Read Mastiff by Tamora Pierce Online

mastiff

The Hunt is on!Three years have passed since Beka Cooper almost died in the sewers of Port Caynn, and she is now a respected member of the Provost's Guard. But her life takes an unexpected turn when her fiancé is killed on a slave raid. Beka is faced with a mixture of emotions as, unbeknownst to many, she was about to call the engagement off.It is as Beka is facing these fThe Hunt is on!Three years have passed since Beka Cooper almost died in the sewers of Port Caynn, and she is now a respected member of the Provost's Guard. But her life takes an unexpected turn when her fiancé is killed on a slave raid. Beka is faced with a mixture of emotions as, unbeknownst to many, she was about to call the engagement off.It is as Beka is facing these feelings that Lord Gershom appears at her door. Within hours, Beka; her partner, Tunstall; her scent hound, Achoo; and an unusual but powerful mage are working on an extremely secretive case that threatens the future of the Tortallan royal family, and therefore the entire Tortallan government. As Beka delves deeper into the motivations of the criminals she now Hunts, she learns of deep-seated political dissatisfaction, betrayal, and corruption. These are people with power, money, and influence. They are able to hire the most skilled of mages, well versed in the darkest forms of magic. And they are nearly impossible to identify.This case - a Hunt that will take her to places she's never been - will challenge Beka's tracking skills beyond the city walls, as well as her ability to judge exactly whom she can trust with her life and country's future....

Title : Mastiff
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780375814709
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 596 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Mastiff Reviews

  • Ashley
    2019-04-04 23:49

    You know, I finished this a couple days ago, and I'm *still* upset about the 'twist' that both completely blindsided me and threw me out of the story altogether. The only reason I can really give this book as many stars as I did is Farmer, sad to say (I have finally found a character to rival George Cooper in my affections). The cheap shock value of the twist is going to color my subsequent re-reads of the series. I just...I think Ms. Pierce did the character in question a huge disservice, and I was left feeling rather hollow and disbelieving. Not to mention I would've liked the final novel of Beka's series to include more of the cast we've come to love (I expected Rosto at least to play a bigger role than he did). And I don't feel this novel was quite as character-driven as it could have been. Plus...the fact that Beka had a fiance, and a fiance who was verbally abusive to boot (why on Earth would she put up with that????), still doesn't quite jive with me, perhaps due to the way the relationship was presented to us....I know I'm making it sound like I didn't enjoy the book. I did! Very much, in fact. But the problems are hard to ignore, unfortunately.

  • ~♥*Marianna*♥~
    2019-03-29 05:35

    Is it just me or is there something wrong with Beka's head?Right there! On the cover.It looks like something you'd see in a horror flick...

  • Gail Carriger
    2019-04-17 07:37

    The final Beka book is probably my favorite. Oddly it begins with Beka mourning the loss of her Dog lover. And goes on to become a true classic quest. There is Beka (shall we call her the ranger?), a mage, a paladin, and a rogue. I didn't realize this until this most recent reread. Pierce has fun with the tropes and delves once more into the horrors of the common folk in medieval times (basically). It's nice to see a fantasy that doesn't glorify nobility to the expense of all reality. For those of you who, like me, yearn for a happy ever after, don't you worry. Beka gets that too. But then if you've read the Alanna books you already know that, for we have all met her marvelous long after progeny.(And yes, before you ask, George Cooper is my ideal man. So there.)

  • Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
    2019-04-14 07:42

    I. LOVE. THIS. TRILOGY.In the first book, we see Beka learning the ropes alongside Goodwin and Tunstall. In book two, she goes on a Hunt with Goodwin, and by this book, she's partnered with Tunstall since Goodwin (view spoiler)[was promoted (hide spoiler)]. So it's familiar territory. And where, with Bloodhound, I'd wrangled a hunch early on, this kept me guessing up until the reveal (literally the last fifty pages, they were insane), aside from a few sneaking suspicions about a few secondary characters. But the Cat (Pounce Master Saucebox is his forever name) really steals the show in this book, especially in the end. Gods I can't wait to get him immortalized in my next tattoo, ugh <3And for any of you keeping track, there was one instance where I ought to have bawled my eyes out, and another where this poor paperback would otherwise have been thrown across the room. Just so y'all are forewarned ;) BUT IT'S FANTASTIC AND IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THIS TRILOGY YOU'RE SO MISSING OUT. Beka might be my new favorite Tortallan heroine. idk I have to reread the Aly duology here pretty soon, I haven't read her books in years. I will also say that it took a good while for me to warm up to Farmer. He crept up on me like... I dunno. Like the relationship I'm in (and have been in for the past 4+ years), I suppose. His presence was always very calming and steady, a good guy to have around. I didn't feel like he and Beka had real chemistry, but I think that's because the romance was never really thrown in your face-- that is, Beka was never nervous around him or visibly crushing on him or anything like that. So that was really refreshing, I think. They make a good pair, and I LOVE that (view spoiler)[she proposed AND he wanted to take her last name. (hide spoiler)]Happy sighs. Now I want to reread this trilogy all over again <3

  • E.L.
    2019-03-25 02:44

    **Update 2014** I was thinking about this book the other day, and realized that I neglected to mention something very important in this review: I loved Beka, and I loved her friends, and I loved this world and the stories Pierce was weaving in it. My disappointment wouldn't have been anywhere near so profound if this story had come from a lesser story-teller. Also, I think the message(s) Pierce was trying to convey in this story are tremendously important, and I do understand why she tried to fit the story and characters around the message, and it's a pity that it fell short. She is usually a master at weaving important messages seamlessly into a story, but for whatever reason, it didn't work this time. And for one book out of her many to fall flat? She's still got a marvelous record, and I have no problems, now, with reading her other work.***2012* I was bitterly disappointed in Pierce's latest offering. Not just because of the surprise twist near the end, that mangled an already-established character beyond recognition, but because none of the characters lived up to their former selves, nor did the story match the other two in this series.Beka's voice was dull and lifeless in this story that dragged on and went nowhere. From the quiet but determined young woman of the former two books, she came across in "Mastiff" as insensate and apathetic. Not only were we presented with her as the victim of an emotionally abusive relationship, without any explanation as to why she would let herself get caught in such a trap (nor why her friends would let her do so), we were handed her new relationship and told it was good, without any reason shown as to why. In real life, that would be called a rebound, and it would not, in fact, be healthy; nor would entering into a serious relationship with someone you have only known under stressful and abnormal circumstances be healthy. Both relationships were utterly out of character for sensible, practical Beka.We got to see far too little of any of the characters we came to appreciate in "Terrier," or new friends made in "Bloodhound," and none of the introduced characters here (including the mage Farmer) lived up to Beka's former friends.As for the story itself, where it didn't drag it clunked. It meandered around and preached without ever showing anything interesting happening (almost everything interesting took place off stage) or giving sufficient motivations for the plot. Points brought up in the first two books had no resolution here, and the events of this book were not given enough foreshadowing earlier in the series.I have been a fan of Pierce ever since discovering her "Protector of the Small" series, and Beka was my favorite character after Kel. Not only has "Mastiff" turned me off Beka for good, it has turned me off Pierce. To see her betray her characters in such a fashion has left me with no interest in reading any new works from her ever again.

  • Jake Rideout
    2019-03-28 04:35

    You know, the more I think about this book, the less I like it. I was bored for the first 400 pages, then it got good for about 100, then it got horrifically bad, then it ended, then there was a stupid epilogue.I don't usually post negative reviews, especially of authors who had a major role in shaping me as a reader and writer. Tamora Pierce's Tortall books--the first two quartets, at least--singlehandedly turned me into a lifelong reader. Maybe that's why I was so disappointed in MASTIFF.My biggest complaint, obviously, was the Tunstall betrayal. I didn't buy it. I still don't. The character at the end of this book is not the same character we've loved for 1200 pages. You can't just take a shining upstanding character and turn him into a traitor. You have to lay groundwork. You have to explain the betrayal before the reader realizes it's happening, otherwise it's just going to come off as a cheap, desperate plot device. Secondly, this ENTIRE SERIES, including the beginning of MASTIFF, has been leading up to some sort of resolution between Rosto and Beka. We're cheated out of it. Rosto appears on maybe three pages, and instead we're given a relationship that is satisfying but WAY too fast and, again, not really authentic. I could go on--about the mediocre pacing, the occasional anachronistic language, and the general lack of energy--but honestly, I think my time is better spent finding something better to read.

  • Amy
    2019-04-17 06:38

    UPDATE 2/16/11: HALLELUJAH a release date has been set! OCTOBER 25 2011, I await you eagerly!UPDATE 1/1/11: But wait- what's this? According to Tamora Pierce's website MASTIFF will be published in 2011 after all! November...hopefully! :DUPDATE 10/19/10: OH NO just read an Oct 2010 interview with Tamora Pierce and she says the release date has been pushed back to Spring 2012! Why oh why? If 2012, then when's the book after MASTIFF (different series, but still!) going to be released? Oh, the anticipation, it just kills me, it does. BUT. Work hard and stay healthy above all, Ms. Pierce!OHHHHHHHHHH MAN I want to read this book with a vengeance! Why so far away, release date? Why so unspecific, release date? Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

  • James Beech
    2019-03-19 07:38

    I did enjoy this book, though it was somewhat disappointing. Beka makes a good protagonist, though not quite as good as Kel, but my favorite character in this series is still Pounce. The almost total absence of characters like Erskan, Goodwin, and Beka's rogue friends lessens the books ability to provide a satisfying conclusion to the series.Tunstall's betrayal caught me off guard, but not in the pleasant, "Oh-ho! Now I see what you were doing, you clever author!" kind of way. More like the, "Hey! This isn't consistent with my understanding of the story!" kind of way. I felt like there wasn't enough of a lead-up to it, and it (at least partially) undermined the attachment to the character Pierce builds for us in the earlier books. He deserved better than to be killed off as a clumsily tragic/climactic plot device. Also, I was irritated by Master Farmer. Not that the mage's character was unpleasant or poorly developed; I've just been a firm supporter of Team Rosto from book one. Having a new wonder man pop out of nowhere just when we'd gotten Dale safely bundled off felt a great deal like cheating. Pierce's mages are generally also overpowered, since they can heal AND evoke AND still wear armor. As a DM who works hard in keeping his games balanced, I do not approve. I also think that the flashy magic distracted from the grittier and more interesting aspects of Dog work and Beka's own powers.That said, Pierce always spins a good yarn. Like Achoo, one wants to follow the trail to its finish. The cameo appearances by the Black God and George Cooper were also appreciated.

  • Dot Hutchison
    2019-04-13 00:05

    Note: this book is the third in the Beka Cooper Trilogy, so if you haven’t read the first two books, reader beware of what’s below.In the wake of a personal tragedy, Beka is called to a Hunt unlike any she’s known before, where not just a few lives but the well-being of the entire Realm depends upon her ability to find a lost child. Across miles and weeks, she’ll have to face slavers, raiders, nobles, mages, and fellow Dogs, memories and betrayal, hopelessness and injury, all with the same fierce dedication and loyalty that has named her in the past. Only this time? It may not be enough.This book starts out us out with the funeral of Beka’s fellow Dog and fiance, Holborn. Three years have passed since the end of Bloodhound, and Beka and Achoo, her scent hound, have been making names for themselves as Dogs. Beka doesn’t have time to grieve after the funeral though; she’s woken in the middle of the night by Lord Gershom, the Provost, and called to a Hunt where secrecy is of the utmost importance. The Summer Palace has been attacked, and four-year-old Prince Gareth taken.As with everything else in Tamora Pierce’s world, there aren’t really any easy black and white statements. Despite Beka’s dislike of it, politics stains through every move in this very deadly game. Inspired by his wife, the previously easy-to-manipulate party king has actually started ruling- and not just ruling, but ruling with a mind towards his common people. This has won him enemies from nearly every side, any one of whom could be responsible for the theft of his son. Even worse, the enemy is clever and very spendthrift with massive amounts of magic to both lay traps and erase the scent and proof of their passage. Lives mean nothing to this enemy, and the body count starts around 150 and grows from there.Luckily, Beka isn’t alone. She has Achoo, of course, her loyal and mildly silly scent hound, and Pounce, her purple-eyed companion (really a constellation in the form of a cat). She also has her two-legged partner, Tunstall, a mage handpicked by Gerhsom who can’t possibly be as silly as he appears, and Tunstall’s lover and a fierce brawler in her own right, Lady Knight Sabine of Macayhill. Being Beka, she also has other companions: the dust spinners and the ghosts who ride pigeon back to tell her things. One of the things I love about Tamora’s writing is how rich her world is, not just in the building of it but in the telling of it. Beka is a Lower City girl. When she’s tired, her spelling and grammar slip back to atrocious, but from book to book you can actually see how she’s getting accustomed to proper writing. She has a rich Lower City vocabulary in which we’re immediately enmeshed, and she doesn’t shy away from basic bodily functions. In addition to her slum upbringing, she’s also a scent hound handler, so she knows the proper value of strong physical scents. Beka is not, in any respect, a delicate heroine.What she is, is delightfully complex. She can be very shy, but also very brusque and forthcoming. She is incredibly loyal and relies on the loyalty of her friends, but she also knows that loyalty can be bought or corrupted. For all her disdain of noble honor, she’s got the same principle under less high-falutin’ names leaking out her pores. Even more than all that, she’s at a place where she truly has to question who she is and what she wants- and that’s because of Holborn. Holborn, who she tries to grieve because she knows she should, even though she’s secretly a little relieved. Because if he’s dead, she doesn’t have to call of the engagement and face all those questions. Holborn, who she loved for a while, but didn’t particularly like, with whom she fought frequently, Holborn who felt threatened- or perhaps outdone- by her skills as a Dog and died for trying to outdo her in turn. Holborn, who made her wonder if perhaps she really was as cold as her accused her of being.And I am ridiculously grateful for Holborn for those very reasons. Beka is in such an interesting place because of him, a place where has the potential to grow in a number of different ways and we’re waiting with bated breath to see which path she takes. Beka is very accustomed to seeing the worst of humanity, and it’s hard to accept that sometimes there needs to be a little hope as well. Even more than that, I’m grateful that we get to move away from the whole “First love is forever” idea. Not that Tamora has ever particularly espoused that in her books- her characters nearly always have their share of heartbreaks growing up- but that’s certainly the idea that we see again and again and again and AGAIN in teen books right now. In a way, I get it- the characters are teenagers. If it’s not first love, they started early, and they want a happy ending, not a break up, so I get it. But it’s refreshing to see a circumstance in which first love isn’t forever, in which there are problems and heartache and an ending.The characters are rich and alive, full of the contradictions inherent to mankind. Farmer Cape, the mage brought in by Gershom, is both silly and scary smart, powerful but with the appearance and apparent attitude of a yokel. Tunstall is a seasoned Dog, pragmatic and cynical, with profound superstition. Sabine is a noble and lady knight who rather enjoys barroom brawls and isn’t afraid to tell a king to piss off if he’s getting handsy. What’s truly stunning, however, is Tamora’s ability to make us deeply care for characters we see only for a page or two. We’ve barely met them, but we care what happens to them and we’re profoundly affected by Beka’s reactions to what happens to them.When it comes down to it, I had two problems with this book, but they’re strange little problems (and one of them requires a significant amount of tap dancing around spoilers, so bear with me).The easier problem? There was a severe lack of Rosto in this book. I want me some Rosto and it seems utterly unfair that there should be this amazing character and we barely get to see him. I definitely missed the Rosto.The more complicated problem…There’s something that happens near the end of the book. We know it’s going to happen. We’ve been given the hints and clues, given the fears and the deep-dwelling dread. We know it’s going to happen. And by the time it happens, we can be fairly sure who’s involved in the happening. But it feels wrong. I don’t know if that’s because, despite all the clues, it still feels forced, like it’s out of character, or if we just want to call it out of character because we don’t want it to be true. I finished the book last night, and I reread that section this morning, and I’m still not sure. I can’t specifically say there was a flaw leading up to it but I also can’t be sure that it’s purely a gut reaction to a horrible event.There’s a lot of grief in this book. There’s a lot of fear, a lot of guilt, and a deep inability to know who to trust. For all that, there’s also a lot of humor. Tunstall, Sabine, and Beka have a comfortable banter that they’ve developed over years of working together. Pounce, of course, being the pre-eminent cat, has more than a few pithy things to say. Achoo is adorable, and Farmer’s antics cross an entire range of ridiculous, all the more funny for the fact that he has very good reasons for doing so. One of my favorite things about this book was watching Farmer pull the tails on the other mages, no matter what side the mage is on. And there was a part that me very glad I wasn’t drinking anything when I read it, because mixed with resourcefulness, squeamishness, and the pragmatism of seasoned Dogs was something that made me choke with laughter. I actually had my phone in hand to text my friend before I remembered it was one in the morning and she was probably sleeping. All I’ll say to that is when you hit page 490, just go ahead and put down any drinks as a precaution for the pages ahead.It’s sad to see the end of Beka’s story, but finishing this makes going back to reread the Song of the Lioness quartet that much more interesting. Tamora Pierce always gives us good stories and brilliant worlds, but what I appreciate most is her real people and their real problems. Puberty. Heartache. Politics. Trust. Friendships. Betrayals. Sickness. Death. The whole range of human experience is brought into her books and she doesn’t shy away any of them, nor any aspect of them. Her characters are rich in personality, in contradictions, in virtues and flaws, and despite the rather legendary statures they eventually attain, they always feel like we could sit down next to them and know them. If you haven’t read Tamora Pierce, you need to.Until next time~Cheers!

  • Telyn
    2019-04-12 05:43

    "Mastiff is a somewhat disappointing conclusion to Tamora Pierce's Beka Cooper series. I liked this entry better than the previous book in the trilogy, but neither approached the quality of the first book. There are many interesting and entertaining elements here—I enjoyed seeing how magic can be used for detective work and forensic investigation and was charmed by the new member of Beka's hunt team, but the book feels somewhat slap-dash despite its length and it has a number of odd inconsistencies that the editor should have flagged. More time for the author to revise and a stronger editor would have made for a stronger narrative. The controversial subplot that is receiving extensive criticism in other reviews felt unnecessary and contrived. Beka is strong, kind, intelligent and has incorruptible integrity. It is a pleasure to spend more time with her, but she shines best in the lower city, which does not enter into this story at all. I realize that the writer had a serious message about the degradation and dehumanization caused by slavery, but the level of violence used to convey that message makes this excursion to Tortall rather off-putting. This book, even more than the other two in the trilogy, is more suitable for adults and older teenagers than for younger readers.

  • Wealhtheow
    2019-03-28 05:37

    The king's only son is kidnapped, and Beka Cooper and her partner Tunstall are charged with finding him. From the first, it's clear that this was an inside job, and as the case continues, more and more obstacles are thrown in the Dogs' way. They must battle through swamps, ambushes, and controlling nobles. But at least they've got help: Tunstall's lover, the lady knight Sabine, Cooper's scent-hound Achoo, her powerful friend Pounce, and a mage named Farmer. This was my least favorite of the Cooper/Dog series, for two reasons. One, the characterization felt unnatural. (view spoiler)[From the way Beka reacted to her mother being abused by a man (ie: getting justice on him and then swearing never to be with anyone like that, thus nixing any possible romance with Rosto) and the way she reacted to her last two love interests (ie: staying independent and aloof, regardless of how much fun they had), AND given how much she hates Dogs being bad at their job, I just can't buy that she'd ever date an abusive Dog who was bad at his job, let alone STAY with him for any length of time, let alone plan on marrying him. It came out of nowhere, and it felt artificial. So did Tunstall's betrayal, which felt like authorial fiat. And so did Beka's romance with Farmer, which developed fast and heavy-handedly.(hide spoiler)] I liked Farmer, but I would have liked him a lot more if it Pierce hadn't made him so perfect in so many ways. Plus, I missed all of Beka's friends: Goodwin, Rosto, Tansy, Anika, Kora, Ersken, etc.And two, the ending was a anti-climax mixed with unbelievable plot twists, which is a terrible combination. If I don't get climactic show downs, I want it to be because the author has decided to be realistic and gritty--not because the author wants to tie up all the loose ends as quickly as possible, with little imput from the main character. Instead, we got (view spoiler)[Tunstall's random betrayal, followed by him dying of cold in the night???, a battle that Beka&co note from a distance but don't even watch, followed by everyone returning to the city to find that Beka gets everything she ever dreamed of cuz why not, I guess. (hide spoiler)] And then the crowd starts chanting "mastiff" at Beka, which comes out of *nowhere*. No where has anyone called her mastiff before, and she's nothing like a mastiff in personality or performance. Apparently the crowd just randomly assigns dog nicknames to people, in unison.

  • Emily
    2019-03-19 06:56

    OH SHIT!! This was far and away the best Beka Cooper book, probably because there is no continuity of character, tone, or content between the last book and this one. This almost reads like an entirely different series, one more grounded in Tortall with fewer extraneous characters and a defined quest narrative that I could get behind. Even the journal device has improved: this reads like a first-person novel, rather than a "journal." If you liked the first two Beka Cooper books (I mostly didn't) then you may have the opposite reaction to this last installment. I've been pondering why this series is so uneven. Is it because it's a trilogy, rather than Pierce's usual quartet? Is it because she no longer gets edited as heavily? I also did not care for the too-long two-part Trickster's Choice series, so it's possible that the explosion in YA fantasy (and the removal of length restrictions) has not particularly played to Pierce's strengths. I like the more compact quartets, and I don't know if I've really enjoyed any of Pierce's longer books.Anyway! I have so many thoughts on this. I loved the plot of this book, which takes Beka and her partner Tunstall on a search for the kidnapped prince of the realm. This narrowed down the cast of characters, gave Pierce another chance to show various parts of Tortall, and provided a truly exciting quest that had me virtually glued to the book. I thought the resolution (view spoiler)[(the slaves, not Tunstall) (hide spoiler)] was a really interesting and neat twist to show how history led to the more familiar Tortall of the Alanna era. I still had a hard time with Beka's character - she's sort of the cardboard cutout of a Pierce heroine - but the rest of it was so fun I didn't really care. And here are the real spoilers: (view spoiler)[- I enjoyed the Farmer/Beka romance, for what it's worth, but it felt pretty hastily done. In comparison to the earlier Dale/Beka romance, this seemed to be written more true to the normal Pierce relationship, and at least the romantic partner made more sense (though the immediate switch flip where Beka starts calling Farmer "my man" was nauseating). I was not a fan of the Holborn backstory. It was hard to understand how Beka could have ever been in that relationship to begin with. If you took that out of the book, what would it have lost?- The magic in these books is incredibly sloppy, which is not something I'm used to. Farmer is basically the most powerful mage of all time, but undercover. He takes out both of the royal mages AND Dolsa at the same time, which is bonkers. He feels like a deus ex machina in almost every part of the plot. If Farmer was already experimenting with this type of magic, and was already talking about Sabine's wild magic, does it really take an additional 200 years for further experimentation to continue? It's like Pierce wants to be progressive (advance her world) at the same time that she's writing in its history (freeing the slaves) and that doesn't quite jive.- Tunstall's betrayal felt pretty disappointing and I think it did a disservice to his character. The last scene between Beka and Tunstall is heartbreaking. I liked that Beka got one book with both Tunstall and Goodwin, one with Goodwin, and one with Tunstall, and it really was a letdown that the Tunstall book ended like this.- I was never a huge fan of the pigeons and dust spinners (it seemed like two random ass things that Pierce made up to give to Beka). What I did really like in this book is that Beka becomes an explicit servant of the Black God. One of my favorite passages is where the Black God appears to her, multicolored - it's a great moment. I wish that the theme of Beka serving the Black God had been more consistent through the first two books. She could have had that as a motivation for serving as a Dog (alongside her own personal motivation) and maybe you could have cut out the dust spinners to focus on the souls of the dead. It felt like it came together in this book, but was still pretty hacky.- Likewise, I LOVED the ending passage where the king frees the slaves - it makes so much sense that there would have to be an inciting event of this scale - but I wasn't really sure that it made sense with Beka's character. This feels like a Kel thing, you know? I suppose I just have endless problems with Beka and her non-characterization.- Pounce is the absolute worst incarnation of Faithful. I can't believe he spends this series wandering around talking to EVERYONE, telling them all that he's a constellation. So weird. I wish that Achoo had been the only sidekick in this book.- The cult of the Gentle Mother is both rage-inducing and an interesting way to show how the lady knights of the realm disappeared. I enjoyed Sabine in this book, as always. She deserved better.- Rosto and his friends don't appear in this book at all. This didn't bother me because they felt pretty shoehorned in to the first two books, and I didn't really understand Rosto's attraction to Beka (and vice versa - that would have N E V E R worked out). But again, I thought it was weird that this Rosto arc was obviously set up and then dropped. I wonder if this really was planned as a trilogy from the start. It feels like there's a missing book between Bloodhound and Mastiff. (hide spoiler)]

  • Miss
    2019-04-13 02:57

    Good! I did miss the wider ensemble featured in the first books but Beka's likeable enough that I'm willing to follow her adventures even when they take her away from my favoured setting. And Beka/Farmer was cute if a bit too obviously pushed for. Some critical notes: + I am ignoring the book and pretending Gareth is 7 or 8 because hahahahaha he is not a 4 year old. Even with the excuse of being sold to the slave trade making him grow up fast he does not convincingly read as one. + Annoyed that Beka/Holburn happened entirely off screen when it made such an impact on her throughout this book. How am I supposed to be impressed by her favourably comparing Farmer to him when I'm still waiting to be filled in on how they were as a relationship. :l Definite part of why it took me over half the book to warm up to Beka/Farmer.+ Someone needs to instate a ban on YA series epilogues for the next few years until the authors get it out of their systems. The one here wasn't terrible but it did feel out of place. For one thing I know these books are theoretically supposed to be Beka's journals but they've never convincingly read as so to me. They're far too detailed: I've never met anyone with the patience or ability to write out conversations and situations the way Beka supposedly does. It's a journal, you don't write it to an audience. I pretty much just read the book as a plain first person POV so the jump back to George at the end was weird and jarring. Unnecessary too, I don't need an explanation for why George didn't work out Faithful was Pounce; I didn't even remember that he's in the Alanna books.+ Did not buy the twist with Tunstall AT ALL. I'm sorry, no, I've known this character for three books and Pierce would've had to put alot more work into his character arc for me to buy he'd turn traitor in such a stupid way. Frankly if she really wanted to do a traitor plot she would've done better to go with Farmer, the way Beka trusted him over Sabine and Tunstall who she's known for years did not make sense to me. It's part of her characterization that it takes her awhile to trust someone and that she's extremely loyal once she manages it. It would've been easy to use her uncharacteristic behavior as foreshadowing, Pierce could've dropped the reveal that he was magically influencing her. I'd've been surprised AND I would've bought it.+ I know I said it earlier but I really missed Beka's inner city friends. The character focus here was so limited and the characters we did get weren't more developed to make up for it. I don't feel like I know Sabine any better than I did in the last two books and as I said, the stuff with Tunstall did not work. And tbh the only reason I'm refraining from raising my eyebrows at Farmer's sudden appearance as the perfect!dude!for!Beka! is because I suspect I am harboring some resentment for the fact that Beka/Rosto didn't go anywhere. BIASED.+ I really think this book could've lost about a hundred pages and been better paced for it.Wow, okay, I think I talked myself down to a lower rating. I was going to give this 4 stars but let's say 3 instead.

  • Commodore
    2019-03-26 05:48

    I've loved Tamora Pierce since middle school. I've had issues with her writing every now and then (trials and hazards of out-growing the age group a favorite author writes for), but by and large I know I'm in for a good read every time I pick up her books. Which is why I was so surprised to read the last book in Beka Cooper's series. For starters, part of the reason Pierce's books are so great is because of their strong supporting characters. Mastiff kept very few of the characters we've come to know and love in the first two books, and replaced them with a character I found utterly boring. Beka's books were great because Pierce showed us this rich lower city life we had yet to fully explore in her world. In Mastiff, this was taken over by a fairly typical quest that we've seen before in both Alanna and Kel's series. I don't know if Pierce was going for a more realistic or gritty read, but I think her choices, particularly regarding (view spoiler)[Tunstall and the pairings, made absolutely no sense. It's also a little troubling to me that the only main character in the series mentioned to be a foreigner/POC turns out to be the traitor, especially considering how out of the blue this development seemed. (hide spoiler)] I enjoyed the other books in the series and own them, but as far as I'm concerned, the series ended after book 2.

  • Libby
    2019-04-03 07:39

    With this final installment of Beka Cooper's story, I can confidently say that this series of Tortall books is equal to the Protector of the Small books, which had been my runaway favorite series of Tamora Pierce's (and given how much I enjoy all of her books, this is high praise indeed). The protagonist, Beka Cooper, is the medieval version of an inner city cop. We follow her from her probationary days in the slums of Corus in "Terrier" to foiling a counterfeiting ring in "Bloodhound," to preventing a coup in "Mastiff," with the help of her excellent partners, a scent hound named Achoo, a sarcastic magical cat, and her own method of communicating with departed souls that ride on the backs of pigeons. This book is as emotionally gripping as it is thrilling to read, and the pacing never flags as Beka and her allies pursue their quarry despite numerous roadblocks, some extremely nasty enemies, and betrayals. I confess to crying twice while reading this book, and the tears were hard-earned. There are many familiar themes here as the Tortall of Beka's time begins to show signs of evolving into the Tortall we know from previous books. The ending is a triumph, eliciting a rather mammoth lump in my throat. Read with a sense of adventure and heart, and you will be well-rewarded. Recommended for all fans of YA fantasy and people who love stories about strong, capable women.

  • Marilag
    2019-04-09 06:46

    Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness oh my goodness. Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious. If I could give this more stars, I certainly would. It was just such a great end to the trilogy, and perhaps the best I've read from the fabulous Tamora Pierce herself (and this is saying a lot, because I will never ever ever think something could surpass my absolute love for the Song of the Lioness Quartet). But yes, she has definitely outdone herself this time.Don't get me wrong, I think Alanna's story will always be my favorite, hands down, and this was why I loved Mastiff in the first place. It was the past that would lead to Alanna's future. That said, the book was about Beka and her Hunt. And it was the most splendid Hunt imaginable. I was laughing and breathless and flailing throughout the story. I widened my eyes with disbelief from the plot turns and twists, giggled at the romantic interludes, blanched at the detailed descriptions of the murders and the bodies, cheered on at the battles. I have to admit, I kind of teared a few times, too (mostly at the end, but I was expecting the big unravel).The epilogue was probably what set me over the edge, really. It's probably the only Epilogue I actually liked when it comes to stories. But I won't say more in the matter.The characters were all lovely. No, really. Pierce has always had a way of creating such fantastic roles, and Farmer was just a bundle of fierce awesomeness. Sabine and Tunstall I loved, Achoo was a dear, Pounce was his usual self, and Beka Cooper minced no words. I loved her cursing, I really did. The Hunt could have been great with just ordinary characters, but Tamora Pierce gave us extraordinary ones.And most importantly: I loved that she'd brought the magic back. I've already raved about Farmer so much that I almost think I'm cheating on Numair for it. But I absolutely loved, loved, loved that she featured mages prominently in this story. I knew it was lacking a bit in the first two novels, but Mastiff more than made up for it in the end.Oh my goodness. That is what I call storytelling.Okay, I need to actually stop now so I can breathe in a paper bag and stop flailing.

  • Rachael
    2019-03-22 05:02

    I rated it a one star because of the way the traitor part was written. It made it unbelievable, and I got detached from the story because of that. The motives were poorly put together seeing as the character had been told time and again that he had already gained the love of the one he sought. If I would have written the book, I would have made it so that he was doing it out of anger from a betrayal, not for the love of someone he already had. It was so pointless. Also, anyone else notice that her head and arm look way off on the cover?

  • PF
    2019-04-17 23:41

    The Beka Cooper series has proven to be my favorite of all the writings of Tamora Pierce. Except. This last volume of the series. It's hard to say this about a volume of this size, but it felt as if the writing was rushed. Publishers, give your writers a break. Pushing deadlines doesn't help either of you, and can blow up in your face like this one. Not up to her usual standards. I agree with other reviewers that the characterizations and use of characters, usually one of Pierce's strengths, goes haywire in this volume. The plot is excellent, the story timeline and development are good. I enjoyed the story, but was thoroughly disappointed by the endings. I feel the book was unfinished and should not have been published in its current form. I would like to see it rewritten, republished, in a more well written and well developed form. As it stands, it is not quite satisfying. That said, I'll probably end up rereading it just because I love the first two volumes so much and will read the complete series straight through.

  • Hannah
    2019-04-01 00:48

    Ergh. I sucked down all of Tamora Pierce's many books too quickly and I've been left with none to read for a while. I'm depending on you MASTIFF!

  • Zoe Clute
    2019-03-19 04:46

    CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Glitterfairy
    2019-04-02 06:58

    I'm rating a 3, but it's more a 3.8This is the first Pierce book I've read that I've been a bit disappointed in. Like other reviewers, I expected more closure and more involvement from great characters like Rosto. It's the first of her books I'm not sure if I will want to re-read, although I'm sure I will, largely just to see Beka's happy ending :)The flow, and plot of this book was notably not up to Pierce's normal high standard. It hit heavy really quickly, and just seemed to get stuck on 'the chase' without mini-events to break it up (Protector of the Small is a good example of how Pierce does it well. Possibly her best books, dare I say). The final twist was both unexpected and in my opinion, out of character for both the character and the writer. I know she was undergoing a lot of surgery whilst writing - maybe this was rushed? Or maybe just not written under her usual circumstances, perspective-wise. That's probably the best way to describe this book, actually - out of character for the writer. Not entirely so, but still noticably so.My main gripe is the twist at the end, which is not very believable for the YA crowd. Yes people change, but not magically in the space of a few weeks/months. Tunstall has been painted as such a solid good guy for two novels running now, so it doesn't make sense for him to turn around unless the author has written themselves into a bind and needs to default to the "internal traitor" technique. Part of the issue is probably because Beka has been running around to new locations each book (something I'm on the fence about, as great setups like in Book 1 aren't able to be re-explored and further developed), which means Pierce needs to come up with new baddies each time. I would have liked to see her "seed" a baddie in Book 2, or have introduced a believable character in a Book 2.5 (wonder how differently things would have panned out if this was a quartet?), or written an entirely different Book 2 which allowed more time spent inside Tunstall's head. Which still comes back to the "But Tunstall's a good guy, and Pierce's good guys are ALWAYS good guys..." argument. Hmm. Maybe the bigger issue is that the books are a little disjointed without a significant understory to link the three. Slavery is a good one, but I don't think it was even touched on in Book 2.Still a lot of her trademark (and beloved) elements like kick-butt heroine, but not up to usual standard and just not as 'great' as her books normally are. I really missed the great setup from Book 1 of the trilogy and though we stepped aside for Book 2, I always thought she'd go back... but she didn't :( I wanted to see more of Goodwin too. Love Farmer, though :) Wish the series was longer or something just so we could spend more time with him. His flippant humor was the best. Other things I liked - did note the "plot seeding" for other books in her series, liked the time-jumps between novels so we get a bit more 'range' in Beka's activities, liked a return to George Cooper at the end (mirroring the start of Terrier), like Beka, period (a heroine who thinks!). It's so easy to dream of being a noble but Pierce has made it very easy to understand why Beka hates the nobility, and when you've written 4+ series based on characters from/around the nobility, that's a mean feat! The consistent and believable lingo used throughout this series was also appreciated. Oh, and I should mention I love Pounce too. LOVE! Another top-notch character.So, lots of things to love, several key things to be disappointed in because they weren't used to their full advantage. Still a better-written book by far than a lot of what's out there *cough*Twilight*cough* though.

  • Sophie
    2019-03-26 01:56

    What a great ending to a delightful series.First of all, I just have to say this: the cover is AWFUL. What the hell is that picture of Beka with her neck twisted all the way around? I get that it's supposed to be showing her "ghost eyes" or whatever, but it's really badly done. (Also, Achoo is a light-colored dog!) I loved the full-photo cover of Terrier, but the other two books have had really unfortunate graphic design.Here's a confession: The Beka Cooper books are the only Tamora Pierce I've read. I haven't even read the Alanna books. So I have no idea what the two series have in common, besides the cat and people named Cooper. But is it just me, or is Pierce running out of names for things and starting to name them all after her favorite authors? There's a town called Prachet in this book, and a Halseander River, and I have my suspicions about the Dream King Gainel as well. Not that I'm complaining--it's a delight to pick up on those little references.This book is a bit slow to start, but once the story gets going, the tension builds and builds until the shocker of an ending. YMMV as to whether the ending is believable or not--I wasn't bothered by it, but I can see how some would be. I'm eager to go back and re-read the whole trilogy with the ending in mind, and see if it holds up.I was a Beka/Rosto shipper before this book, but I absolutely adored the character of Farmer. The fact that he used embroidery and household magic to do completely badass things was delightful, and the symbolism wasn't lost on me. I love Pierce's feminist themes, and this book had them in droves. (Did anyone else want to smack the Gentle Mother followers?) I also have a soft spot for characters who play dumb and hide their true nature in order to deliver a bigger smackdown later. (I'm looking at you, Megan Whalen Turner's Eugenides.) I also liked the details about Beka's relationship with her late fiancee. I've been in relationships like that before, where the other person makes you doubt yourself, and I thought Pierce got it exactly right in her description.I'm going to miss Beka Cooper and I'm kind of sad her story is ending, but I thought this was a fitting conclusion. Plus, now I have the entire rest of Pierce's catalog to read!

  • Anne Osterlund
    2019-04-06 00:38

    Beka wants nothing more than to leave the city. And the fresh grave of her former fiancé.When she is called on a covert mission, she is grateful.But then she learns the truth about her mission. That the summer palace has been burned to the ground. The seeming perpetrators drowned and imprisoned via magic on their own ships. And that the crown prince has been kidnapped.By slave traders.If she fails, the entire kingdom will suffer. And if she succeeds, neither the kingdom—nor Beka—will ever be the same. Mastiff is a worthy conclusion to Tamora Pierce’s Beka Cooper trilogy. The central dilemma—not only the kidnapping of the crown prince, but the monstrosity of the slave trade—is a worthy foe. And Beka’s battle against it validates the author’s right to describe Beka as a legend.

  • Michelle
    2019-04-12 05:58

    I am really looking forward to this book!! I can't believe the release date has been pushed back yet again (2011)!! I know it will be worth it when I can finally read it but its been such a long wait!!

  • Taylor
    2019-04-18 01:04

    UPDATE 4/21/11: Ohmygoodness it has a cover! :)Gotta read this!!! Can't wait!

  • Kathy Davie
    2019-04-12 01:35

    First read 3 December 2014.Third and last in the Beka Cooper fantasy series (and third in the overall Tortall series) for middle grade readers and revolving around a young woman Dog, a policewoman of her day. This particular day begins with June 6, 249 H.E. — it's been three years since Bloodhound, 2. My Take This was absolutely brilliant! Pierce is such an excellent writer, you really can't go wrong in having your children read anything by Pierce. Trust me on this. There are, however, two things I hate about Mastiff. One is that it's the last I'll get to read about Beka Cooper and the second is its ending.It's been an odd journey, reading about people as Dogs, that's the police to you and I. Pierce has never made any fuss about the "police" in Corus before, so it's an alien-seeming focus. It's almost odder that this series has been about Tortall, as it hasn't seemed to have a connection to the later Tortall subseries I've read. It does make me want to re-read from the beginning to see where that change comes about. I'm thinking that the Gentle Mother religion took hold somehow. It does not make it any less excellent.I do love that men and women are treated equally in Tortall. Yes, it can be uneven, but women are in the navy, the Dogs, wherever they choose to be.In this particular story, there's a major conflict with the mages of the kingdom, for the king wants to tax and license them like regular folk. It's led to rebellious actions for it has come at a time when the nobles have been stirring against the king. He's been cutting into what they see as their prerogatives AND having the nerve to spend the kingdom's money on…poor people.It's kidnappings and murders, torture and betrayal. An awful combination. Yes, I did say this was brilliant, and it is despite the horribleness of its topic."To me, that noble honor is a wonderful thing. I see folk put it on and take it off all the time, and no one ever notices how wrinkled it gets."Hmm, it seems there are reasons that Lord Gershom is trusted with this disaster. It's also interesting that King Roger began to take an interest in his kingdom when he married Jessamine. She'd been raised to take an interest in the running of the realm. And, as Pierce points out, no man likes to look a fool."'It might seem so to you, Beka.' Her mouth curled down bitterly. 'In your boots, it would to me as well. But for some of us, it is a garment that is the same as our own skin, impossible to take off and live.'"We get some past history from Pounce, 3,000 years ago!, about some of the lands the team travels through.Clever, clever Beka who manages to get out of wearing a stupid dress to conform to the Queensgrace inhabitants' ideas of proper mode for women, per their Gentle Mother codswallop. Beka sees it as stripping fighting women of the symbols of their battles. Jesus, I can't believe the insults lobbed at their own cousin by the Queensgrace people. It's weird that Baird appears to be in on their plans, but then helps them to leave the castle when that jerkoff of a count continues his lady's insults.I DO like that Farmer. He's such a cheeky boy who enjoys tweaking the noses of snobby jerks, and he's very careful to hide his abilities. He can't do the higher magics, but dang, he is good at what he can do. He has a good philosophy about his abilities. That he can help on a Hunt or with the Dogs, to keep the balance in the world. All are characteristics so contrary to Holborn, qualities that appeal to our idealistic Beka. It's a slow and odd sort of courtship. That list that Beka creates in her mind is a good one for any person to hold to their own hearts as a check of what a good partner is.Pounce has always been a strange character with Pierce's hints of his origins, the peeks at his powers, his vague and veiled pronouncements. He rarely takes an active part in protecting Beka, but in Mastiff, he decides to ignore the rules laid on him and brings Achoo back to life. Seems the god Mithros loves to see Achoo work.It's a terrible betrayal yet to come. One that made me weep.Then there's the epilogue by George Cooper, Beka's descendant, writing in his own journal in 430 H.E., not quite 200 years later of his ma stitching him up after a battle, for George is the Rogue now, and it's just after that initial meeting in Alanna: The First Adventure, 1 (& 4). And his mother's goddess visits him with prophecies when a purple-eyed cat takes some of his memories. A final note is of a young lad he's met, an Alan of Trebond…I am curious to learn more about what happened to George's mother and how they descended to these desperate straits after the rewards that were heaped upon Farmer and Beka at the end of Mastiff. The Story Holborn's funeral is well attended, even Beka's informants among the city pigeons pay their respects. It's a hard thing grief, especially when guilt is such a large part of it. It seems that only Pounce and Rosto knew the truth about Beka and Holborn.Beka hasn't long to dwell on her grief before Lord Gershom needs her for a secret mission. The king has need of the best. The Characters Guardswoman Rebakah "Beka" Cooper still lives in Mistress Trout's lodgings in Nipcopper Close in Corus. Holborn Shaftstall was Beka's betrothed and a fellow Dog; Ahern Walker had been his partner on that last raid. Granny Fern Cooper is Beka's grandmother and psychopomp mentor. Her sisters and brothers had loved Holborn, especially Dorine. Her brother Nilo is a palace courier; Willes is a saucy lad. Mya Fane is her foster aunt and Gershom's cook. Pounce is her "cat", a constellation and not a god, thank you very much. Achoo Curlypaws is her scent hound who is in great demand.Farmer Cape is a young Provost's mage from Blue Harbor assigned to this Hunt with a gift for raising the images of something that's buried and a skill at embroidery. He also has a low tolerance for jerky behavior. Master Seabreeze was on of his teachers; Mistress Cassine Catfoot is yet another, a very highly rated mage who cares nothing for power and glory. Master Looseknot is the mage who caught Farmer playing with spells to entertain his sisters in his mother's shop.The Dogs are also the Provost's GuardsSenior Guardsman Matthias "Mattes" Tunstall has been Beka's working partner (he calls Pounce bestaka, an endearment from his country) since Bloodhound, 2; he's still with the Lady Sabine of Macayhill, a knight of the court. And he still loves gardening. Drummer is my lady's destrier and Steady is her riding mount. Sergeant Goodwin has been working the evening watch as a desk sergeant. Lord Gershom of Haryse is both the Provost of the kingdom, Beka's ultimate boss, her mentor, and the head of her foster family. Lady Teodorie is Gershom's wife and dislikes Beka for too many reasons. Sir Acton of Fenrigh is Beka's district commander. Nyler Jewel and Yoav are fellow senior Dogs; Ersken Westover is of Beka's year and Kora's lover.Beka's friends include:Rosto the Piper is King of the Rogues and in love with Beka. Kora Ingensra is a mage who knows something of healing, Aniki Forfrysning is a swordswoman and a rusher, and Phelan is a former Dog who joined the Court of the Rogue after events in Terrier, 1. Her childhood friend, Tansy, and her husband, Herun, are there as were Beka's foster family from the Provost's House.The royal familyQueen Jessamine is King Roger II's second wife. Queen Alysy was his first. Seems Jessamine is keeping him from straying better than Alysy. Prince Gareth is their four-year-old son. Ironwood of Sinthya is His Majesty's mage while Orielle Clavynger is Her Majesty's mage; they are forbidden to be more than 100 yards away from the king or queen. Lunedda was the prince's nurse. Mistress Fea was his mage. Tassilo was one of the guards who protected the young prince. Prince Baird is the king's brother and former heir.Captain Elfed was part of the King's Own who accompanied their Majesties to the welcome party. Nond is one of the guards. Hereward of Genlith has taken command of the palace in Corus with orders to lock everyone down. EVERYone.Port CaynnSir Tullus is the deputy provost at Port Caynn (since events in Bloodhound). Sergeant Axman was the guard who had helped them in Bloodhound. Beka and Tunstall will be staying at Serenity's Ladyshearth Lodgings again. Ginmaree is one of her runners. Sergeant Nestor Haryse is a Dog and a bastard cousin to Lord Gershom as well as Okha Soyan's lover, a crossdressing singer who insist that Farmer and Beka join them for supper. Iceblade Regengar is a graduate of Carthak University — his gift is in wind and weather magic, so he's a mage on a peregrine ship — and Farmer can't stand him for some very good reasons.The dust spinner Beka visits in Corus is Kaasa.Lazamon of Buckglen was the Lord High Chancellor of Mages before he was murdered. Now he's pigeon-back and revealing some nasty plans. The Hunt Saucebox is the horse that Beka rides on this Hunt while Breeze is her packhorse. Moonhead, Chase, and Brushtail are the Halseander ferryman's hounds. Palisa Vintor of the Arenaver district is a victim. Ormer will be their guide across the swamp. Beldeal is the angry headwoman at War Gorge Marsh.Corus is the capital city of Tortall. The Black God is their death god. A gixie is a very young girl while a mot is a woman. Peregrine ships are the most precious vessels of the Crown. Ferrets are the royal spies. The Gentle Mother religion is gaining a foothold. It believes all women should be shy and retiring, never take up arms or defend themselves, have no brain and no opinion.Queensgrace CastleLady Sabine is related to nobles all over the kingdom, including Count Dewin and Countess Aeldra here at Queensgrace. Niccols is the steward. Master Elyot of Aspen Vale is a very powerful mage and a guest here along with Prince Baird and Graeme, the Baron of Aspen Vale. The countess' ladies-in-waiting include Lady Lewyth who loves her Snowball, a Butterfly Puppy and Lady Wyttabyrd who is a snotty little bitch as is the Lady Baylisa of Disart. No-Skin is a slave that anyone can beat but can't leave marks on. Linnet Beck is the young slave with a wealth of important information. Fay is, sort of, one of Beka's dinner partners, and she has the sight. Iris bakes good rolls. Fess is the spinner Beka encounters, who lifts her up to see a worrisome sight. Parris Eckard is a silk merchant.The chief ostler at the Crown inn insists the four of them get on their way the night the inn practically burns down. Canart was one of the inn servants who talk to Beka through the pigeons.The Viper and Dolsa Silkweb are the mages escorting Prince Gareth.HalleburnLord Thanen is Sabine's cousin. Nomalla is another lady knight and Thanen's daughter. She's also a traitor along with her father. Daeggan is one of the slaves who escape. The Cover and Title The cover is consistent with the earlier two with its solid bands of color, — deep, deep green in this case (yes, I know it looks teal on the computer, weird…) — with the author's name and the title in white. The middle band is a silver foil graphic with Beka in her Dog's uniform, dangling a set of shackles, and her body facing out over a range of snowy mountains but with her face and Pounce's turned back to look at us.The title is Beka's latest nickname: Mastiff.

  • Jenn
    2019-04-03 01:48

    I felt really disappointed by this conclusion to the Beka Cooper series. To be frank, I think it's the worst book I've read by Tamora Pierce, and really not up to her usual standards. The ending felt really rushed, the book as a whole was kinda choppy. I also felt betrayed by Ms Pierce's portrayal of her characters. I love how well she makes her characters, how believable and strong they are, but that just wasn't in this book. Beka starts the book coming out of a abusive relationship that lasted some months. Given her personality and history, and the care of her friends, it just doesn't seem believable. Neither does her relationship with Farmer, the new character in the book. Her attachment to him comes on fast and there isn't as much development with their relationship as what I've come to expect, and love, from Ms. Pierce's books.Added to that is the fact that the crew and characters from the first two books didn't make much of an appearance and that Tunstall's final actions weren't believable. I usually love an unexpected twist, but usually the author sets the circumstances so that, when revealed, the surprise can be accepted. Save the last few pages, Tunstall didn't give any indication, in this book or the others, of even being capable of the level of betrayal that he performed, and the reason given didn't make that much sense. Tunstall never mentioned wanting to marry at all, or that he was dissatisfied that much with the nature of his relationship with Sabine. I haven't given up on Ms. Pierce's writing, but this particular trilogy went from one of my favorites of hers, to one I wouldn't recommend to anyone.

  • Divya
    2019-03-20 00:44

    It was a wonderful book, as remarkable as all of Tamora Pierce's other books. The new characters were wonderful, and the plot very interesting. But the one thing that threw me off..... is a terrible spoiler. Tunstall, the most loyal, owlish, protective, fatherly, strange-in-a-good-way, Dog ever, is a turncoat, a traitor, a spy. He is transformed into a weary monster whom you want to cry for his plight. There is much, much more to this amazing story than just this heart-breaking fact, such as the discovery of Wild Magic, and Ambient Magic, but the loss of Tunstall is what really struck me this first read.

  • Sammy
    2019-03-21 02:54

    Can't Wait! Can't Wait! REALLY want to read this!

  • Mike The Pirate
    2019-03-24 23:37

    Anyone who says "This is the best book ever!" clearly hasn't read Pierce's other books. I've been reading her books since I was 12 and I'm 25 now. At the end of Mastiff I wondered if maybe I was finally out growing the genre and maybe even her, but when I think back about long nights staying up reading Alanna, or Wild Magic, or First Test, as well as Terrier and Bloodhound, I know thats not true. Before I picked up Mastiff I re-read the first two books and I still freaking loved them.The thing about Pierce is she creates characters who are realistic enough that they are believable as people, and I mean REAL people, (note the entry that talks about torture and bribery), while still giving us what we want, which is a happy ending for the good and a bad ending for the bad.I've always reveled in her eye for details. I'm a fan of Jane Austen, so when people start describing meals or manners I get all gooey inside. What I did NOT need was a description of where Farmer hid his secret magic supplies!I liked Farmer. And I liked him for Beka (I wanted Rosto but hell Alanna didnt end up with the Prince, she went for the rogue, so you can have more than one super awesome love interest). I wish she had thought to maybe introduce him a little bit sooner in the series. He reminded me vaguely of Numair, which I appreciated.But that is the overall betrayal I feel about this book. Not Tunstall's twist, or the repetition or the slow pace. I felt like nothing in this book was plotted to fit with the other 2. It felt like a second or even 3rd draft, but not something that she should have let her publisher go to book shelves. The overall tone of the book was one of "I'm writing this because everyone expects me too". If I could talk to Ms. Pierce, after telling her I love her and begging her to adopt me, I would say that her fans would have kept waiting. We had already waited almost 3 years, we would have waited longer, you should have trusted us to be there for you forever.I recently lent Alanna The First Adventure to a young person who I admire and shares my taste in books, and I want to tell her to just ignore Mastiff. (P.S. I like Bloodhound, I agree it was no Protector of the Small, but it was well thought out and developed).To Rikki and Liralen: After you've read an author for over a decade, you come to trust them to take care of you as a reader. To respect you as a reader. Pierce has thrown twists into her stories that have rocked my world, but never before has she taken a reader's intelligence for granted and blatantly asked us to buy into something that does not fit in her story. If she decided that Tunstall was going to betray Beka and Sabine, she should have been setting it up, so after our intial shock we would have sat back and gone "ahhhhh, yeah, well crap, I guess that did make sense". Case in point- Quirrell as the bad guy in Sorcerer's Stone. It was only on reflection that we took his shifty behavior to be anything more than nervous ticks (and if you did figure it out, you are smarter than I and I salute you). But she didn't. Yes there was the Dust Spinner scene, and then Tunstall promptly admitted what happened and referenced all the times he's told Beka to take the bribe, and he had a more than logical explanation for why he said he did what he did. It was not until the last 30 pages or so that we were shown that Tunstall had gone crazy for love, a personality trait which he never once exhibited before (I site the passages in Terrier where he makes it clear he is not the marrying kind, and the fact that he never makes an attempt to beg Sabine to marry him. Yes he talks about it vaguely, but if Sabine and Beka are close enough to talk about Beka's failed "almost marriage" and Sabine respects Beka as a person, then I would think that she would mention once or twice that Tunstalls been acting the fool)Okay, I know I'm bordering on nit-picking, but the fact is these are all examples pulled at random after reading and on reflection of the book. They are all little things that if Ms. Pierce had taken a few more passes over her novel would have been brushed out. And then we would all be writing about how maybe this wasn't her best work, but it was still a great read, instead of wondering what happened.I want to end this review though with the note that I love Tamora Pierce's writing and I will continue to recommend it, and buy her books as soon as they come out. Nothing will change that.