Review: Terrier

Posted: 28/04/2015 in book reviews, books
Tags: , , , ,

Terrier by Tamora Pierce

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Content warnings: death, abuse, violence, non consensual kissing

I’m not going to talk about any of those content warnings. They all exist in the book (the latter not til near the end). They fit into the context of the book. They exist. That’s all.

I AM going to talk about how Tamora Pierce writes compelling female characters for the YA audience.

So the book starts out prior to Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness, #1) by Tamora Pierce. Way prior to (as in George is 6 years old prior) and reflects back onto Beka’s journal.

The book tells of Beka joining the dogs (the police force in this fantasy world) and her first year of training. Near-ish to the end they start referring to her as a terrier with how tenacious she is. She is at first embarrassed and then embraces the nickname.

This book kind of sets up some of Alanna. Particularly how The Dancing Dove came into existence.

We get Beka’s mention of priorly canoodling with others (canoodle meaning sex acts) and how she’s not slut shaming herself for it or anything. She mentions it very matter of factly that it happened and it was ok for her but it wasn’t anything spectacular. We got this in the Song of the Lioness quartet too. I love that. She states that it happened like it’s as natural as breathing or getting dressed (which is about how much attention it really should be given IMO). It’s not saying it’s wrong. It’s not saying it’s necessarily right. It’s just saying that hey it happened and it didn’t take anything away from her as a person when it did.

And Beka isn’t the ONLY female dog or puppy (the puppies being the trainees for the dogs). In fact it’s shown that there’s quite a few female puppies and dogs. And that the women are given as much respect (if not more in certain situations depending on the woman) as the men. Which is great.

And we get a lady knight as well who is shown to be pretty badass.

If you were to put this book up to a bechedel test, it would definitely pass. I’d say probably about half the characters of importance in this book are female. And they talk about things OTHER than how attractive x or y is. There is a little bit of it yeah but most of the talking about guys is talking about catching x,y, or z for this or that crime. We’re even shown women in positions of power. Though the one we’re shown isn’t shown to be romantically involved with anyone or talk about anything besides her work. Which is completely reasonable. There are women who throw themselves into their work and don’t deal with dating or anything. And if they do they don’t talk about it at work and manage to keep their work and personal life separate. Which she manages to do (though it’s not mentioned that she has much of a personal life).

One of the female dogs that Beka gets paired with (she gets a female and male pairing) is married and her husband is shown as cooking a really good meal while she goes out and gets into brawls to break them up and arrest people. That was really nice to see.

One of the main villains turns out to be an elderly woman which is pretty cool. As she’s shown to be a multi faceted greedy type character (literally you could change her to male and it still would have read about the same).

The book does kind of end abruptly but I didn’t mind it as this book is well over 500 pages.

Buy it here:

Amazon|Barnes & Noble

View all my reviews

  1. […] Legacy(Tamora Pierce) Beka Cooper trilogy Content warnings: violence, death, heterosexual romance Terrier Content warnings: death, abuse, violence, non consensual kissing Bloodhound Content warnings: […]


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