So, for the last four years my friend has been hounding me to read Tamora Pierce. I was reluctant.. the covers are ... boring. Yes, I know. I am a librarian and I shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Pierce's first book "Alanna The First Adventure" was printed in 1983. I was two years old. Growing up, I never heard about Tortall or Pierce.
Two years ago, I found Sarah Maas, who writes the Throne of Glass series and the Court of Thorns and Roses series. I am completely obsessed and I wanted to find something else that had strong female characters and magic. So, very quietly so my friend did not know, I picked up "Beka Cooper Terrier" by Tamora Pierce.
Two weeks later, I now own all of Pierce's books (thank you eBay!). I finished the Beka Cooper trilogy and started Alanna. They are really good. I wish my school work (darn me for decided to go back to college) wouldn't interfere with my reading time! I am highly motivated to get my homework done so I can read though!
Beka Cooper wants to be a Provost's Dog, the Tortall version of a policeman. They don't use swords, they use two food long, lead lined batons. She is entering her puppy training, the year she follows around a pair of seasoned Dogs. Though magic is real in Tortall, not everyone has it. Beka is no mage, but she can talk to ghosts that ride the back of pigeons. There's also a purple eyed cat that talks.
Beka's pigeons reveal a dastardly plot involving murdered children and miners being killed. They happen to be two different things going on, and Beka convinces her partners to help find the murderers.
The official jacket description is:
Beka Cooper is a rookie with the law-enforcing Provost's Guard, and she's been assigned to the Lower City. It's a tough beat that's about to get tougher, as Beka's limited ability to communicate with the dead clues her in to an underworld conspiracy. Someone close to Beka is using dark magic to profit from the Lower City's criminal enterprises--and the result is a crime wave the likes of which the Provost's Guard has never seen before.
I can't actually explain why, but this book just grabbed me. There's enough humor in it. I laughed sometimes.. The speech sometimes was very interesting. Beka is a strong character who knows what she wants, but I love the way she is shy in front of people. The second book takes place after Beka graduates to full fledged dog, and the third book takes place three years after the events of book 2. This really is a fantastic author. I can't wait to finish reading all of them!