In Tamora Pierce's new fantasy, BEKA COOPER, Beka is a sixteen-year-old rookie with the law-enforcing Provost's Guard in Corus, the capital city of Tortall. She's a "Puppy" assigned to two veteran "Dogs" to patrol the Lower City, a tough beat, but one she requested as she was born there.
The veteran Dogs aren't too happy to have Beka tag along with them. But even through Beka isn't much of a talker, she's a good listener. Also she has a unique gift. She can hear the murmurs of the dead through the flocks of pigeons that hangs around her place.
Though this she learns that the children of the Lower City are being kidnapped and murdered. This is something she won't stand for. Or as Beka says, "The Lower City is mine, its people are mine. If I find them that's doing all this kidnapping and murdering, they'd best pray for mercy, because once I get my teeth in 'em, I will never let them go."
Oh, yeah. Beka is true to her word.
I loved this character!!! She's one tough teen but human too. I love the scene where she's at a stand and watches a bully abuse his older sister. He then makes the mistake of trying to rough up Beka. She blocks his swing, grabbing his wrist with her free hand and yanks him toward her over the counter. Beka refuses to bow down to this street thug.
But then she shows her human side by getting so nervous at a court hearing she can't speak. And she loves her younger brothers and sisters, even though her sisters are embarrassed of her.
Tamora Pierce has given us a character that is likable and someone that will stay with the reader long after the last page is read. My writing mentor told me that a writer needs to do this in order for the reader to want to continue to read the story. And this book more than delivers.
BEKA COOPER is a Cybil nominated book.