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on 15 January 2007
This is a completely new world to those of us who are familiar with reading Tamora Pierce's Tortall books. Yes it is vaguely familiar but it is also completely different. It's grittier and harder.

The story itself is in a completley new format; that of a journal. To be honest it takes a bit of getting used to- especially with the phonetic spelling in one journal entry. But once you get into it you discover that it really works and that it draws you more into the story.

The character of Beka Cooper is both what you expect and what you don't of one of Tamora Pierce's heroines (or Sheroes, if you prefer). She's shy to the point where it can be debilitating but she doesn't let that stop her. In many ways she is stronger than Alanna (from Song of the Lioness quartet) but she's got Alanna and Kel (from Protector of the Small quartet)'s love of what she does. It isn't just a job for her. She cares about the people she's protecting.

The other characters you meet in the story are interesting- especially the three new thieves she meets and befriends, surprisingly. Her siblings are ashamed of her because she doesn't follow the expected route but she doesn't let that stop her from being who she is. She's very aware of what's going on around her- she listens to the people around her. Her magic is cool and rather unusual- as is her cat, who I'm sure if you've read any previous books you'll be able to guess who it will be.

It is a genuinely good book- what better praise can I give it than that?
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on 10 March 2017
Missing dust cover
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on 25 January 2007
TERRIER is the latest from a brilliant author whose earlier works you've got to read if you haven't already! My expectations for this book, as it is by Tamora Pierce, were, of course, quite high, and I was not disappointed. This might be my new favorite of hers (though it still might be beat out by the SONG OF THE LIONESS quartet--it's close), which is certainly saying a lot.

It's the story of Beka Cooper, a Lower City girl and member of the Provost's Guard who lives centuries before Alanna the Lioness and those characters of her world known to fans of Tamora Pierce's other work. Beka lives in the dark time spoken of in one of the Alanna books when every sword, whether held by a man or a woman, was needed. Indeed, Alanna was not the first Lady Knight; hundreds of years before, women could earn their shields without having to hide who they were. In fact, one of the many fascinating characters known to Beka is a Lady Knight named Sabine. She reminded me of Alanna. Mattes, one of the guardsmen whose job it is to train Beka in their ways, reminds me of one of Alanna's friends, Raoul. Rosto is quite like George Cooper (whose ancestor Beka is!), as well. And fans of the SONG OF THE LIONESS quartet will also recognize Beka's cat, Pounce!

When Beka trains to be a Puppy in the Guard, she knows someday she'll be a Dog, and she wants to be a good one. She's quite excited to be assigned to one of the best pairs in the Lower City; indeed, in all of Corus! She knows it'll be hard work, that Mattes and Clary will work her hard, but she's ready for it. This is what she wants to do. She's aided by her friends, her cat, and her magical Gifts of listening to the winds and to the pigeons who carry the souls of the dead.

Soon after she starts her work, Beka learns of some dangerous goings-on in the Lower City, and it's up to her to stop it, as only a true Lower City girl could--one with Beka's listening talents, at that. She knows the people, she knows their ways, and she is uniquely fit for figuring out what's going on in her neighborhood, and that is what she will do.

The format of TERRIER is different from that of Pierce's other books. It's told as Beka's journal, for one thing, meaning it's in first person. All of her other novels are in third person! It's certainly a change, but she does quite well with it. The only problem is the length of some of these journal entries! Beka is tired from her work as a Puppy; she's not going to write twenty, thirty pages in her journal at night! She probably won't even remember enough to write such long entries! That is the only flaw I found in this book, and that's easy to overlook. This is a page-turner, a wonderfully written story, with amazing characters. Whether you're a fan of Tamora Pierce, of fantasy, or of books in general, read this book!

Reviewed by: Jocelyn Pearce
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on 28 December 2007
I have just finished reading the book and I loved it! It had me gripped right until the last page. It is in the form of a journal written by Beka Cooper, and ancestor of George Cooper. Beka is a girl who is cripplingly shy yet her passion for her work in the Provost Guard forces her to break through this shyness to help the people of the lower city, her people.

Beka is presented as a 'real' girl who makes mistakes and gets mocked for them. She does not stumble across all the answers, she must work them out for herself and she takes us along this route with her: we know everything that Beka knows but no more. We do not get a view point from the criminals which is good, it enables us, the readers, to work out things as Beka does.

Beka does not just show us her struggle to catch the criminals and overcome her shyness, we see her family struggles and relationships, her crushes, her friends and her loyalty to both strangers and her friends amongst the lower city.

No other Dogs (slang term for the Provost Guard, Beka is a trainee Dog known as a Puppy) seems to care about the people that are going missing but Beka wants to protect her people knowing that, but for the Lord Provost's kindness, she and her family may have been the ones to go missing.

This book is a gripping read and i highly recommend it. And, if you have not already, i recommend that you read Tamora Pierce's other series aswell: 'Song of the Lioness', 'The Immortals' and 'Protector of the Small' are all set in Tortall like Terrier but it is not necesary to read them first to understand this book. She has also written 'Circle of Magic', 'The Circle Opens' and 'The Will of the Empress' which are based in a different land and concern 4 children who, unkown to them, have strong magic and are taken under the wing of the Winding Circle temple to be taught to handle their magic. All of these books are highly recommendable and I believe you are mising out if you have not read them.
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on 3 February 2010
After reading reviews about 'Terrier' I wasn't completely convinced whether or not to buy it. It's not normal for a Tamora Pierce book to be set as a diary - I'm so used to 3rd person from her, and I wasn't convinced it would work as well.

As it happens, Pierce can write in 1st person just as well as 3rd, which was just as well since I'd bought it. This is probably one of her books that I like the least, but that's only because there's not much that can compare to the Alanna the Lioness series. 'Terrier' is closer to 'Trickster's Choice' in the plotline (that's a seriously awesome book by the way), in that it doesn't have the 'epic' fantasy style of writing in Alanna. It's more based on seemingly smaller events that lead up to bigger ones. I also get the feeling that when I get round to reading the others, more seemingly insignificant events will come together in unexpected ways. That's just how Tamora Pierce writes - it means that the series gets better as you go along though.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy or adventure books, but it's best if you've read some of the other Tortallan books as well.
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on 1 November 2011
16 year old Beka Cooper is not like most girls. She can, in her own special way, communicate with the dead and she wants nothing more than being a cop. Growning up was hard and Beka learned early that you have to be smart and ruthless to survive. She spent her childhood in the Lower City, the most dangerous part of town, and wants to work as a cop there.
Her dreams come true when she finally starts her training as a young cop (aka a puppie). She is excited to learn all there is about being a cop (aka dog) and feels the need to bring justice.
When she is partnered with two of the best dogs and when she stumbles into two dangerous investigations, she will need all of her strength, magic and the help of her friends to bring the bad guys behind bars.

"Terrier" by Tamora Pierce is the first book by the author I read and after finishing it I wonder why I waited so long. Because this book was great and makes me excited for more.

Right from the start on I enjoyed the author's writing style, the book was easy to read even though the language was at times a bit different to our own. Pierce introduced new words, but it was never hard to understand their meaning.
I especially liked how the cops and everything that has to do with them were being renamed with dog related things. Cops are dogs, trainess are puppies and the police building is a kennel. Even the name of the book fits to this way of naming things and descibes perfectly how Beka acted when she had a lead (just like a terrier with a bone).

I loved reading about Beka, her strength and need for justice were admirable. I liked that through the first person narration and Beka's journal entries I had the chance to really get to know her and I loved her voice. Beka's special kind of magic was both disturbing and interesting. I also enjoyed reading about all the dog business and the suspense & investigation parts of the books were thrilling.

Not only the main character made this book so great, all of the supporting characters were also interesting. I liked reading about Beka's new friends, about her two dog trainers (aka police mentors) and all the people from the Lower City. Maybe the book could have been a bit shortened in the last two quarters, but still the story never got boring and left me with a graving for more.

BTW, the book is not only great but also dangerous. I a) stayed up way too late to read it and I b) nearly missed my train because I was so engrossed in the story. So be careful ;)

I like the motive because it fits to the story, but the coulour is not my favourite.

final appraisal
"Terrier" by Beka Cooper is a fantastic book and I can't wait to read more books by Tamora Pierce. Her engaging writing style, her interesting & strong characters and the fascinating world of Tortall made this book a real treat.
I would recommend this book to all readers who like fantasy novels with strong and interesting characters.

Beka Cooper series
1. Terrier (2006)
2. Bloodhound (2009)
3. Mastiff 2011)
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on 16 June 2010
In her latest novel Tamora Pierce tells the story of Rebekah "Beka" Cooper - an ancestor of George Cooper, the City's Rogue in the time of Alanna (a setting and characters familiar to readers of her other novels). Beka is starting her first year as a trainee Dog, known as a Puppy, nicknames for the Provost's Guard, those who keep peace in the city of Corus. She is assigned to the Dog team of Tunstall and Goodwin, two of the best Dogs in the Evening Watch - and two who have never before taken a Puppy.

Beka has her work cut out as Tunstall and Goodwin begin her training, never letting her forget that she may have knowledge but that experience is all on the streets of the Lower City. So when Beka starts sniffing out two linked plots - one to mine the City of precious fire opals and one to steal away the Rat's children as blackmail for the Shadow Snake - she has to learn who to trust as she tries to uncover the details and hobble the minds behind it.

Originally a shy girl who struggles to speak in public or make friends with others, Beka gradually opens up to Dogs and rushers alike and realises how strong her friendships really are - especially considering she is known in the Lower City as being one who speaks to the dead.

Here Pierce utilises a new style of storytelling - Beka speaks in the first person and keeps a daily journal where she records the happenings in the two cases she is 'sniffing'. Beka is a true daughter of the Lower City and uses rough vernacular and the language of the Provost's Dogs (essentially a police force) alike. This brings Beka to life via dynamic characterisation, letting the reader experience everything that happens to her - from the fierce joy of her first hobbling to the embarrassment of being called Fishpuppy after an unfortunate accident on one of her first evenings on duty. Pierce even offers a glossary of terms in the print I read, to enable the reader to follow all the new terms she introduces.

This is a fast-paced rollicking adventure, with both tense moments and times of comedy. Beka's cat Pounce - a truly mysterious character that readers of the Alanna quartet will find extremely lovable - offers some of the best lines in his dry assessment of the goings-on in her life.

I did feel that the book could have been shorter by a few hundred pages (than the 563 it clocks in at). Pierce usually writes shorter novels that are all the sharper for it - and some of Beka's language (such as 'peaches') doesn't quite work, but overall this is another fine work by Pierce. It is rich with detail about the rough side of the capital city Corus, and pays homage to the crime genre in many places. Beka is another plucky heroine in the spirit of Alanna and Daine, and I'm sure she will be quickly taken to the hearts of readers. Definitely one for the girls, although boys will no doubt find much to secretly enjoy. Highly recommended.
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on 19 January 2013
Being a long time lover of Tamora Pierce's Tortall universe I was unsure how much I would like a book based such a long time before the start of the Alanna books. Not to mention the diary format was a serious turn off for me. I knew I had to read it because I would be upset with myself if I didn't even try.

Boy am I glad I dived into this one. The format was not at all distracting and Beka is an instantly likeable character. The supporting cast are strong - especially Goodwin and Tunstall.

Of course the addition of Pounce was also awesome. By the end of the book I was reaching straight for Bloodhound, utterly captivated in this familiar yet totally new world.

My only complaint is it not being available on Kindle in my country.
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on 13 January 2007
Terrier is the story of one of George Cooper's ancestors. Beka is a 16 year girl embarking ('scuse the pun!) on her career as on of Tortal's Dogs. She not only battle's the criminals of Corus, but incompetence, corruption and apathy within the Kennels. Written in first person format as Beka's journal, it nevertheless works suberbly and moves along at a cracking pace! This series promises to be one of Ms. Pierce's best. Enjoy!
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on 26 June 2008
At first i was a bit worried because this was a first person diary style book, which is a completly differnt style for the wonderful Ms Pierce but as usual she delivered. Its the perfect mix of realism found in all her books mixed with the magical fantasy.

The first person works really well the characters are wonderfully developed and the murder mystery aspect combined with the diary writing style makes it a wonderful read.

Overall engrossing and well worth reading for any fans of tamora pierce or any other fantasy style
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