Mark Reads ‘Terrier’: Part 17

In the seventeenth part of Terrier, EVERYTHING IS GETTING SUPER INTENSE. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Terrier.

SWEET MOTHER OF GODS.

Changes

Sadly, Verene’s death is made EVEN MORE TRAGIC in the beginning of this section. Phelan shows up to the daily breakfast get-together and reveals that he quit the Dogs. And really, as conflicted as Beka is about this, I think she understands why Phelan made this choice. As it turns out, Rollo’s poor behavior and OTELIA’S DRUNKNESS contributed to the death of Verene. The whole thing is just too unfair for Phelan, and he can’t deal with the institutional problems anymore. Really, that’s what this touches on: there are drunks and hotheads in the Dogs, and most likely due to how few Dogs there are to begin with, they’re simply tolerated. They’re given specific duties, and their transgressions are ignored out of necessity.

So I wasn’t surprised that numerous Puppies left. I was warned that this was the case; it’s just so sad and unfortunate that Verene’s death brought this about.

The Diggers

AND THEN EVERYTHING GETS SO MUCH WORSE. Y’all, the entry for May 5th reads so differently after you know what happens on the following day. At that point, Beka had confirmed TWENTY-THREE KIDNAPPINGS. It was a horrible number, and while she felt she was zeroing in on the final number, it was still growing. That’s nearly a kidnapping a month for two straight years, and I’m sure the actual number is a lot higher than that. And then Beka is upset that she’s no closer to discovering the location where the diggers were buried or if any new diggers have been hired, and the weather sucks, and everything is frustrating and sluggish.

SO OF COURSE ON THE NEXT DAY EIGHT DIGGERS’ GHOSTS SHOW UP AT BEKA’S ROOM. oh my god OH MY GOD ARE YOU SERIOUS???? HE DID IT. Crookshank secretly hired eight more diggers, had them unearth his precious fire opals, and then had them murdered, all without Beka getting any closer to discovering proof of where this was happening. Y’all, this shit is so bleak, and I NEED ANSWERS. Thankfully, things aren’t impossible after this section, and Pierce brilliantly gives us clues towards the resolution of this horror. I was fascinated by the way in which A MILLION THINGS HAPPEN AT ONCE because it sets the entire city at unease, and it’s thrilling to read. It’s clear that something huge and earth-shattering is about to happen. SHALL WE DISCUSS?

Hasfush

First things first: Beka immediately heads to Hasfush to see if he’s got any information about the killings the night before. Unsurprisingly, he’s remarkably silent on that front, at least at front. That’s something that Beka’s had to learn the hard way with this case: the answers aren’t going to be handed to her, and truthfully, the evil get away with their deeds all of the time. However, Pounce has to remind Beka not to be rude to the spinner just because he doesn’t have what she wants, and it’s because of this THAT SHE GETS A CLUE.

JENS. JENS. The name of one of the guards who was at the dig site both times is JENS. That’s a fairly common name, I assume, but it’s the first concrete detail that Beka has gotten. IT’S A START. And that matters because a place to start means that the case can finally gain some much-needed momentum.

The Court of the Rogue

There are a few important points between the scene with Hasfush and the one with Kayfer, but I’ll touch on them in later sections. The next major event in Beka’s day involves the collection of the Happy Bag at the Court, and it quickly becomes an UTTER DISASTER. I’m so glad that Pierce has spent as much time as she has explaining the complicated politics of the Rogue because it made this scene so… well, easy to understand! I got why Crookshank’s behavior was analogous to him igniting a fuse, one that would end with Kayfer exploding in a violent rage. That part hasn’t happened yet, but oh my god, everything here is so tense.

Crookshank arrives to accuse Kayfer of being the Shadow Snake, since HERUN WAS JUST KIDNAPPED. Which is an important detail in and of itself, since Herun is the first adult taken by the Shadow Snake. Why change his pattern? Is he that desperate for more fire opals? And then we’ve got Crookshank, who is absolutely certain that Kayfer is the Shadow Snake. I don’t think I’m that far off to suggest that the man believes this because of his own grudges, and I would honestly be surprised if Kayfer were the Shadow Snake himself. It doesn’t quite make sense to me. But Crookshank’s certainty is what inspires him to not only charge into the Court to accuse Kayfer, but to bring over forty hired folk TO SEARCH THE ENTIRE PLACE. Crookshank brought outsiders to the Court, and he did so with no hesitation.

Pierce conveys just how horrifying this is, mostly through the eerie image of the streets completely fucking empty. Everyone who might have any knowledge of the Rogue knows that as soon as the raid is done, Kayfer is going to get his revenge on the city, and that means EVERYONE GOES INDOORS. No gambling. No animals fights. Nothing at all. After spending hundreds of pages learning about the Lower City and the culture and the nightlife, it’s unsettling to read about Beka and her Dogs walking the streets and coming across no one at all who might have any sort of connection to the Rogue:

The rushers, doxies, spintries, and drunks had all gone to ground. Everyone wanted to see what the Rogue would command once the invaders had left his Court. There were no cockfights or dogfights, no corner dice games, and scarce tavern business. I’d never seen it so unnatural.

LORD.

Gunnar and Yates

There’s a point earlier in this section where Tunstall, Goodwin, and Beka spot Gunnar and Yates milling about, and it’s because of this that I realize I didn’t really pay attention to the fact that Yates’s men are terrified of him. So, knowing that, Gunnar’s role in this section is all the more perplexing. Beka suggests that while Crookshank and his men are at the Court, they should search his house for possible clues the Shadow Snake left behind. Initially, I was confused by what happened here, but I’m much more confident that I understand the order events. Sort of. It seems that Gunnar (and probably Yates) knew that Crookshank wasn’t at his home, so Gunnar was either sent there or went of his own volition. He tied up the servants and the cook, then did the same to Tansy and Annis, all in the hope of finding where the fire opals are.

Which makes more an interesting scenario because how the fuck does Gunnar know about the fire opals? But it’s more than just that:

“Bad idea,” Gunnar told us. “Ye don’t want to go crossin’ Yates, not ever.”

WHAT THE FUCK WHY? Why are these boys so intimidated by Yates? All I ever felt about him was that he was a jerk, a rude and abusive Rat who does what he wants. Aren’t all of these boys who are friends with him like that? WHAT DON’T I KNOW ABOUT YATES NOLL? Oh god I’M SCARED.

Y’all, this part of the book was SO INTENSE. I mean, we also have Phelan working with Rosto now, too??? So Beka has a ton of conflicting feelings about that as well, and it’s part of the emotional overload wrought by recent events. I really feeling like we’re amping up for the climax of this book, and SHIT IS GETTING REAL.

The original text contains the word “mad.”

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

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About Mark Reads

Vegan cyclist, Internet community nerd, atheist bookworm, high-five purveyor.
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