Updated: Jul 31
[A quick note: I love this series so far. It’s my first series by Tamora Pierce and I’ll be eager to dive into her other books after this. I have my older sister to thank for sending me the first book as a Christmas present. Otherwise I might not have discovered it for ages. Also, I love the new covers. The old covers were cool, but these new covers are more modern and very elegant.]
(4.5/5⭐️) “Curse him for being all tight muscle, with ivory skin and a mouth as soft as rose petals. Curse him for having hair as fair as the sun, and eyes as black as night. Curse him for having the grace of a cat and deft, cool hands.”
Finally some romance in this series! Beka Cooper returns in Bloodhound, the second installment of the Beka Cooper Trilogy. Beka has graduated from a Puppy and is a Junior Dog now. When one of her old mentors gets hurt, she gets partnered up with Goodwin, her old Puppy mentor. Better yet, she’s inherited Achoo, the scent hound. That’s when she notices false silver coins called coles, trickling into the money stream. What seems like a small problem soon escalates in something that might bring down the kingdom. Beka and Goodwin are sent under cover to Port Cyann on a “hunt” to discover the source of the coles. In Port Cyann, they get into all sorts of trouble. There are distractions, too, like the charming bank keeper, Dale, who might be wrapped up in the counterfeit coin crime ring. Worst of all, Port Cyann’s Rogue, Pearl, is against Beka at every turn. Beka and Achoo must stay one step ahead if they’re to crack the case.
Another GREAT installment. This was a book I looked forward to reading each day, eager to immerse myself into Beka’s world. The world building is excellent. It feels genuine with the use of different words to describe men and women as coves and mots, or girls as gixies. That’s just a few examples. You really feel as if you understand the different culture. It’s immersive. I didn’t even mind the diary format like I did in the first book. I’m used to it now.
We got to meet a number of new characters in this book. There were a few I loved, like Dale, who was absolutely charming and quite a gentlemen. I was so happy that there was romance in this one. I felt that made it even better and allowed me to get a better understanding of her. And how cute is Achoo? I loved the addition of the scent hound. I did miss Pounce though. We only got a little time with him in the beginning of the book. That kind of bummed me out. However, I think the purpose of leaving him out was twofold: Pounce had important buisness that will hopefully be made clear in the final book, but also, Beka needed to learn to take care of herself. I think she did a great job.
My favorite new character was Okha. I freaking loved him/her. Okha is a singer who poses as Amber Orchid at the gamboling houses. She’s got quite the reputation as a singer and is highly sought after. I think she’s this world’s version of a drag queen, and I LOVED it. I was so happy that Tamora Pierce portrayed a queer relationship in this book between Okha and Nester. While it was completely unexpected, it was absolutely welcome.
“‘Inside I am a beautiful woman,' Okha said... 'The Trickster tapped me in my mother's womb and placed me in this man's shell.”
I felt that whenever Okha talked, I could picture her character perfectly. I loved how helpful she was with Beka, and how crucial her part was. If it weren’t for her, I don’t think Beka would have succeeded.
The story itself was a crime solvers detective type. Beka must determine who is at the top of the crime ring, and even the Dogs can’t be trusted. Everything she and Goodwin do must be done in secret. I’m not normally into detective stories but because this has fantasy in it, I absolutely ADORED it. I loved getting to see Beka work her “magic” speaking to the pigeons, dust spinners, etc. And I was so sad when Slapper died! Poor little birdy. I’ll miss him and his annoying mannerisms.
This is more of a plot driven than a character driven story. And the plot is fantastic. However, we do see Beka go through a small arc. She becomes better at taking care of herself. She has a great moral compass and always wants to do what is right. I like that she’s not someone who can be bribed. In Port Cyann, she was out of her comfort zone. She was forced to be less shy. This was a struggle for her at first, but she got better at it. She grew. I liked that.
This series is FANTASTIC. I finished the second book and was immediately sad. I realized I love it so much that there’s only one book left. Only ONE!! What will I do when it’s over?! Pierce has no plans as of yet to write more. So I’m going to have to savor the last one. Fat chance. I’ll devour it just like I devoured this one.