Lirael, who doesn't know her father and whose mother is dead, is a great, deep character. On first glance she see...moreThis is a wonderful piece of fantasy.
Lirael, who doesn't know her father and whose mother is dead, is a great, deep character. On first glance she seems weak, not having the sight as the defining feature of her people. However, she is very skilled in magic. Her work in the great library of the Clayr also allows her to discover new things. On her side is a magical dog, who calls itself the Disreputable Dog. I loved her in particular. She acts as Liraels advisor and friend. Eventually Lirael discovers a hidden cave and her destiny. She has to leave the Clayr and go on a mission suggested by one of their visions.
The second main character of this book is Sam, the son of Sabriel. He is destined to be the next Abhorsen, following in his mother's footsteps. The only problem with this is, that Sam is afraid of entering the world of Death. His fear also hinders him from doing his studies of the Book of the Dead properly. Still he leaves the security of the palace to find one of his friends and help him. Sam is a contrast to Lirael. On first glance he seems to be strong, being popular in his school and a prince, but he has his weaknesses as well, foremost his inability to accept his duty as the next Abhorsen.
All events are overshadowed by a new threat presented by two powerful necromancers.
While I had my problems with finding my way into the world in Sabriel, I found this much easier in Lirael, probably because I was already acquainted with it. I liked the worldbuilding, the characters and the story in itself very much. Actually, there is only one negative aspect I have to point out, that is the open ending. The story finishes at a real cliffhanger and while I already intended to read the last part in the series, I would still rather have both be one book with the story being so intertwined.(less)
I "read" this as an audiobook. My general impression was that it was OK but somehow I couldn't really warm to it.
I liked the whole concept of the Abho...moreI "read" this as an audiobook. My general impression was that it was OK but somehow I couldn't really warm to it.
I liked the whole concept of the Abhorsen and how they used bells. The plot was quite good as well, although nothing really special. Sabriel herself was a very pleasant protagonist. She I liked at once.
The main problem I had with this book was the fact that somehow I couldn't quite picture the world. Some flickers here and there, but in my imagination it was mostly only a grey mess. I just didn't get a real feeling for it and that's why I couldn't really get into the whole story. Without feeling the world and being compassionate for it, it's just not easy to really like a story.
Perhaps I might change my opinion when I decide to read the other books in the series.(less)
As an avid fan of Tamora Pierce's books for years now, I've eagerly awaited this newest publication and started it right off.
When I first started it I...moreAs an avid fan of Tamora Pierce's books for years now, I've eagerly awaited this newest publication and started it right off.
When I first started it I was all prepared to drop the rating to four stars at least. I have to confess that I needed a bit to get into it. This is the third and last part of a series (although all three books are stories on their own, all featuring the same heroine, it's not big story arc/plot), so I naturally compared this book with the last two, Terrier and Bloodhound. I loved both of them and always like to read or listen to the stories again. The best part about the series certainly are the characters. I loved the Goodwin/Tunstall bickering in the first book as much as Rosto, Aniki and Kora. Pounce is awesome, of course and Achoo is simply sweet. Goodwin without Tunstall still managed to make me love her as much in Bloodhound as in Terrier.
Now we get to Mastiff and meet Beka a few years after Bloodhound. Tunstall is her partner and Achoo still her scent hound. In the middle of the night they are called away from Corus on royal orders to investigate a raid on the Summer Palace and find a kidnap victim. Tunstall and Beka are accompanied by Pounce and Achoo, of course, as well as Tunstalls lover, Lady Knight Sabine of Macayhill and a mage called Farmer Cape. I noticed quickly that Tunstall without Goodwin misses some of the flair Tunstall and Goodwin or even Goodwin on her own have. I always missed some of the other characters I've come to know and like in the previous books. Also the setting is different. While the first two books were set in the city, this follows Beka and her companions while they track the raiders through the countryside. So it took me some time to get used to the book, the reason simply being that it is different. I also didn't have as much time as I would have liked to really plunge into it, so getting into it was a bit more different than usual.
Once I got accustomed to Beka's new companions and environment, I began to like it just as much as the previous books. Beka has grown up since we first met her in Terrier. She is an experienced handler now and works well with Achoo and Tunstall. She is still a heroine I like. Farmer as the new character deserves some mentioning as well. He is a great character. At first one doesn't know what to make of him, but I soon came to like him and his way.
Now here come some major spoilers, so don't read if you don't want your fun at the end spoiled: (view spoiler)[ 1st: TUNSTALL! I couldn't believe it. I mean. He was Beka's training dog and you have to admit that he and Goodwin always gave off the impression that they were above those Dogs who could be bought. Well, obviously not. Although the reason given for his betrayal is understandable at least, I still had troubles with really believing what I read. My mind has still trouble with catching up and I'm in a total state of denial. Well, that probably shows that nobody is above turning, if there's only the right inscentive. Still I am very sad that he couldn't have trusted his lover enough, because Lady Sabine obviously loved him as he was and to be honest, had his plan succeeded and she somehow learned of his, I am not so sure she would still had loved him.
2nd: The epilogue. While the diary entry in the beginning of Terrier was nice to introduce me to Beka's world, I felt that the epilogue at the end of Mastiff felt forced. The writing was inconsistent as well. It beginns as George's diary entry (George kept a diary?!) and suddenly it switches to third-person narrator and Pounce's point of view? I understand why that part was necessary, but couldn't it have been done a smoother way?
3rd: The last chapter in Beka's journal. I liked that very much. I actually had tears in my eyes when King Roger read the proclamation about slaves. That is the reason I like Tamora Pierce's books so much, they always move me. The uniform from Beka's sisters is also very sweet and I am really happy with Farmer becoming Beka's man. I am surprised to say that I really find that he suits her andn I can imagine them together way better than I ever could Rosto. I would have liked at least a short dialogue between Beka and Goodwin, perhaps when she learned of Tunstall's betrayal, but well, one can't have everything. (hide spoiler)]
To sum it up: I really liked Mastiff as much as the first books, once I got into it. It gripped me. It made me laugh. It surprised me. It made me fear for the heroine and her friends. It moved me to no end.
I will certainly listen to this as audiobook just as much as to every single other book written by Tamora Pierce and can't wait for Tamora Pierce's next book (Battle Magic, as of now due for publication sometime next year).["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)