It seems like such a long time since I first read Terrier, the first book in Tamora Pierce’s Provost’s Dog trilogy. Oh wait, that’s because it was six years ago, back in 2006. I only hazily remember the plot of the first book, but I remember enjoying it. (It’s definitely one of Pierce’s better books.) Mastiff, the third and final book in the chronicle is an excellent end to the series.
Beka, Tunstall and the new guy, a mysterious and wisecracking mage by the name of Farmer, are called in to track down a kidnapped member of Tortall’s royal family. They end up on a long hunt across the realm, led by Beka’s scent hound, during which they uncover a major conspiracy against the Crown. It’s a nice mix between a police procedural and the type of questing often found in fantasy novels, with plenty of mages and knights. (Though, unfortunately, there are really only one or two likeable mages…) The characters’ usage of “ye olde” slang and their unique police jargon add a nice richness to the story as well.
The book is solid overall, though there was an abrupt…shift in one character’s intentions later on in the book. It just struck me as out of character at first, because of how sudden it was. Maybe it was an intended effect, though, since the book is told in the first person.
The epilogue nicely ties the story back into the original Lioness series, with Beka’s descendant, George Cooper, becoming the Rogue and a certain purple-eyed cat watching.