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By: Tamora Pierce

Book 3 of the Beka Cooper series

It has been several years and Beka and her partner Tunstall have been working hard bringing justice to the coves and mots of the lower city. Beka was engaged but her fiancee has just died but the job goes on and a big hunt has come up. Big enough that Lord Gershom – the Lord Provost, interrupts her mourning and confused feelings to send her, the faithful Achoo and Tunstall on the most secret of missions. They are told nothing until they get to there destination where they discover something of the most vilest nature has occurred. It is only the start of a devious plot designed to bring drastic change to the whole kingdom.

Never has a hunt counted for so much. The more they uncover, the wider the conspiracy seems to expand, out to people of wealth, privilege and power. These people have the means to hire sorcerers most skilled in dark arts, who are more than willing to use those skills. Joining Beka on the hunt are Lady Sabine and Master Farmer, a mage selected by the Lord Provost. This is a hunt that will test Beka to the very limits of her Dog abilities, as well as her ability to judge which of those around her to trust.

This was a review where I found myself unsure where to start and what to write. The biggest test is how to do this, to say what I want to say without resorting to spoilers. I think the only way to really do that is to keep it brief.

The world of Tortall is a comfortable fit for those who have read her previous books, it is an old friend and a well worn path you tread as you enter these pages. It is so easy to fall back into the ebb and flow of the locations even though this hunt takes our characters away from the more familiar city environs. The fiancee was a surprise to me and added an interesting layer to the story Pierce proceeds to weave.

It is interesting to see a relationship several years down the track, or in this case several relationships. It is also nice to have Lady Sabine more deeply involved in this storyline, it shows her relationships to both Beka and Tunstall as well as giving us the chance to see her really for the first time as a noble.

Master Farmer is a masterful addition to the team, a new player in various old dynamics. His facade, and personas add wonderful fun and depth as well as more than a few of the more intriguing moments. Pierce reveals the layers and machinations in this plot with a deft hand.

I really looked forward to this book and it wasn’t a let down. There were a few surprises and that is all I will say on the matter.

Loved it and highly recommend it.

Publisher: Omnibus Books

Published: 01 December 2011

Format: Paperback 592 pages

Categories: Fantasy

ISBN 13: 9781862918986

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

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