Parents' Guide to

Mastiff: Beka Cooper, Book 3

By Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Uneven finish to exciting but violent crime/fantasy trilogy.

Mastiff: Beka Cooper, Book 3 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 12+

A bad end to a good trilogy

Mastiff: Beka Cooper was a bad end to a good trilogy. It was almost as if someone else wrote the book; the characters' personalities/attitudes were just so different than they were in previous books! The plot was predictable, slow, and there was a bit of unnecessary things added in. I hate to sound harsh since I'm a fan of numerous books written by Pierce, but this just wasn't very good.
age 14+

A slightly disappointing end to a great trilogy...

I am a fan of Tamora Pierce and the Beka Cooper series was one of my favorites. Beka is a strong female character who remains true to and fights for what she believes in. She thrives in a career that has historically male connotations. Plainly, she is a tough lady. In the series finale, Beka remains true to form. Loyalty is a huge element in the books and Beka focuses on maintaining strong familial bonds and relationships with her friends - human, animal, and magical. Because Beka's relationships have been steadfast throughout the trilogy, I was extremely disappointed in this book. While I would recommend it to fans of the series (of course, you have to know how it ends!), it simply was not my favorite. Without being a spoiler... I was just left feeling unfulfilled. For me, the series closed in an unsatisfactory way. A note on content: the violence in the book is graphic and the suffering of the slaves excruciating, which may be upsetting to some readers. Beka is not quite so cavalier with her sexuality in this installment of the trilogy, but there are a few intimate scenes.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

There's no question that Mastiff brings Beka's story to an exciting and mostly satisfying conclusion, but the book has more rough spots than most of Pierce's other novels. The abrupt introduction of a dead fiance whom readers never got a chance to meet feels awkward and makes it difficult to jump right into the story; the whole situation frankly seems out of character for Beka and unnecessary to the larger story.

Other smaller scenes/moments/incomplete explanations pop up along the way that are just jarring enough to distract readers from what's otherwise a tense crime procedural with some interesting twists and turns, and that's too bad. The book also seems a bit overlong (usually not an issue at all with Pierce's work), but the introduction of Master Farmer is a welcome one (he's sort of the Han Solo of Provost's mages), and Beka remains -- as always -- a heroine you're happy to root for. One note for readers who may not be familiar with Pierce's other work: This series serves as a distant prequel to the Alanna books, so you might want to check those out next if you haven't already.

Book Details

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