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Terrier (Beka Cooper #1)

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  44,259 Ratings  ·  1,412 Reviews
Hundreds of years before Alanna first drew her sword in Tamora Pierce's memorable debut, Alanna: The First Adventure, Tortall had a heroine named Beka Cooper - a fierce young woman who fights crime in a world of magic. This is the beginning of her story, her legend, and her legacy....

Beka Cooper is a rookie with the law-enforcing Provost's Guard, commonly known as "the Pro
Hardcover, 584 pages
Published October 24th 2006 by Random House
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Serena Absolutely! I find each book of the Tortall universe unique and delightful in their own way.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Gail Carriger
Tamora Pierce's Beka Cooper series, Book One: Terrier.

I'm beginning to, finally, recognize patterns in Tamora Pierce's heroines. When I was a kid I identified with her books so strongly I couldn't possibly step back as a writer to see her tricks. Now, with the benefit of age and distance, I read this book with new eyes. Her main characters always have some kind of fatal flaw - in Beka's case it's fear of public speaking and chronic shyness, for Alana it was cold and spiders, for Kel it was heig
May 02, 2014 Fran rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, own-tammy
The first time I read Terrier I thought it was some of Tammy's best writing in years and it quickly became one of my favourite Tortall books. I still feel that way after my latest re-read (in preparation for Bloodhound). Terrier feels fresh, and I attribute this reinvigoration of the Tortall world to several factors:
- Firstly: Terrier is written in first person, which is the first of Tammy's novels to be written thus (Note: Tammy has written short stories in first person).
- Secondly: it is writ
Sep 30, 2012 Jennifer rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2012
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paige  *an exploding fluffball* Bookdragon
I love stories about the Tortall Realm.

I really really do. Cross my heart. Hope to die. Stick a needle in my eye

(You know, I never knew the reason why kids on our country say these things when they want to convince people they're telling the truth.This sounds painful.Maybe that explains the phrase, the truth hurts? )

But anyway ... por favor .

This book almost bored me to death. The only reason why I finished this one was because I have a high respect for Pounce . I think it tells a great d
May 24, 2009 Cara rated it it was amazing
What is one word I can use to sum up the book hmm... probably AWESOME ! Seriously there isn't a lot of books that can do that (at least for me). Beka Cooper is the most kick butt, cool heroine I've encountered in all my reading days.

The book was just as good the second time around. At first I was wary of reading it again thinking it might not be as enjoyable this time around. Obviously I was wrong. I even caught myself looking ahead to see what happened, and then I would remind myself that I al
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
Just when I thought there wasn't much more to be done in Tortall, I heard about this book's release. (prequels ftw). I was hoping Beka would be a closer relative of George, maybe his grandmother or great-grandmother or something rather than what she is (6x great I think?) but it doesn't really matter over the course of the story itself. After one installment, Beka is well on her way to being one of my favorites of Tammy's characters (although I highly doubt I could pick a favorite of her leading ...more
Dichotomy Girl
May 22, 2015 Dichotomy Girl rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, rereads, 2011, 2012, 2015
I am attempting to read all the tortall books in Chronological order.

So I feel like I didn't enjoy this as much this time around, and I'm wondering if it's because I listed to it in audiobook form rather than reading it? Or maybe it was just my mood. I'm going to let my original rating stand. But I might skip the rest of the prequel trilogy and skip to the Alanna books which I've only read once about 8 years ago.

3rd Read: 5/22/2015
2nd Read: 2/1/2012
Original Read: 2/3/2011

Previous Review:

May 16, 2007 Caroline rated it really liked it
This was the last "for fun" book I got to read before I started teaching last winter. Ever since I arbitrarily grabbed the first of Tamora Pierce's "Circle of Magic" books off the library shelf two years ago, I've been hooked on the ways Pierce plays around with definitions of magic, power, heroes, and humanism...all within a medieval-ish context.

This isn't great literature, but it is an imaginative world that kept me entertained for several months. Tamora Pierce likes to write books in couplet
Jul 29, 2007 Elias rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I'm about a quarter of the way through this one, and I have to admit that I'm not enjoying it as much as I've enjoyed the rest of Pierce's bibliography. I don't have any specific complaints, except for the constant emphasis on the Dog/Puppy thing, which I find a little weird.

7/29 - Still trucking through. The story is good, but something about the narration is slowing me down, perhaps because it's in the form of a diary, and that seems cumbersome. Not only that, but here are the epistolary laye
Apr 15, 2009 Cinda rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, kind of a combination police procedural/high fantasy. Set in the Tortall world, with a light touch of magic. I read while I work out and this is the first book in a long time that made me forget where I was and what I was doing and wish the workout session could go on longer...
Dec 03, 2015 Vaidah rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Vaidah by: Jodie
Shelves: ya, rec-ed-by-friends
Oh. My. GOD! I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book!!!!!!!! I was all aflail and I got SO into it that I was even yelling at the book last night! Pounce is totally my favorite character. He is so full of sass, I love it! I wish I had my own Breakfast Club!
Mar 31, 2014 Ajax rated it it was ok
Spoilers for all Tortall books follow:

I have a love-and-hate relationship with Tamora Pierce's Tortall books. I found the Alanna quartet poorly written, enjoyed The Immortals, absolutely adored Protector of the Small ( so much so that Kel is now one of my favorite fictional characters ever), liked the Trickster's duo but also found it extremely problematic in certain respects. And then I moved onto Terrier which I'm sorry to say is my least favorite Pierce book that I've read so far. Pierce depa
May 26, 2008 Samantha rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!!
Recommended to Samantha by: nada
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 31, 2013 Laudys rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
As I read this book, I entertained the idea that it should be a movie. Now, having finished it, I realize I was wrong. Beka Cooper deserves a BBC mini series, with very well written 3hrs long episodes. The world is so detailed, so real, there is so much life (and death) going on in the Lower City that if a single plot thread were to be eliminated to cram the story into a movie, it would be a shame.

'Cause you see, the Lower City is a crack pot of gamblers, smugglers, slavers, thieves and every ot
Aug 08, 2008 Aubrey rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Tamora Pierce Lovers and good fantasy & crime lovers
Recommended to Aubrey by: Tamora Pierce
Another installment in the mythology of Tamora Pierce's fictional land of Tortall and I am not disappointed. I am impressed with Pierce's foresight and love enough of her characters that she instead went back in time to give a base to the well-known and beloved characters of her series. Had she done otherwise we would have had to accept a few deaths of main characters. By telling an ancient legend of an ancestor the stories remain alive and Tortall's characters expand.

I greatly admire that each
Aug 06, 2012 Wealhtheow rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, urban-fantasy, ya
Worried that her son George is hanging out with criminals, Mistress Cooper shares with him the journals of their long-gone ancestor, Beka Cooper. Centuries before George became King of the Rogues, she was one of the Provost's Dogs: the city's watch, charged with keeping the peace. Like her descendant, Beka is tough, with a prodigious memory and fierce sense of loyalty. After years serving the Dogs as a runner, she's finally allowed to tag behind two well-respected veterans, Tunstall and Goodwin. ...more
May 01, 2008 Misti rated it it was ok
This is the most recent of Tamora Pierce's books, and possibly the least hyped, and I think I know why. I can't say I was particularly enthralled by the plot (which was transparent and overly complex) or by the writing style which is Diary format and street slang which seems a hypocritical combination. I found out yesterday that the book is to be the first in a series of three. Oh Tammy, say it ain't so! I can't take too much of this style, and may skip the next two in the series if they're anyt ...more
Aug 01, 2015 Valerie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Terrier is just another example of how great an author Tamora Pierce is. The writing is very detailed and although it is hard to believe that a girl would be so diligent in writing a journal it didn't really faze me. Beka is a great kick-butt, female protangonist. She is smart, caring, dedicated, and tough. It's because of this why Beka is called a Terrier.

The imagination of Pierce proves to be limitles as she decribes Tortall. It has knights, magic, beggars, Dogs, slaves, mages, etc. There is
Sienna K
Dec 04, 2010 Sienna K rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

^^If don't understand that sentence ^^, 'I'D RATHER WATCH PAINT DRY'

Do not get out this book unless you are looking for torture. The chapters are a million pages long, and most of which are boring. I reckon I got up to about page 30 and then I had to stop, for the story was doing my head in. Whoever told me that was a good book, don't tell me anymore, cuz' obviously your eyes have incinerated and all that's left is the eye socket. SERIOUSL

Aug 01, 2015 Jodie rated it it was amazing
I don't know what it is about Tamora Pierce but when I get into Tortall I don't ever want to leave. My office building has a lot of pigeons around it and that added something extra to reading Terrier I think. I stopped reading this book on Friday and spent the whole weekend wishing I'd brought it home with me to read! I also really need a cat like Pounce to boss me around and tell me what to do :)
Diamond Pray
Jun 20, 2015 Diamond Pray rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Young Adults and Adults 15+, anyone who loves fantasy
Shelves: best-of-the-best
I've been a huge Tamora Pierce fan every since I was a kid. I picked up Wolf Speaker in the library (not knowing it was the second book in a series) simply because wolves were my favorite animal at the time and Daine's powers were just about the most interesting thing in the world to me. Ever since I've adored all of her Tortall books. Often they were the only fantasy books I could find that had the female characters I was looking for.

That being said "Terrier" was a change of pace for me. Its th
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 25, 2012 Caroline rated it really liked it
This is the first Pierce novel I've read and there were a few hurdles I had to get over (the heroine is the best at everything, omg, but she's totally shy and self-deprecating and doesn't realize how great she is; she has a super-intellgent cat as a sidekick; 'just because the author has invented a handful of world-specific slang that does nothing to expand or enrich the story, these words will be repeated endlessly to the point that they become verbal tics.') I suspect a lot of that is par for ...more
Kasey Jane
Feb 28, 2015 Kasey Jane rated it it was amazing
How have I never read Tamora Pierce?

Terrier features Beka Cooper, a streetwise young woman training to become a Provost's Dog -- policemen with the investigatory skills of Sherlock Holmes and the fighting prowess of Batman. Although her Training Dogs are reluctant, Beka soon proves herself a capable champion of the law in the dangerous Lower City streets. But Beka has more gifts than just quick hands and quicker mind -- she can catch whispers of deception and murder that no one else hears. Sinc
Heidi (Yup. Still here.)
This book started off strong for me and I really liked it but somewhere in the middle I got lost. I could not remember who was who or follow certain directions the story too. I am bummed that my love dwindled somewhat as the book went on. On the positive side I grew to be a big fan of Beka and Pounce and felt invested in their stories. As far as the other characters go I didn't really feel I got to know anyone else on more than just a surface level. It could be because this is the first book in ...more
Leah Kerns
Jan 06, 2016 Leah Kerns rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Wondering Geek
Apr 03, 2016 The Wondering Geek rated it it was amazing
What I look for in a book.
The ability to ignite my imagination and get me thinking even after I'm finished.

Honestly, I haven't read this book in a while, but I've discovered that this is one of those books that stuck with me. Terrier is a book that can defiantly spark ones imagination. Even though it's been a while since I've read Terrier, or for that matter the whole Beka Cooper trilogy, I remember the books vividly. I've read other books by Tamora Pierce and can say without a doubt that she kn
Summer Matthias Herondale
Nov 03, 2015 Summer Matthias Herondale rated it it was amazing
Before I write this review, a quick introduction. The main character, Beka, is training to be a Dog(a policeman). Dog's in training are called Puppies. This novel is set in the land of Tortall, and focuses here on the Lower City, the poorest and most run down area which, as you would expect leads to higher rates of crime. The story is written from first person point of view and in the form of a diary, in which Beka details her day. We follow her as she learns the ins and outs of taking down crim ...more
Nov 26, 2007 Latharia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written as a journal, it was fun to feel like I was glimpsing the world through Beka's eyes. The only part I felt was a bit jarring was the sheer volume of slang used, and the fact that much of it was not explained. I looked in the back for a glossary, with no luck. Turns out there IS one -- it's sandwiched between the end of Terrier and the beginning of a few-page preview of the next book. *slapping forehead*
Mar 11, 2016 Ann rated it it was ok
This could have been another great book by Tamora pierce, but the diary format drove me insane. I found this book difficult to finish.

Another flaw with the diary format is that you get Beka's emotion before you understand why. I see it as a fourth wall break within the book. It also made me feel LESS emotionally-connected to the protagonist because it's separates me from the action.

I like Beka. I like that she's related to George Cooper. I like her attitude. She's serious and tough. I like her m
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Reading Corner : Chapter One 1 6 Feb 06, 2016 12:15PM  
Gail Carriger Fan...: February 2016: Terrier by Tamora Pierce (YA) 2 23 Feb 01, 2016 10:17AM  
Simple word game (so you better answer!!!) 4 16 Feb 09, 2015 12:42AM  
Silver Stag Book ...: Terrier by Tamora Pierce 1 2 Jan 26, 2015 01:24PM  
Willmar Public Li...: Terrier by Tamora Pierce 2 3 Nov 20, 2014 04:07PM  
is this worth reading? 30 171 Apr 14, 2014 05:46PM  
What's The Name o...: book with girl who is a trained officer but they call them "dogs"? /s 9 37 Apr 11, 2014 11:33PM  
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Hey, folks! I just discovered that apparently I have given some very popular books single-star ratings--except I haven't. How do I know I haven't? Because I haven't read those books at all. So before you go getting all hacked off at me for trashing your favorites, know that I've written GoodReads to find out what's going on.

I return to my regularly scheduled profile:
Though I would love to join gro
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Other Books in the Series

Beka Cooper (3 books)
  • Bloodhound (Beka Cooper, #2)
  • Mastiff (Beka Cooper, #3)

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“The Lower City is MINE, Its People are MINE.
If I Find Them That's Doing All This Kidnapping
And Murdering, They'd Best Pray For Mercy,
Because Once I Get My Teeth In 'Em
I Will NEVER Let Them Go. ”
“I well knew the rules to follow with our training Dogs: Speak when you're spoken to. Keep out of the way. Obey all orders. Get killed on your own time.” 167 likes
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