Mastiff - Tamora Pierce

Goodreads Book Blurb:

The more secret the Hunt, the more dangerous the mission.

Sometimes a distraction arrives at just the right time. After suffering a terrible loss, Beka is grateful when Lord Gershom calls on her with a top-secret Hunt. He informs Beka that she and her scent hound, Achoo, are the best team for the job, but he won’t tell her anything else. And when the pair is joined by a wide-eyed young mage who seems too green to be on a case of such importance, it becomes clear that threats lurk around every corner. Soon they are wading deep into a world of power, corruption, and betrayal that threatens the Tortall royal family. Beka must decide whom she can trust with her country’s future…and her life.

Series / Genres:

My Review:

absolute favourite:
5/5
Now that is how you end a series. A nice slow burn building the tension, a funny and complex new character, complicated politics and alliances, excitement, heartbreak, and satisfaction. Was I happy with some of the choices certain characters made? No. But they were logical, made sense to the plot, didn’t rewrite history, and, if nothing else, provided an unexpected twist. From his first introduction, Farmer was perfection. He doesn’t take anyone or anything seriously, including himself. He’s able to buckle down and get shit down while maintaining levity and keeping others at ease. He’s powerful, knows his own limitations, and is always looking out for others. Able to use others’ perceptions against them, he doesn’t show off, he just gets the job done. I loved him and he was an excellent addition to the team.
It’s not surprising he’s an ancestor of George’s, they have a similar sense of humour – George had to get it from somewhere! I could not have picked anyone better for Beka, no matter how much I liked Rosto.
The long, drawn-out Hunt was incredible. It stayed exciting and the tension just kept building as they got closer to their goal. The stakes started high and kept getting higher as more obstacles were placed in their way.

In regards to the twist…
As heartbreaking as Tunstall’s betrayal was, it’s been foreshadowed for some time. Ever since meeting Sabine and being laid up after the Bread Riots in Bloodhound, he’s obviously been smarting over the lack of recognition and status being a Dog, even a Dog with an outstanding record, has provided. Everywhere they go, Sabine has elevated status and presence and their relationship is considered a joke. While Sabine has never complained, has never wanted to get married, and loves Tunstall, he thinks that she is lying to protect his feelings. So, yes, Tunstall’s betrayal was heartbreaking and surprising but I refuse to listen to the reviews that say it doesn’t make sense or rewrites the character. There is plenty throughout the series to support Tunstall’s actions.
An excellent ending to a strong series, Pierce did some excellent work here. From start to finish, Beka is a remarkable woman. She’s realistic, emotional, and feminine, makes mistakes and learns from them. She’s determined and powerful, knows how to use her gifts to her advantage, and works hard to protect others. Just another incredible role model from the Tortall universe.

I looked up to see that Master Farmer was staring at me. “What?” I asked.

“I don’t think I’ve heard you say so many words in the entire time I’ve known you,” he replied. “Is it because you’re tired? Is there something in the lamb cakes, or the marsh air?”

Tunstall grinned, the mumper. “Cooper likes maps.”

“She talks enough, when you know her,” Lady Sabine added.

I scowled at the document before me. I was going to ignore Master Farmer. What could I say, after all? Just because I’m no jaw clacker doesn’t mean there should be a ruction put up whenever I have sommat to say.

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