Mastiff (Beka Cooper Series #3)

Mastiff (Beka Cooper Series #3)

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The Legend of Beka Cooper gives Tamora Pierce's fans exactly what they want—a smart and savvy heroine making a name for herself on the mean streets of Tortall's Lower City—while offering plenty of appeal for new readers as well.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307941725
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/25/2011
Series: Beka Cooper Series , #3
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.70(d)
Age Range: 12 - 16 Years

About the Author

Tamora Pierce is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over eighteen novels set in the fantasy realm of Tortall. She first captured the imagination of readers with her debut novel, Alanna: The First Adventure. Since then, her bestselling and award-winning titles have pushed the boundaries of fantasy and young adult novels to introduce readers to a rich world populated by strong, believable heroines. Her books have been translated into many languages, and some are available on audio from Listening Library and Full Cast Audio. In 2013, she won the Margaret A. Edwards Award for her "significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature." Pierce lives in Syracuse, New York, with her husband, Tim, and their cats, birds, and occasional rescued wildlife. Visit her at and follow her on Twitter at @TamoraPierce.

Read an Excerpt

Wednesday, June 6, 249 H.E.

Mistress Trout’s Lodgings

Nipcopper Close, Corus

Ten of the evening.

We buried Holborn today.

The burying ground has no trees in it, no shade for us Lower City Dogs. Because most of us work in the dark, we want our bodies to lie in the sun. Stones decorate the graves, stones placed there for remembrance. Some graves are piled waist-­high with them, signs that the Dogs who lie beneath were loved by family and guards both.

There were plenty of folk for Holborn. Rosto, Kora, Aniki, and Phelan had come from the Court of the Rogue. Even Rosto had learned to like Holborn this last year, for all that he was green jealous that Holborn was my betrothed. Kora and Aniki wept for me. My eyes were as dry as the ground of the boneyard. Everyone believed I’d wept so hard I had no tears left.

Holborn’s family came. The men left my shoulders damp with tears, my belly filled with razors of guilt because I had none to shed with them. They told me how sorrowed they were that I’d never become their daughter, their sister. They also tried to keep his mother back. Only when they turned to go did she break from them to come at me.

I saw her slap coming, but I did naught to stop it. Only when she went for a second blow did I grab her wrist.

“You cold, Cesspit trull!” she screamed. “My poor lad was forever trying to impress you. He wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t been trying to prove himself as good as you, and you led him to his death!”

My partner, Tunstall, took her and gently put her in the hands of her men. “He made a mistake, mistress,” he said gently in his hillman’s rumble. “Beka had naught to do with it.”

“She was there,” Holborn’s mother cried.

“She was not.” My sergeant, Goodwin, had come over. “Had she been there, she would have stopped him from running into a nest of slave guards all on his own. Your son got himself killed.”

The men of the family were all Dogs and knew that Tunstall and Goodwin were right. “Forgive her,” Holborn’s father whispered in my ear while his sons drew their mother out of the boneyard. “It is her grief talking.” He looked shamefaced as he followed his family.

Other Dogs were present, to stand for Holborn and for me. Holborn was a leather badge, a five-­year Dog who’d transferred to Jane Street last year. His old friends and partner from Flash District attended, as well as the Jane Street folk. Goodwin, her man, Tunstall, and his lady, Sabine, were there, as well as my Jane Street friends. Standing with the cityfolk were my brothers, sisters, grandmother, as well as my merchant friend Tansy and her family. Beside them was my foster family from the days when I had lived at Provost’s House.

My informants among the city’s pigeons attended, to my surprise. None landed on the grave. Holborn’s ghost wasn’t riding among them, waiting to say farewell to me. Many a soul that’s been murdered rode a pigeon until he, or she, could settle old business, but not Holborn. In his last hours he’d only given my hand one more squeeze before he left me for the Peaceful Realms of the Black God of Death.

I listened to the folk murmur to each other as they waited for the priest and Lord Gershom to arrive. One mot was telling those around her that Holborn had saved her oldest lad when a game of dice went bad. The Dogs from his old district shared the tale that Holborn was known to jump on tables and stand on his hands when he’d had one cup too many. A dancer whose full purse he’d saved from rushers was there. It was she who set a cube of incense by the headstone.

A priest of the Black God said some words once Holborn went into the ground. So did Lord Gershom, before he gave Holborn’s medal to his father. Then came the placing of the stones, as all who chose to leave a token did so. Most of them who’d come went on to the Jane Street Guardhouse after that. There Holborn’s Day Watch fellows had laid out a funeral feast. Those closest to me stayed for a while. Eventually they came to tell me goodbye. I stood by the headstone as they approached.

My oldest friend, Tansy, clung to me and wept on my uniform, and left three chunks of crystal by the headstone. That done, her man Herun took her and the babies home. Then my lord Gershom and my district commander, Sir Acton of Fenrigh, said their farewells. I collected myself to bow to them. Others followed. Granny Fern, clinging to my youngest brother’s arm, my other brother, and my sisters all looked more broken than me. They had loved Holborn, who had wheedled until I was on good terms with my sister Dorine again. My foster aunt Mya, my foster uncle, and my other family from Provost’s House left with them. The hardest Dogs of Jane Street kennel, who had gone through so many street battles with me, trickled away, two and three at a time. I embraced my fellow Dogs, knowing they would not think me weak for doing so at a time like this.

Now and then Pounce, my cat, would rub up against my boots, or my hound, Achoo, would lick my hand. I’d give them a scratch to reassure them, until they settled again.

My remaining human friends took counsel of each other as we remained in the sun. Finally Aniki said, “She’ll come when she’s ready.” Most of them went on their way. They never would have left me entirely alone, not with the enemies I’ve made since I was a Puppy. I didn’t care. I was listening to the winds, in case they carried a scrap of Holborn’s voice, and to the talk of the pigeons, for the sheer comfort of their coos and chuckles. More and more birds assembled on the rooftops and the fence.

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Mastiff 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 213 reviews.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
At the beginning of our story, Holdon is gone. Beka and Holdon were engaged, ready to walk down the aisle, when Holdon did an incredibly brave and stupid thing and ran into a fight with no backup to prove, perhaps, that he was a better warrior than Beka. However, Beka doesn't feel the sadness she should. Because, quite frankly, she was about to end her relationship with Holdon right before he died. The guilt that runs through her for not feeling angrier about the death of her betrothed is what is eating Beka up inside. But before she has time to really deal with it all, in the middle of the night her lord Gershom appears at her door, and with no information, tells her to pack her things. They are headed out on a Hunt of secretive proportions. So Beka, without a word, brings Achoo (her scent dog who can literally find anything), her cat, Pounce, who is far more than a cat and gives her information that only a 'god' would know, and follows the lord out into the night. Reaching the docks, Beka, her partner, Tunstall, and Gershom, are the small team that boards one of the Crown's most precious super-fast vessels, and fly across the sea to the Blue Harbor, finding themselves at the Summer Palace of Their Majesty's. There, they discover the royal guards pasty white and shaking, and a true landscape of death. Meeting up with a mage called Master Farmer, the secret is revealed that Beka's team must work for the King and Queen in secret to find something that is more precious to the kingdom than anything else. Working with this odd mage, Beka's team must investigate everything from slave ships and slave traders to whether or not the mages, themselves, have begun an uprising because of the taxes and laws that the King has put into effect. As always, this author has created a fantasy world at every turn, and the pages come alive with locales and characters that the reader will not believe. And, in the end, Ms. Pierce has made sure to wrap up this trilogy with beauty, adventure, excitement, and a huge lesson to be learned! Quill Says: Tamora Pierce saved the best for last.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This entire book made me cringe. I had to force myself to read it I was dreading the outcome so much and I was right to dread it. This is the worst book she has ever written. I have read all of her Tortall books and none of them ever made me this disappointed in her. Beka is no longer Beka, she has lost all of her personality and quirks that make her her. Pierce twists Tunstalls character and makes him unrecognizeable. This is unrealistic and far stretched, it is a cheap ploy to add a twist at the end but is unbelievable which just makes the entire book unreadable and unbelievable. Tunstall would never do this, we know his character from the first book yet Pierce tries to make us think he is a traitor. This sudden change is not backed up with suggestions from anywhere else it just comes out of the blue. Also Pierce gave us a loveable hero in the first book in Rosto and then proceeded to ignore him for the rest of the series. Why introduce a man we would all root for if she was planning to have Beka end up with one of the most useless and boring characters she has ever written. That also seemed like a ploy to wrap things up clean and tidy. There was no reason for their relationship. It was forced and unbelievable, again Beka suspected her love interest of being a traitor - that is not Beka. She is acting completely without thought to her actual character - this makes the book even worse. The whole novel is just a progression of randomness that Pierce tries and fails to pull together. We again do not see any of our favorite characters which is unforgivable in a last book. She doesn't even seem to mention them or think about them. The plot is not well thought out. Seriously what kind of royal kidnapping would only have four people on it? Her description of events or landscape was flawed and hard to follow, it was not well thought out or explained. She jumped to conclusions without taking the reader along. The cursing and much of the talking in the 'lower city slang' was so forced I cringed when I read it, it disconnected me from the story and instead of adding to the story and characters just detracted. I wish I had not read this book it twisted the characters I loved so much from Terrier. It reads like a really bad fanfic and I do not understand why Pierce went in this direction. I have never hated one of her books but I hated this one. It was not just that I did not like what was happening but that I could not believe it would ever happen. Pierce goes off on her own story and leaves the reader behind. The reader cannot understand what she is doing with the characters of plot. The series started out as one of my favorite and became my least favorite. The series is not worth reading after the first book, in fact it weakens her entire story of Terrier. I REPEAT - DO NOT READ THIS BOOK This was one of the worst books I have ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lets get something straight. Tamora Pierce is my all time favorite author but in Mastiff, she let me down. Beka is un-realistic and seems to completely change her character. Two fiances in a span of a year or so...very un-like her. And **SPOILER ALERT** Tunstall at the end, no way, even for Sabine he would NEVER become the villan. Farmer is bland to say the least and never makes you root for him. Hes just plain boring. Not the right man for beka. Dale was exciting and so was Rosto, why the hell pick Farmer? Pounce seems to be the only character I was really concentrating on in this, he was the only exciting one. All the magic gets boring and it just seems like a circle of magic knock off. No good fights like in the previous books, just alot of damn running around. Very confusing. I also missed all the previous characters we see NONE of Kora, Aniki, Goodwin or Ersken. Its sad really really upsetting actually. I was waiting for so long for this but it really doesnt seem worth it now. Lets hope her next series is alot better than this. Dissapointed to say the least. After this I think I am just going to stick to rereading Keladry, at least that has some action worth reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a twenty five year old woman and I love this author. I have been reading her books since 1998 and at one time I owned her entire complete collection up to blood hound. Had to sell it for financial reasons and it broke my heart. I have read all of her books many many times over and find new and fun details each time. I recommend the Immortals series the most.
BuryMeWithBooks More than 1 year ago
I've been impatiently waiting for Mastiff ever since Bloodhound came out! I've been reading Tammy's books for the last 20 years, and I've never been disappointed! Always a great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book wholeheartedly. Beka Cooper is without a doubt my favorite of Tamora Pierce's heroines. Her character is the most real and deep, i feel, and she stands out from the others because the thing that is most special about her is that she is herself. All of her strength and the uniqueness of her character comes from within. She's not the first lady knight in a century, she's not a prophecied divine savior, or a uniquely discovered shape shifter. She's just Beka. I really loved how the story begins years after the last left off, leaving us with an older Beka with a very different life than the one we left her in. Her guilt over her lack of feelings for Holborn and his death give a depth to Beka's monologue that many authors would not utilize, and the plot leads through places and people rife with complexity and danger. The betrayal at the end broke my heart, and i just didn't want to believe it. The story holds you in it's grip to the very end. Phenomenaly well written, and a worthy end to Beka's story. I pray to Mithros and the Goddess this won't be the last we hear from the land of Tortall.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not too many surprises - pretty much everyone who you think is evil turns out to be evil, but an enjoyable read nonetheless and a satisfying end to the Beka Cooper trilogy. I could have done without constant references to bodily excrement though.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Holburn the Dog was killed when he foolishly attacked a nest of slave guards. His mother blames his death on her son's betrothal to a fellow Dog Beka Cooper; while her peers, her partner, her superior and the rest of his family knows Holburn acted in a suicidal way with his assault. Instead of mourning her loss, Beka feels free and guilty for feeling free. King Roger the "randy one" and his second wife Queen Jessamine need a special top Secret Hunt with a team having the best scent hound. Thus Beka and her partner Matt Tunstall accompanied by her animal friends (Pounce the supernatural cat and Achoo the scent hound), his lover Sabine the lady knight and Farmer Cape the Kennel mage begin a search and rescue Hunt for the kidnapped heir to the throne of Tortall The third Beka Cooper young adult fantasy police procedural (see Bloodhound and Terrier) is a terrific thriller due to the lead protagonist. Her peers recognize her strengths as she believes in doing what is right though that is often difficult to gauge. The story line opens with the stunning realistic funeral of her fiancé and never slows down as the heroine and her retinue Hunt clues for the abducted heir in what is a superb kidnapping investigative tale. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Pierce's writing, and have been a dedicated follower since junior high when she had only her series on Alanna and Daine. I was not disappointed in the Beka Cooper series, and Mastiff was my favorite of the three. I loved the unexpectedness, the twist written into the plot. Maybe it was a little unrealistic, but if you want reality, why are you reading fantasy?! I can't wait to find out what else Ms. Pierce has in store for her readers!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Considering how long I had to wait for this book, I am shocked at the lack of quality writing I have come to expect from this author. I've read a majority of her books and have greatly enjoyed them, including the first two of the Beka Cooper series. The story felt rushed and the way the story ended left a bad taste in my mouth. Looking at it logically and the character development in the previous books, Mastiff drastically deviates to such a degree that their not even the same characters any more. Hopefully this title was a fluke and future releases are MUCH better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just want to know why it took two years? Totally worth it though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first two books: amazing. Pierce just keeps getting better as a writer with each book. This one is an exception to that rule. Longtime readers of her books will be familar with her love of romance; she usually handles it well and it becomes a pleasant subplot rather than obscuring the primary plot. In this case though, she twists a character into an unrecognizable husk in order to maintain the love story, doing a great disservice to the fascinating main plot as well. Read for the exceptional writing and good characters; just don't invest too much, as they will be sacrificed for the romance angle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ummmm did Pierce have a life crisis that I should know about before I severely judge her on this book?? The plot was extremely predictable... as were the lines. The writing was simply cheap. I know what this author is capable of creating and this... was not what I had hoped for. It's actually pretty insulting, that she wrote such a horrible book compared to her other amazing ones. I feel like she typed this out without revising it and just published it to get money. This book right here is a great example of someone taking advantage of their fans. I suggest saving yourself from the pain of reading it and instead read a book that actually had some effort put into it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Completly amazing! I could not put it down, it was definatly worth the wait.
CalifornianBookLover More than 1 year ago
The night after burying her fiance Beka Cooper is summoned by Lord Provost on a mission that he only trusts her with. Death, doubts, and betrayal plague her as she sets out on her great hunt to track down the traitors that have kidnapped the prince of the land. If you have enjoyed any of the other books written by Tamora Pierce, you will enjoy this one also. I had to pace myself to make the book last but by the last third or so I could not put it down until I finished at 2:30 a.m. Recommended for teens and older especially girls.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is rosco in this one? cuse he is one of the main reasons in finishing this series other than it will keep on bugging me for forever like it has for the past year
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have never been so upset with T.P. she has alway written great books. This one felt rushed and seemed a cheap book I can't believe I paid for this and finished it. It was a huge let down. I wish she had just not finished the ending. Instead she destroyed it. It's as if she wrote the book and did it while watching tv, listening to music, and reading another book.
eve4eva More than 1 year ago
Mastiff is my least favorite book of all Pierce's books. Beka has changed in ways that don't make sense to me as the reader. The beginning was confusing, but I overlooked that as a way for Pierce to be more interesting with the way she wanted "Beka" to tell this story. Even though the plot was good, this book didn't grab me as much as her other books did. Perhaps because her new characters weren't as special. We see little to none of Beka's friends such as Rosto, Kora, and Anika. The romance seemed so subtle in this compared to the past books. Farmer was different and a fun person but not as unique or exciting as Dale or Rosto. Lastly, the part of Tunstall being a traitor... didn't fit. Maybe their wasn't enough explanation for it, but I cannot see the person we have grown to know, switch sides so easily for the reason he did. To me, the part felt forced in the book and didn't naturally fit. I'm even even upset to admit I am disappointed in this book. Beka is such an amazing character, but this book has some noticeable flaws.
NothingIsInutile More than 1 year ago
Let's just say I waited many, many months for this book to finally come out and when it did, I fell out of my tiny desk chair. I was ecstatic when I saw that it was available for purchase and immediately shoved all my text books aside to click on the "purchase" button for my Nook. With heart pounding, I made my final decision and within seconds, my electronic book had been stored in my library. All kidding aside (though this event actually did happen in this sequence), this book is creatively written, wonderful for readers in their preteens and older. Tamora Pierce has craftily intertwined the problems of normal teenagers finding a place in society, dealing with heavy responsibilities, and the importance of the many kinds of relationships that relate to our world. Based on this book, the previous ones in the trilogy, and the imaginative mind of the author, I would definitely read other books by her and recommend this particular book to anyone who enjoys the thrill of adventure, the suspense that every chapter brings, and a bit of magic....
xXNinaXx More than 1 year ago
I love Tamora's books!!!! I've read pretty much all of them since I was 12 ( now 25), She is the only author who's books I will read over again... I just started Alanna back up I wanna read them all again :) Get here soon Mastiff I've been missing Beka!
xManders More than 1 year ago
I have been reading these books since i was in 6th greade and now even at 25 i cant wait to see what she comes out with next
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As usual with Pierce, the story sucked me in totally. The kidnapping was nasty, the tricks they used to cover their trail even nastier. It's nice to see more of Sabine, and Farmer is great - I saw what was coming well before Beka saw it (or allowed herself to see it). In fact, the only problem I see with him is that he's too much like Numair - not details, but feelings. The revelation near the end was truly nasty, though it could have been worse. And aside from that, a happy ending, with long-term effects on Tortall as a whole. Sehr gut. Good story, good series - I had to reread Terrier and Bloodhound to remind myself of Beka's world, and I'm very glad I did. I'm also glad we don't see more of Holborn - he's a nasty piece of work, good riddance. I suspect there were at least two bits of the story written but not published - Holborn, and the marsh. While I'd have liked to watch them go through the marsh, I don't need to; and I'm perfectly happy not to know what Holborn put Beka through. We don't get to see much of Goodwin, unfortunately - at the funeral at the beginning and in passing at the end, but Beka isn't on normal patrol so doesn't encounter the Sergeant much. It is written as, firmly, the last in the series (though we might see some short stories later - hope so! I'd like to see Beka's kids). Very glad I read it and will definitely reread all of them.
hoosgracie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable end to the trilogy. This book has Beka and her partner Tunstall searching for a kidnapped prince. There are some heartbreaking moments, but it was a find end to the series. Excellent on audio.
kmartin802 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful book! It was filled with adventure, love, betrayals and heartbreak. Beka Cooper has just finished burying her betrothed - a man she had come to hate and was going to dump - when she is contacted by Lord Gershom for a Hunt. Four-year-old Prince Gareth, only son of King Roger II, has been kidnapped. His kidnapping is part of a massive conspiracy whose goal is to bring down the King and install one who is more sympathetic to the needs of the mages and nobles.Beka, Tunstall, Lady Sabine and a new unknown Mage - Farmer Cape - along with Beka's pets Achoo and Pounce are set on the track of the missing heir. There is no better scent hound in Tortall than Achoo. Tunstall and Beka are both experienced Dogs who have had many successful Hunts before. He is her senior partner, trainer, and mentor. Lady Sabine is Tunstall's lover and a Lady Knight who is well connected to the noble houses that the team will need to investigate. Achoo quickly finds the Prince's scent and the search begins. They come under magical attack almost immediately and also have to face a wide variety of physical trials along their journey.Along the way Beka and Farmer also get to know each other. At first, she thinks he is rather silly. He has developed this persona that encourages everyone to underestimate him. But as she gets to know him better, her feeling gradually turn to love. This was no love at first glace. They took time and got the measure of each other. Their love grew naturally through the course of their adventures. They have the same viewpoint of life and their purpose. Both are very concerned with getting justice for those who are not powerful and who have no other way to find justice.The world Pierce creates is a wonderful, rich one. It is a land of great wealth and great poverty. Many of the wealthy add to their wealth by keeping and selling slaves. Prince Gareth is himself made a slave and learns what life is like from that end of the spectrum. And there is magic. Great mages can do impressive things. And, it seems, along with their power comes a powerful lot of arrogance and a major sense of entitlement. Farmer is an unusual mage. He seems to be missing the arrogance. He has an unusual talent too. He is able to gather magic from the world and from other mages and turn it to his own use. And the gods make their presence felt. Beka is a servant of the Black God who is the god of the afterlife. She is able to speak with the souls of the dead who inhabit pigeons on their way to the afterlife. Beka can also gain information from the dust devils that inhabit many places. She uses the information gained from the pigeons and the dust devils to help her work as a Dog and to help in the search for the kidnapped prince. This story was filled with wonderful adventure and was a very satisfying read. This is the third book in the Beka Cooper series following Terrier and Bloodhound. I recommend that all lovers of fantasy take a look at this series and then go on to read all the other stories Pierce has set in the magical land of Tortall. I know that I want to go grab my copies and visit Tortall again.
alwright1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Someone has kidnapped the prince in a plot to take the throne, and Beka and her team are called in to track them.So much had happened since we last saw Beka, that it was a little hard to jump into the story, especially since in begins at such a jarring place, the burial of a jerky fiance that we have never met. So it took me a while to get into the story. Beka has never been the Tortall character that I connected with the most strongly, but I enjoy her relationship with her friends and her commitment to justice. I really liked Farmer, just like everyone else. I expected the surprise at the end because a review that I read, but I didn't have the specifics. Still, I was looking for it to happen the whole book, so maybe that's why I felt a bit distanced. An enjoyable read, but I think I'm ready to move forward in time and back to the Tortallans that I originally fell in love with.