Fran's Reviews > Bloodhound

Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
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Mar 20, 09

bookshelves: ya, own-tammy
Read in March, 2009, read count: 1

I was filled with glee when I got my advance readers copy of Bloodhound. I tore my way through Terrier as quickly as possible (and I’m glad I did), before I started on Bloodhound as soon as I was able.

Whilst waiting for Bloodhound to come out (and it has been a long wait) I would eagerly read all the news from Tammy about the progression of the book. I was a little dismayed to learn that Beka would be out of Corus and in Port Caynn, therefore away from all of those much loved characters from Terrier – Aniki, Kora, Rosto, Ersken, Tansy and et cetera. I also learned, while she would still be with Goodwin, Tunstall would be out of the picture with broken legs! However, it turns out (as it usually does), that my fears were unfounded and what I think sounds odd in summary turns out to be grand in actuality.

Bloodhound takes place sixteen months after Terrier, and the action happens over the course of (almost) three weeks. The book builds on what Terrier established. There are new words introduced into the language (one reason why re-reading Terrier before Bloodhound is such a good idea) as well as an expansion of Dog methodology. Bloodhound is one long hunt to resolve the issue of coles being filtered into the money stream, which are raising the prices of food and causing civil panic. There are some sterling action sequences in Bloodhound, making me feel like I was actually part of the riots and chases and also making me feel that poor Beka must have had some terrible hand cramps after her long stretches of diary and report writing! There is also significant time spent in Corus before the adventures ‘round Port Caynn begin, giving some quality moments with all of the well loved characters before we meet the new folk. Yes, the old faithful were keenly missed at some moments during Bloodhound, but this is good for both Beka and the reader (but mostly Beka, as we are selfish readers who want things Our Way!).

We are introduced to a vast quantity of new characters, mostly in Port Caynn but some in Corus too. The most notable addition is Atchoo, the scent hound who was mentioned in Terrier takes a leading role here (and once you read the book you will understand why the cover was changed to focus on her and leaves Pounce out). Atchoo is a fantastic partner for Beka, who adds to Beka’s skills set and resources as well as being a loyal and lovable companion (in the way that dogs are). Another of our new characters is Dale Rowan, a clever and likable cove who captures Beka’s affections and won over me too! Other new characters include the Port Caynn Rouge, her Rats and Port Caynn Dogs. As with Terrier, there are familiar family names in Bloodhound – watch out for a member of one particularly famous family who proves that insanity really did run in the family! I suspect that the majority of these characters we will never see again, but it’d be a crying shame if we didn’t see a few back in ‘Mastiff’ – or at the very least a mention of what they’ve been up to.

There are further explorations into things that have previously been touched on in the Tortall universe books – the female warriors of the temple of the Great Mother are featured in Bloodhound somewhat, providing welcome detail into something that was merely mentioned in passing in ‘Song of the Lioness’. The Dancing Dove is introduced, and I was pleased to note that the reasons behind its name have changed since the preview in the back of Terrier. Also, if anyone was still in any doubt, Pounce’s identity is confirmed once and for all. Beka’s magic also gets further explanation, which is welcome, and ties her to a particular god as she experiments with methods of using her magic. Her understanding and implementation of her magic is markedly improved from what it was in Terrier. It is these touches that make the book so vivid. They are woven into the story in such a way that they are part of the tapestry for the book itself and the larger Tortallan history. For those of us who are Tammy devotees this is an absolute delight and will enrich your knowledge of the Tortall world.

It was a hard trial to put the book down every time I had to, and once I got into the final stretch I simply could not put it down until I was finished. The plot is set up in such a way that it’s fairly obvious early on who is behind the cole-mongering. However, Tammy throws in something she’s become rather good at – making you feel that sense of empathy for the characters behind the very thing that Beka is racing to put a stop to. You don’t want it to be them, you want to be proven wrong and at the final turn you can understand why they took the actions they took, but you really wished they hadn’t. There is a rich layering of detail that makes such a complex plot believable.

Beka makes mistakes during the book (at one point I wanted to shake her for forgetting something); she also does remarkably astounding things too (she spends a lot of time traipsing through sewers, which made my stomach turn). I was pleased to see that alongside her natural aptitude for Dogging she is still learning how to be a Dog, they ways of people and the ways of the world. It humanises and humbles her, and I felt that she learned a lot from her experiences, both professionally and personally. By the end of the book several things fall neatly into place – how Beka’s partner problem is solved and also the set up for explaining why Lady Knights (and more gender equality across the board) exists in Beka’s time yet the mentality has changed by the time Alanna disguises herself and turns Tortall on its head. This will, I expect, be explored in ‘Mastiff’.

I’m very much looking forward to ‘Mastiff’ and the conclusion of the Legend of Beka Cooper, here’s to settling in for another Very Long Wait (although, mercifully, not as long as that between Terrier and Bloodhound)!
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Reading Progress

03/07/2009 page 32
5.78% "Just started, but now have to leave it as I'm going away and don't want to take it with me for fear of damage!"
03/17/2009 page 78
14.08% "I liked the changes to the first chapters since the preview in Terrier and the 'Jack and Pasty' changing to the 'Jack and Pony'!"
03/17/2009 page 137
24.73% "Nooo...Pounce! Suddenly the changes to the cover image are making more sense though."
03/17/2009 page 199
35.92% "Very much enjoying, including spotting errors. More reading tomorrow!"
03/18/2009 page 239
43.14% "When I'm not reading I place it between two Absolute Sandmans to keep it crisp."
03/18/2009 page 416
75.09% "I'm liking Dale...fun!"
03/19/2009 page 453
81.77% "Entering the home run now..."

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Tamora (new)

Tamora Pierce What a slamming review! Thanks so much! And I appreciate how you must have struggled not to drop spoilers, but I'm deeply grateful you didn't.

I also think it's the kind of review that will persuade worried readers that I haven't betrayed the book or the characters, particularly when they start and realize we're moving off familiar ground. Again, thanks!

I think I changed "Jack and Pasty" because it had an unfortunate rhyme. ;-)

And yes, the gap won't be so long till MASTIFF, because I won't be moving/in therapy from my car being hit by a drunk driver/having surgeries on my foot and eyes! So here's to getting MASTIFF out in a MUCH more timely manner!

Tammy


Lauren I'm so jealous you already got a copy!! The wait has been painful though understandable.


message 3: by Fran (new) - added it

Fran Thanks for the response Tammy!

I was aware of your feeling about spoilers for your books (before their release dates) so tried to be concious of that whilst also writing a through review, not just an 'I've read this!' post.

My feelings on reviews anyway is that they should not spoil the crucial plot details for the reader if they read the review before reading/viewing/etc. the thing it's reviewing, but make sense to a reader who is reading the review after reading/viewing/etc whatever the reviewer is reviewing. If that overly long sentence made sense!

Hopefully those worried readers you feel that my review will assuage will read this review!

Again, my thanks for the comment - it means a lot to me, as I'm sure a good review does to you. :)


Ekram Jealousy may be a vice, but I am sooo jealous right now. I've been waiting years for bloodhound!
How do you get ARCs?


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