Terrier (Beka Cooper Series #1)

Terrier (Beka Cooper Series #1)

by Tamora Pierce


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A New York Times bestseller from the fantasy author who is legend herself: TAMORA PIERCE. In this first book in the Beka Cooper Trilogy, Beka uses her unique magic and street smarts to crack the kingdom's worst cases!

Keep out of the way. Obey all orders. Get killed on your own time.

Beka Cooper is one of the newest trainees in the Provost's Guard. As a rookie—known as a Puppy—she's assigned to the realm's toughest district: the Lower City. It should be a death sentence. The Lower City is filled with pickpockets who are fast as lightning, murderers stalking the streets, and rogues who will knock your teeth out with a smile. But Beka's not your average Puppy. She grew up in the Lower City and knows what makes it tick. It's Beka who notices that there might be something more to the latest crime wave. And it's Beka who must use her street smarts and her own brand of eerie magic to chase down a killer.

This first book introduces Beka Cooper, an amazing young woman who is the ancestor of one of Tamora Pierce's most popular characters: George Cooper. Here, Pierce gives fans exactly what they want—a smart, savvy heroine making a name for herself on the mean streets of Tortall's Lower City—while offering plenty to appeal to new readers as well!

"Tamora Pierce's books shaped me not only as a young writer but also as a young woman. She is a pillar, an icon, and an inspiration. Cracking open one of her marvelous novels always feels like coming home."
—SARAH J. MAAS, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Tamora Pierce didn't just blaze a trail. Her heroines cut a swath through the fantasy world with wit, strength, and savvy. Her stories still lead the vanguard today. Pierce is the real lioness, and we're all just running to keep pace."
—LEIGH BARDUGO, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375838163
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 10/23/2007
Series: Beka Cooper Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 582
Sales rank: 72,444
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.25(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 TamoraPierce.com and follow her on Twitter at @TamoraPierce.

Read an Excerpt

Being the Journal of Rebakah Cooper dwelling at Mistress Trout's lodgings
Nipcopper Close, the Lower City
Corus, the realm of Tortall

I have this journal that I mean to use as a record of my days as a Provost's Dog. Should I survive my first year as a Puppy, it will give me good practice for writing proper reports when I am required to write them as a proper Dog. By reporting as much as I can remember word by word, especially in talk with folk about the city, I will keep my memory exercises sharp. Our trainers told us we must always try to memorize as much as we could exactly as we could. "Your memory is your record when your hands are too busy." That is one of our training sayings.
For my own details, to make a proper start, I own to five feet and eight inches in height. My build is muscled for a mot. I have worked curst hard to make it so, in the training yard and on my own. My peaches are well enough. Doubtless they would be larger if I put on more pounds, but as I have no sweetheart and am not wishful of one for now, my peaches are fine as they are.
I am told I am pretty in my face, though my sister Diona says when my fine nose and cheekbones have been broken flat several times that will no longer be so. (My sisters do not want me to be a Dog.) My eyes are light blue gray in color. Some like them. Others hold them to be unsettling. I like them, because they work for me. My teeth are good. My hair is a dark blond. Folk can see my brows and lashes without my troubling to darken them, not that I would. I wear my hair long, as my one vanity. I know it offers an opponent a grip, but I have learned to tight braid it from the crown of my head. I also have a spiked strap to braid into it, so that any who seize my braid will regret it.
I want to write down every bit of this first week of my first year above all. For eight long year I have waited for this week. Now it has come. I want a record of my first seeking, my training Dogs, my every bit of work. I know I will be made a Dog sooner than any Puppy has ever been. I will start to prove I know more than any Puppy has ever done my very first week.
It is not vanity. I lived in the Cesspool for eight year. I stole. I have studied at the knee of the Lord Provost for eight more year, and run messages for the Provost's Dogs for three year, before I ever went into training. I know every street and alley of the Lower City better than I know the faces of my sisters and brothers, better than I knew my mother's face. I will learn the rest quicker than any other Puppy. I even live in the Lower City now. I know none of the others assigned to the Jane Street Kennel do so. (They will regret it when they must walk all the way home at the end of their watch!)
So my first week is of particular importance in this journal.
Pounce says I count my fish before they're hooked. I tell Pounce that if I had to be saddled with a purple-eyed talking cat, why must I have a sour one? He is to stay home during my first week as a Puppy. I will not be distracted by this strange creature who has been my friend these last four years. And I will not have my Dogs distracted by him. Four legged cats—not even ones who talk in cat but make themselves understood in Common—have naught to do with plain, honest Dog work.
I am assigned to the Jane Street Kennel. The Watch Commander in this year of 246 is Acton of Fenrigh. I doubt I will ever have anything to do with him. Most Dogs don't. Our Watch Sergeant is Kebibi Ahuda, one of my training masters, my training master in combat, and the fiercest mot I have ever met. We have six Corporals on our Watch and twenty-five Senior Guards. That's not counting the cage Dogs and the Dogs who handle the scent hounds. We also have a mage on duty, Fulk. Fulk the Nosepicker, we mots call him. I plan to have nothing to do with him, either. The next time he puts a hand on me I will break it, mage or not.
There is the sum of it. All that remains is my training Dogs. I will write of them, and describe them properly, when I know who they are.

April 1, 246
And so this is my day at last—my evening, in truth, as I have been assigned to the Evening Watch at the Jane Street Kennel. The Watch Commander is some member of the As the sun touched the rim of the city wall, I walked into the Jane Street Kennel in uniform. I was able to get it all for free from the old clothes room at my Lord Provost's house. I wore the summer black tunic with short sleeves, black breeches, and black boots. I had a leather belt with purse, whistle, paired daggers, a proper baton, water flask, rawhide cords for prisoner taking. I was kitted up like a proper Dog and ready to bag me some rats who broke the king's law.
Some of the other Lower City trainees were already there. Like me they wore a Puppy's white trim at the hems of sleeves and tunic. None of us have figured out if the white is to mark us out so rats will spare us, or if they will kill us first. None of the veteran Dogs who were our teachers would say, either.
I sat with the other Puppies. They greeted me with gloom. None of them wanted to be here, but each district gets its allotment of the year's Puppies. My companions on this bench feel they drew the short straw. There is curst little glory here. Unless you are a veteran Dog or a friend of the Rogue, the pickings are coppers at best. And the Lower City was rough. Everyone knew that of the Puppies who started their training year in the Lower City, half give up or are killed in the first four months.
I tried to look as glum as the others. The truth was, I had asked to be sent here.
Ahuda took her place at the tall sergeant's desk. We all sat up. We'd feared her in training. She is a stocky black woman with some freckles and hair she has straightened and cut just below her ears. The story is her family is from Carthak far in the south. They say she treats trainees the way she did in vengeance for how the Carthakis treated her family as slaves. All I knew was that she'd made fast fighters of us.
She nodded to the evening watch Dogs as they came on duty, already in their pairs or meeting up in the waiting room. Some looked at our bench and grinned. Some nudged each other and whispered and laughed. My classmates hunkered down and looked miserable.
"They'll eat us alive," my friend Ersken whispered in my ear. He was the kindest of us, which worried me. "I think they sharpen their teeth."
"Going to sea wouldn'ta been so bad." Verene had come in after me and sat on my other side. "Go on, Beka—give 'em one of them ice-eye glares of yours."
I looked down. Though I am comfortable enough with my fellow Puppies, I wasn't so comfortable with the Dogs or the other folk who came in with business in the kennel. "You get seasick," I told Verene. "That's why you went for a Dog. And leave my glares out of it."
Since Ahuda was at her desk, the Watch Commander was already in his office. He'd be going over the assignments, choosing the Dog partners who would get a Puppy. I asked the Goddess to give Ersken someone who'd understand his kindness never meant he was weak. Verene needed Dogs that would talk to her straight. And me?
Goddess, Mithros, let them be good at their work, I begged.

Table of Contents

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Terrier (Beka Cooper Series #1) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 321 reviews.
Chrissy_Mae More than 1 year ago
I got hooked to Tamora Peirce when I was proably in the 7th or 8th grade. I wore out the copies of Alanna and Daine's books at the library, and put a good hurting on the hardback copies of Keladry's story. Even as I got older, and the librarian started to comment on the books they had for the older age groups I now fell in, I still came back again and again to the back of the bottom shelf where they were kept. So understand that this review is written with the bias of an unwavering fan. :) The characters was excellent, and not at all what I expected. Beka, the ancestor of George Cooper, was not the girl I had imagined Peirce would write when I first heard about the possibility of the series, years ago. Instead she is an average girl that most can relate with. I thought the diary entries would throw me off, since most of the journal style books I have read do. But Peirce kept the entries even and detailed, and the plot moves quickly, so it didn't bother me as much as I thought. Terrier is an excellent read and I highly recommend it, especialy for preteen and early teen girls.
Apples_and_Parachutes More than 1 year ago
Terrier started off slowly with all the different journal entries from various people, but after that, the story picked up quickly. I thought the idea of the Dogs was brilliant. Beka's strength and determination was refreshing. All the characters, especially Goodwin and Tunsall, were realistic and shared Beka's quick eagerness. I enjoyed the journal format, especially when Beka's mood or sleepiness clearly changed how she wrote. I definately recommend Terrier.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love all of Tamora Pierce's books and this is by far one of my favorites. The characters in the story are great and the plot is even better. This is an amazing, MUST READ book for all Pierce fans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I know these books are directed towards women and young women. But I am an adult male and I love this book. I will be honest and say that the cover is what made me read the book. Beka Cooper was my first Tamora Pierce book and I have read 14 of hear books since. She has a very good way of letting you get to know her characters andfeel like you are there with them. I promise you if you read thisbookyou will not be disapointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book arrived on time, and was in the condition described. It is also a great read and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys strong heroines and a little magic!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is fantastic!!! I couldn't put it down. I love the character beka the best out of all the tamora pierce characters because she is just beka. Not the kings champion or lady knight she is just beka. I can't wait to get the rest of the series!!!!!
Amber_Decking More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Terrier is the first adveture of Beka Cooper as a Puppy (a Dog-in-training, which is kind of like Tortall's version of a police force). Beka experiances a few of the cliche coming-of-age plot events but Tamora Pierce gets into her groove and creates an adventure that is as colorful and interesting as her other Tortall books. Readers get a more in depth look at the Court of the Rogue (as seen in Song of the Lioness). Readers also get to see more of the black cat Faithful (Song of the Lioness), who is now known as Pounce, Beka's guide and an honorary member of the Jane Street Kennel (the station that Beka is attached to). I really enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to anyone who loves adventure and good detective work!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was one of my favorites of Pierce's. I loved Beka and all her friends. They all had something to add to the story and were all interesting characters. None of them were flat and they added humor and aid while helping Beka out with her chases. This book is awesome and introduces another great heroine. She struggles with her shyness and being able to complete the job she was born to do. The progression of her relationships with all of her friends were believable and I loved watching them settle into their friendships. This book should have been a stand alone novel. Pierce destroyed Beka's character and those of all her friends in the upcoming novels. I wish I had not read the later two novels and had stopped at this one and left my unblemished image of Pierce in place. I became completely disappointed in Pierce and the story. I do not want to give any stories away but if you loved this book as I do, DO NOT READ FURTHER.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have always wondered if Bekka is descendant of George and Alanna...
inksfish More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy all of Tamora Pierce books but the Beka Cooper series is my favorite. The author's imagination helps to develop unusual special magic powers. This heroine is well developed. I recommend it for readers of all ages who enjoy fantasy.
Amy Trout More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down. It is full of action and adventure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the characters in this book. The plot also had the appealing protect the weak theme that I enjoyed in the protector of the small series. I was afraid Tammy had run out of interesting characters and ideas for books after I read the Aly Cooper series, which I didn't really like. Reading this book proved that there are still some great stories to come from Tamora Pierce.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was incredible! I loved it. The plot is great, the characters are realistic and likable. I highly suggest it. Warning: The second book it horrible in comparison.
inkheartfan101 More than 1 year ago
I absolutly 100% loved this book and cant wait to read bloodhound!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read all of the books that tamora pierce has published, but this was one of the best books. It had so many different things and the plot waz really awesome.
mythbri More than 1 year ago
Tamora Pierce's writing style just keeps getting better and better, and it's nice to see her experimenting with new formats. This book is comprised of journal entries, most from the title character. Rather than limiting the scope of the plot or character development, the reader is able to discover and explore the world of the novel with Beka herself, which holds the reader's interest. For those who have read the other Tortall series, the reappearance of a familiar character is welcome. This book is suitable for everyone who enjoys a good story.
MrsMcyntire6thASHWING More than 1 year ago
This book was great. It had a great story line and awesome characters. The book was hard to get into in the beginning because it added a lot of characters. As soon as I got a hold of all the names, it turned out to be a great read. I suggest this book for any age group because any person can relate to Beka in her situation. There was a lot of action in the book right from the beginning and went on through the end making the book exciting. Pounce was definitely my favorite character. Also, I like how the author used journal entries. It gave an exciting twist on the story. All in all this book is a definite good read for anyone out there. I can¿t wait to start on the next one in the series.
The_Bookworm More than 1 year ago
Tamora Pierce has once again created a fantastic novel for her readers. it sucks you in and never spits you out. Usually, a book with have some slow and/or boring parts that you really don't need, but this book has none. It is fun, created, mysterious and goes a smooth, cool pace. I love this book and all of my friends agree.
alicia-loves-books More than 1 year ago
okay i love tamora peirce, so i read the flap for this book, i loved it almost instatly!! the first time i checked it out of the library was i think a year and a half ago. i've checked out twelve times since, i've even done book reports on it!!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
TERRIER is the latest from a brilliant author whose earlier works you've got to read if you haven't already! My expectations for this book, as it is by Tamora Pierce, were, of course, quite high, and I was not disappointed. This might be my new favorite of hers (though it still might be beat out by the SONG OF THE LIONESS quartet--it's close), which is certainly saying a lot.

It's the story of Beka Cooper, a Lower City girl and member of the Provost's Guard who lives centuries before Alanna the Lioness and those characters of her world known to fans of Tamora Pierce's other work. Beka lives in the dark time spoken of in one of the Alanna books when every sword, whether held by a man or a woman, was needed. Indeed, Alanna was not the first Lady Knight; hundreds of years before, women could earn their shields without having to hide who they were. In fact, one of the many fascinating characters known to Beka is a Lady Knight named Sabine. She reminded me of Alanna. Mattes, one of the guardsmen whose job it is to train Beka in their ways, reminds me of one of Alanna's friends, Raoul. Rosto is quite like George Cooper (whose ancestor Beka is!), as well. And fans of the SONG OF THE LIONESS quartet will also recognize Beka's cat, Pounce!

When Beka trains to be a Puppy in the Guard, she knows someday she'll be a Dog, and she wants to be a good one. She's quite excited to be assigned to one of the best pairs in the Lower City; indeed, in all of Corus! She knows it'll be hard work, that Mattes and Clary will work her hard, but she's ready for it. This is what she wants to do. She's aided by her friends, her cat, and her magical Gifts of listening to the winds and to the pigeons who carry the souls of the dead.

Soon after she starts her work, Beka learns of some dangerous goings-on in the Lower City, and it's up to her to stop it, as only a true Lower City girl could--one with Beka's listening talents, at that. She knows the people, she knows their ways, and she is uniquely fit for figuring out what's going on in her neighborhood, and that is what she will do.

The format of TERRIER is different from that of Pierce's other books. It's told as Beka's journal, for one thing, meaning it's in first person. All of her other novels are in third person! It's certainly a change, but she does quite well with it. The only problem is the length of some of these journal entries! Beka is tired from her work as a Puppy; she's not going to write twenty, thirty pages in her journal at night! She probably won't even remember enough to write such long entries! That is the only flaw I found in this book, and that's easy to overlook. This is a page-turner, a wonderfully written story, with amazing characters. Whether you're a fan of Tamora Pierce, of fantasy, or of books in general, read this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a must read for any Tamora Pierce fans, or any fantasy reader for that matter. If you haven't read any of the Tortall books, this is a great place to start! The story takes place about 200 years before Alanna went for her shield. The writing style very entertaining. It's written as Beka Cooper's journal, so there's a lot of insight. Beka is a strong, quick minded heroine who's not afraid to get her hands dirty. The characters are realalistic and easy to relate to. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I can't wait for the next one to come out!
Guest More than 1 year ago
amazing book. pierce is never a let down as an author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I feel that this book was very well written.Beka's character was very three dimensional and came alive very easily. The fourty or so pages irked me though. It was to cliche i think the execution of the writing could have been much much better. She kept saying how Tunstal and Goodwin were the best and that no one had them...but walla she gets them. Yes she could have use the plot line but it was executed in such a obnoxiously cliche manner that i was about to drop it. But it got a lot better. The rest of the book is set in a very lively pace and althought the first person diary format is not my favorite it still kept me going. The duel cases set a very mysterious/exciting atmosphere. I feel She has a problem introducing characters/situations cause she is very obviouse about it but now that she has them set i'm sure the next book will be infinitely better. oh... and the language of the lower city took some getting used to because it was sorta hard to muck through it. After you get used to it though and it just becomes natural. Yup i loved it-except for the begining.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book alot, it gave a more in depth book to what Tortall was like before King Jonathon and his father's reign. I also liked that it showed the lower class side of Tortall, lets us know that its not all nobles and splendor. It did tie in the noblity well using names we have seen in her other books but the focus was the city dwellers and it showed what life was like for them. It shows the reader that there really where female knights and that they were well respected and not unusual. This book re-sparked my love for Tamora's writing and I have read and reread her books. I like that the cat is seen in this book as well it lets the reader know that even through hundreds of years there is still a conection to the Tortall that we all love. I cannot wait for the next book in the series and am eagerly awaiting its arrival, even though I have to what a year or two.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book...because I liked the characters. The story is crafted well. So light the fireplace, get your favorite beverage, then sit in your favorite chair and let the adventure begin!!!!!!