Terrier by Tamora Pierce.
Beka Cooper Series
Random House: NY, 2006.

Beka Cooper is the heroine of an exciting new series. She is an ancestor of George Cooper, the Rogue from the Alanna series. In this first book, she is training to be a Provost Guard, the law enforcement officers of Tortall. Because of her potential, she is given the best Guard partners as trainers. She uses her magical abilities, fresh perspective, and desire for justice to catch 2 mass murderers, convincing her partners, assorted friends, and inhabitants of the Lower City to help in the search.

At the heart of the book is a power struggle within the criminal network of the city, and just maybe Beka and her friends can change the dynamic of that structure.

Considering the topic, there is less violence than what you would expect. There is less magic than the usual Tamora Pierce book, but it is a strong, interwoven story with much suspense, interesting character interaction and plenty of loose ends leading to the books to come. It's one of the best of Tamora Pierce's books with perhaps only the Protector of the Small series being as strong.

I hope people won't be put off by the thickness. Keep in mind it is short with wide spacing, so less words than it looks like, and it is fast-paced. Can't wait to see more of the Cooper family history!

related-police, fantasy, magic, Tortall, Beka Cooper, law enforcement, criminals, murder mystery, social issues

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