The Beka Cooper books by Tamora Pierce are some of my favorite books ever. I’ve been fan of Tamora Pierce since I was 12 and I will probably continue to be a fan for many many years. She is, quite frankly, frakkin BRILLIANT, and what she’s done here with this series shows you exactly why.
Beka Cooper is an ancestor of George from the “Song of the Lioness” quartet (aka the “Alanna” books), 3 or 4 generations back, I think. In George’s time, Tortall is very much like 16th century Englad, and very much like any other medieval Sword & Sorcery type fantasy world you’ve read before. Therefore, you would assume that if you went back about 100 years earlier, you’d get something akin to 15th century England. You’d be wrong.
Pierce’s genius switches things up by making Tortall’s past more like medieval England’s future. Instead of houppelandes and the Sheriff of Nottingham, we get riot gear and Bobbies. The setting is just as much a character as Beka herself – you wouldn’t have one without the other.
Another (self-proclaimed) “risk” that Pierce took was to tell the entire story in first person, and in the form a diary no less! The diary style is perfect for Beka’s story because everything she does is driven by personal conviction. She’s an awesome character that, even if you can’t relate, you can absolutely understand her motivations.
I’ve read “Terrier” (and it’s sequel, “Bloodhoud”) a few times already, and I can’t WAIT for the 3rd book, “Mastiff”, to come out later this year!