Terrier by Tamora Pierce, 2006 – Book 1 of the Beka Cooper series
Young Adult fiction
Tamora Pierce has created a number of quartets featuring strong heroines – The Song of the Lioness, Protector of the Small, and Wild Magic – in the medieval fantasy land of Tortall. In Terrier, Pierce starts her new series hundreds of years in the past, when the mean streets of the Lower City were policed by Dogs, or law enforcers who tracked down the worst criminals and brought them to justice before the Lord Provost. Sixteen-year-old Beka Cooper is a trainee destined for greatness, we hope. Pierce readers will latch onto the last name and start the series wondering how Beka’s family line will eventually produce George Cooper, the Rogue, or famed King of Thieves. Terrier is written in first person, diary format, and the limited perspective increases the mystery as Beka tracks the Shadow Snake to recover stolen children. With Pierce working on the Circle Reforged series and graphic novels, the problem with the Beka Cooper series is the time between each book. Readers waited three years for book two, Bloodhound, and I can only cross my fingers with the optimistic release date of 2010 for Mastiff.