Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Tamora Pierce weaves a masterful tale of treachery and treason, magic and mayhem in this final episode to the Beka Cooper trilogy. The four-year-old prince has been kidnapped and made a slave in a violent attempt to overthrow the king. Beka, her scent hound Achoo, and her partner Tunstall are assigned the secret (and dangerous) task of finding and rescuing the prince. They and their companions set off across the country, tracking the slavers and their deadly mages. Traitors are everywhere, though, making it difficult for Beka to know whom to trust.
I was so glad this book was longer than the others. The length gave Pierce time to really develop the characters and the story. She kept me guessing until the end as to who the traitor was. I was, however, a bit sad that most of Beka's friends from the first two books only made brief appearances, although that made sense for the story.
For readers' advisors: story, character, and setting doorways. There is a lot of slang (and made up slang) in the Beka Cooper books, so it's nice that Pierce includes a glossary at the end.
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