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Beka Cooper Series - Book 1


Paperback / softback

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Terrier (Beka Cooper #1) by Tamora Pierce
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40% of people buy Terrier (Beka Cooper #1) and Mastiff (Beka Cooper #3) ~ Paperback / softback ~ Tamora Pierce.

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4.8 out of 5 stars Based on 4 Customer Ratings

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"A Great Young Heroine for a Grittier Tortall"
5 stars"

Although Terrier is the most recently written of the Tortall books, chronologically it is the first. Rebakah "Beka” Cooper (the six-times-great-grandmother of George Cooper, from The Song of the Lioness quartet and later books) is a trainee Dog – the slang term for members of the Provost's Guard, and it is her job to patrol the streets of the worst parts of Corus and make sure justice is done.

Beka follows in the tradition of the other Tortall heroines (or perhaps, startis the tradition of Tortall heroines): she is strong, but not without weaknesses; she is clever, but still has much to learn; she is conscious of her duty, and is keen to help – indeed, she will go to great lengths in order to do that.

However there are several things that separate Terrier from previous Tortall novels. Not only is Terrier written in first person, it is written in diary format, with Beka marking out the days and times, and providing her own personal spin on describing things. There's even a giant black splotch on the second half of one page where the ink she uses to write was spilled.

Terrier also marks a departure from the world of nobles and nobility in which the previous series are set (even though Daine of The Immortals is common-born, a good chunk of the cast are nobles, and the storyline involves the nobility), and instead we find ourselves back in the Lower City, albeit two centuries earlier. The Court of the Rogue, which features in Song of the Lioness, makes a return, as does the seedy side of Corus life. Only this time we see more of it: from prostitution to murder to threats of rape, Terrier is much more adult than previous Tamora Pierce books.

If you're a fan of Tamora Pierce, tough heroines or fantasy, then pick up Terrier. Just note that it is grittier and down and dirty than other series, so if that doesn't sound right to you, try one of Pierce's other Tortall series first.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.
"A well-written wonder"
5 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

This time around T. Pierce has managed to not only cater to her usual group of readers, but to everybody out there that enjoys a good read. Written in the style of a diary, which should be annoying but for some reason actually adds that little something to the book. All of the little terms that are thrown in- Dogs (cops) Kennel (prison) etc. are continued throughout the entire book, and was just one of the many things about this book that I absolutely fell in love with. And the characters! As always, every single character holds that little something that will endear them to every reader, and when reading about breakfast gatherings, the reading could just about imagine themselves there, as part of the group. Over-all, a brilliant read, and well-worth it.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.


Tamora Pierce begins a new Tortall trilogy introducing Beka Cooper, a rookie with the law-enforcing Provost's Guard, and she's been assigned to the Lower City.

It's a tough beat that's about to get tougher, as Beka's limited ability to communicate with the dead clues her in to an underworld conspiracy. Someone close to Beka is using dark magic to profit from the Lower City's criminal enterprises—and the result is a crime wave the likes of which the Provost's Guard has never seen before.

The Beka Cooper Trilogy is set in the same world as the Song of the Lioness and The Immortals series.


“Pierce’s latest book takes place in Tortall some two hundred years before Alanna from the Lioness Quartet. This first-person narrative tells the story of sixteen-year-old Beka Cooper, who is a puppy–or trainee–to the Provost’s Guard, commonly known as the Provost’s Dogs. Working with two of the best guards, Matthias Tunstall and Clara Goodwin, she is given the dangerous assignment of evening shift in the Lower City. Soon she hears rumors of a nefarious criminal called the Shadow Snake, who kidnaps young children of the Lower City and holds them ransom for unique trinkets and family heirlooms. Tamora Pierce is recognized for her strong female characters, and Beka does not disappoint. She sniffs out clues with the tenacity of a terrier, from which she gets her nickname. Her descriptions of the law enforcers and the lawbreakers are both thoughtful and entertaining. Indeed, fans of Pierce’s fantasy series may be surprised to find a police procedural full of intrigue, suspense, and plenty of action. Strong characters, a suspenseful plot, and a magical setting combine in this gripping page-turner, sure to enthrall a wide variety of readers.” Children's Li­terature.

Author Biography

Tamora Pierce is a bestselling, much-loved author, perhaps best known for her Song of the Lioness quartet. She worked as a social worker for teenagers and wrote for radio before publishing Alanna: The First Adventure in 1983. Since then she has written over twenty-five novels for young people, is a New York Times bestseller and was awarded the 2013 Margaret A Edwards award for ‘significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature’. Tamora lives in New York with her husband Tim and their three cats and two birds.

Release date Australia
September 30th, 2006
Country of Publication
Omnibus Books
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