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Terrier (Beka Cooper, #1)
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(Beka Cooper #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  70,182 ratings  ·  1,999 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, 581 pages
Published October 24th 2006 by Random House
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Mary I am in my fifties. I love this series!! If you enjoy police procedure, true crime, and mysteries, you will enjoy these books
I am in my fifties. I love this series!! If you enjoy police procedure, true crime, and mysteries, you will enjoy these books
Betsy No. This book happens before any of the other ones so there's nothing you need to know. However, to understand who Beka is and why she has her own boo…moreNo. This book happens before any of the other ones so there's nothing you need to know. However, to understand who Beka is and why she has her own book, you might want to read the Alanna books first. (less)

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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
Mar 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-tammy, ya
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 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2012
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rusty's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring)
Review and more at

I still can’t believe I have to rate this one star. A Tamora Pierce book too! But I found this book so slow with a lot of unnecessary details and not enough necessary details. I mean a lot of this was just ramble about the MC’s everyday life and like who came to visit her and what they talked about etc…

So basically the whole of this book is about the everyday life and line of duty of “Puppy” Beka Cooper, and don’t get me wrong I actually
Paige  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
I am late to the Tortall party, and though this book had a bit of a slow start, I found it grew on me as I became more familiar with the characters and the essentially England-analogue world.
Beka Cooper is a Puppy, training to be a guardsman, known as a Dog. (Once trained, a Puppy becomes a Terrier.) Beka's very shy, but competent at her training. She's also able to hear ghosts, who hitch rides on pigeons, and a cat who seems to be so much more has moved into her lodgings, and follows her everyw
I think this may have been a HORRIBLE place to start in the universe. I don't know if all of the books are written in this same format, but the jumping around with constant referral to terms and things that had no explanation to a new reader were really annoying and made it not a very enjoyable read. I found a list of chronological order and wanted to start there and I guess that was a bad choice. This book was also written for a fairly young audience on the young adult spectrum so I really neve ...more
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Take this reading slump! I was able to finish this with time to spare!!!!

Was tossing between a 3 or 4 stars and then decided that Mrs. Pierce DESERVES a 4 because she is just that good.

I'll give a more thorough review when I've got the time but I just wanted to put down a quick thought about this book and her author.

Tamora Pierce's world building is so fluid and concise that it's like you're trying to immerse yourself into an actual country! It's hard going at first, learning the dialect and the
I wish this had been written as a third-person novel rather than as a journal - I have many logistical and stylistic issues with journals as a medium. I suppose I'm willing to accept that Beka is coming back after a night of grueling exercise and writing thousands of words about her day, but I'm less willing to accept the grating writing style. Beka's "voice" is stilted and matter-of-fact, which made it read like low-grade YA fantasy from a debut writer instead of a novel written by an accomplis ...more
Jan 07, 2009 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
Apr 07, 2009 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...
This story is a diary of sorts, detailing the first cases that "Puppy" Beka Cooper deals with as a trainee to become a "Dog" (the equivalent of a police force in this society). Things start out as her mentors investigate the murder of the young great-grandson of the local crime boss. Beka has ties to the toddler's mother who gives Beka a strange stone during her visit. The boy's murder threatens to set off a turf war, providing several potential suspects, and seems to have something to do with t ...more
Sep 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading a Tamora Pierce novel, even one that’s new to me, always feels a little like coming home. I’m familiar with the Tortall universe, which certainly helps, and it also makes it easier that Beka Cooper (and her friends) quickly found a place in my heart. Very solidly written first installment.
Anna 'Bookbuyer'
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 14, 2010 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. SERIO

Laura (Kyahgirl)
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, fantasy
I really enjoy this authors writing style and the empowered way she portrays women and young people.
Dec 28, 2013 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
Dichotomy Girl
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 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
Jan 09, 2009 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
April Sarah
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, favorites
This book.... this book. I have fallen in love with Tortall all over again. There is so much nostalgia here and so much new content.

Beka Cooper is such a flawed and wonderful character that is strong in some areas and weak in others. Plus the world structure, magic system, and religious orders are always so well developed. There is just so much here.

Video review:
Feb 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I don't get why people like it, it's horrible. It's a diary written by what seems to be a twelve year old. I mean, come on.
"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."
Somebody kill me now. I need to bleach my eyeballs after this.
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book was not for me. I struggled with the language it used, it seemed both old fashioned and made up and I wasn't always sure what the characters were saying. I also thought the story seemed to have a simple plot and the rest of the book was filler that I could have done without.

Beka isn't a bad character, she's smart and a good fighter. I liked her ability to speak to the dead through birds and her cat Pounce was pretty funny. She was trying to prove herself to the dogs while also solving
Allison Hurd
3.5 Stars

Tamora Pierce is one of my favorite authors. Her heroines are always so honest and well-rounded people who inspire and subtly encourage young women. When I was 10, I found Daine and Alanna, and they opened a whole new world to me of characters who looked like me, and did things maybe I could do. They were flawed but not fatally, and they grew up as I did.

Beka Cooper is another such young heroine. She grew up poor, no stranger to the ravages of fate. She has a small magic, and a huge de
Mar 30, 2014 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 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love everything Tamora Pierce writes. She is the best, absolute best, a favourite reread of mine. Thus following yet more personal bad times - this year is proving to be pretty damn awful and not even 6 months in - I naturally went to comfort books. This series being both my least reread and the earliest Tortall-set (in case things don't perk up I may need lots of reading!), it won.

Even though this is written as an epistolary novel and thus my two leas
Ashley Marie
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
Jul 19, 2007 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
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-read
I love Tortall so damn much. I will never be tired of this world or the vast array of characters. I love it too much!

Beka was unique because of her shyness! It was a first. Usually Pierce's characters are these kick-ass, take charge type of heroines and Beka is definitely bad ass, but talking to authority figures? She'd rather not. It worked out though since she has an amazing group of friends. I loved them so much, it was perfect!

Besides Beka, the star of this book was totally Pounce! I fuckin
musa b-n
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I reread this book for a book club I'm going to and I was very excited to reread it. And it was very good! I really enjoyed it. It was especially really neat because when I read the books that include Pounce as a kid, I didn't really have a context to understand cat behavior, but now that I'm living with two cats, I like, actually know what cats are like, and it makes the already enjoyable experience of reading about Pounce at least ten times more enjoyable.

One thing about this book that my rer
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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

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.” 172 likes
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