Mark Reads ‘Terrier’: Part 8

In the eighth part of Terrier, so much has happened and I can’t even comprehend how much of this book is left. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Terrier.


  • I seriously cannot get enough of Clary Goodwin, and I’m slowly becoming convinced that she might be my favorite fictional creation of Tamora Pierce’s. She’s so fascinating to me, and in this chapter, we see her being TENDER. I love that there are degrees to her, and that while she’s tough and cold most of the time, it’s also clear that that’s not all there is to her. It just makes me want to know everything about her ever. She’s sympathetic towards Jack Ashmiller after his wife was the one who hurt Goodwin so badly the night before, and I love that Beka gets to see this side of her. I’ve commented before that Beka’s sense of kindness is a huge part of her identity, so it’s nice that she can witness the toughest woman she knows also being kind.
  • That same behavior can be seen in the way that Goodwin reminds Beka that she’s earned more than just her meals for the night. It’s obvious to me that Goodwin has come to respect Beka’s creativity, her dedication, and her work as their Puppy.
  • And then EVERYTHING IS ON FIRE. (Oh god, my mind instantly thought, “It’s Twoflower’s fault, isn’t it?) Kayfer finally gets his revenge on Crookshank, and it’s by setting the man’s house on fire. (Of course, it’s possible that someone else set the fire, since Crookshank has a lot of enemies, but I really do think Kayfer did it.) Pierce writes the scene as a thrilling and tense rescue mission as the three guards rush into the house to save everyone. Y’all, Pierce does scenes of urgency incredibly well. Like, in every book! They’re always so good.
  • Anyway, POUNCE. POUNCE. Oh my god, he’s so glorious, I swear. How much longer until Beka tells Goodwin or Tunstall that her cat really is more than he seems? Because after what he does in this chapter, I suspect that Goodwin is fairly convinced that he’s not just a cat anymore. Goodwin is particularly sly in this scene as well, and with Pounce’s help, she’s able to find a stack of secret notes hidden in compartment in Crookshank’s desk.
  • More on those notes in a bit because I NEED TO DISCUSS BEKA’S CONVERSATION WITH TANSY. Pierce doesn’t shy away from an uncomfortable truth in this chapter: Attention paid to dead or missing children is often tied to social status. And in the case of people who live in the Lower City, they’re all used to their children disappearing without any official attention whatsoever. It’s a brutal truth, and it’s one that sadly references a truth in our world. Issues of race and class affect whether or not law enforcement agencies utilize resources for specific communities, you know?
  • The whole thing is especially heartbreaking for Tansy because she lost her son due to someone else. As she begins to detail the horrifying work of the Shadow Snake – who has been blackmailing and threatening and murdering children for up to three fucking years!!!! – it’s clear that she resents that she was pulled into this nightmare just for being related to Crookshank.
  • This whole situation is seriously disturbing, y’all.
  • “She spoke,” Tunstall said. “Goodwin, did you hear? She actually made a joke. It was practically conversation.” OH MY GOD I LOVED THIS BIT SO MUCH.
  • Oh god, so let’s talk about the notes Goodwin found. I don’t get what’s going on. Which is frustrating because I’ve never felt like Pierce has ever plainly laid out all the clues like this. The Snake knew that Crookshank had the fire opals, threatened the man for some, but then increasingly asked for more.  And Goodwin was right to claim that Crookshank knew that he had something the Snake wanted. Even after Rolond was killed, the Snake sent a third note that simply said, “You have more to lose.” Oh god, nope.
  • Even if I’ve mentioned it before, I love pointing out Beka’s constant attempts to humanize the people around her. She refuses to view people as statistics or ideas. She does that here when she thinks fondly of Rolond; it prevents her from thinking of him as nothing more than a murder victim. He was a person to her. The same goes for her thought process of Tansy.
  • And it’s part of the reason she’s so upset about the fact that the Dogs can’t do everything and save everyone. She knows the numbers that she was trained to memorize about crime in different districts, but this is all a willing rejection of the idea that statistics should rule how she polices this place. These are always people to her, and they’re her people.
  • The next day, Beka is finally visited by the ghosts of the people she heard murdered in the spinners. WHERE THEY APPARENTLY REVEAL THAT THEY WERE DIGGING A WELL THAT ENDED UP BEING THEIR GRAVE? Oh god, I could totally have read that wrong, but THAT IS SO HORRIFYING.
  • F R I E N D S H I P. Look, I’m just so terribly happy that Aniki and Kora moved in to the same building as Beka. I LIKE THEM. A LOT. And this chapter establishes an adorable bond between them, and it’s so exciting! They’re such genuinely nice and respectful people! THEY BROUGHT HER BREAKFAST. That is the easiest way to become friends with me. BRING ME FOOD WHEN I MOST NEED IT.
  • There will be a challenge to this friendship, though, and it’s one that Pierce acknowledges fairly quickly. The three newcomers – including Rosto, that is – are all trying to make a living in Corus while working on the opposite side of the law from Beka. It’s simply the reality that Beka’s going to have to deal with. Will she cut these three some slack in doing her duty? I think we’ll see Beka struggle with this later on.
  • Again, reminder that Pounce is way too much in this part of the story. I really feel like Pierce has distilled all cat behavior ever and put it within Pounce. HE IS EVERY CAT I’VE EVER HAD.
  • OH, ERSKEN, YOU’RE SO ADORABLE. I’m glad that we’re going to see more of him and Beka’s other Puppy friends!
  • We also got confirmation of how old Rosto is. I actually thought he was much, much younger than 22. (Well, I suppose that’s just a guess on Beka’s part. Maybe he is younger?)

Video 1

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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