I know, I know, it’s cheating to combine three books into one week. But I’ve read this trilogy before, and since I read them all in one week, I think it’s fair to write about them all at once.
Some of you may already know this, but for those of you who don’t: I am obsessed with Tamora Pierce. She’s my all-time favorite living author (I don’t believe she’d begrudge me my loyalty to Tolkien), and her book Magic Steps is the book that made me first want to write stories.
One of the things I love about Tamora Pierce novels is that they consistently feature strong, female characters, and Beka Cooper is no exception. She’s a total badass – tough, no-nonsense, and fiercely intelligent. But what makes her, like all of Pierce’s characters, stand out is the fact that she isn’t solely defined by any of those things. Being tough doesn’t mean she’s heartless, being no-nonsense doesn’t mean she doesn’t know how to have fun, and being fiercely intelligent doesn’t mean she doesn’t mess up and make mistakes like everyone else. Beka is great because she’s real. She’s made of fears, insecurities, and failures, as well as courage, strength, and plenty of hope.
This is a fantastic trilogy – each book is over five-hundred pages long, but they’re fast reads because there’s plenty of action to keep you flipping pages until the last. Beka is a rookie in the Provost’s Guard (the police for all intents and purposes), and it’s all she’s ever wanted to be. But Beka has some unusual birdies giving her tips. See, she can hear the ghosts of those who haven’t passed on yet, and she’s made it her mission to help the lost souls find their way to The Black God. Her stories are part mystery, part crime-drama, and part good-old-fashioned-fantasy-adventure. As an added bonus, the books take place hundreds of years before Tamora’s Song of the Lioness Quartet, so if you’ve read those there are some sweet tie-ins to be found here. That’s something she does really well – she creates these massive worlds, with a whole slew of colorful and unique characters, and then she manages to tie them all together seamlessly from series to series. It’s fantastic. And if you haven’t read anything from her Tortall Universe yet, Beka Cooper is a great place to start.
Trust me, a few chapters and you’ll be hooked.
Rating: 5++++/5 stars