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Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2011 Gr 10 Up—This is the final chapter of the series. Although readers unfamiliar with the previous two books are at a disadvantage, a thorough cast of characters and glossary help to get them up to speed. Moreover, Pierce has created a world so fully realized that the language becomes second nature, much like English subtitles for foreign films. Beka Cooper is a fourth-year Dog, the Tortall word for cop, operating in a world in which mages are commonplace and palaces are protected by layers of powerful spells. In Mastiff, a cabal of mages, nobles, and slave traders kidnaps four-year-old Prince Gareth. Beka and her colleagues pursue him using magic; a scent-tracking dog named Achoo; and good, old-fashioned police work. Notwithstanding the many instances of sorcery and butchery necessary in a novel of this type, Mastiff is character-driven rather than action-packed. The language is rich and earthy, adding a feast of curse words to readers' lexicons. The theme of gender roles is central to this book and the others in the trilogy. Beka's skills as a cop and her midden-mouth are nicely contrasted with the noble women who worship the "Great Mother," who demands submissive acceptance of what, in other worlds, are considered "a woman's place." Ambition and duplicity—including a devastating betrayal of trust by one of the main characters-are constant themes. Yet it is also a love story, a buddy book, a picaresque novel, and, of course, a fantasy. A must-have for mature teen collections.—Nina Sachs, Walker Memorial Library, Westbrook, ME - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 12/01/2011 This concluding title in the Beka Cooper series is the best yet, a tasty blend of detective work, romance, magic, and treachery. A king’s son has been kidnapped and Lord Gershom calls in the best team he has—Beka Cooper; her clever canine tracker, Achoo; Beka’s partner Tunstall and his Lady Sabine; and a seemingly bumbling mage known as Farmer Cape—to find the prince before it is too late. There are close calls and major twists, and the trilogy ends with a satisfying, if brief, connection to characters from Pierce’s other series set in the world of Tortall. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.