurals. After all, the detail-oriented, plodding movement of the storymuch like Beka's own methodbuilds to a well-established, satisfying revelation. (Fantasy. 11-14) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.