Mark Reads ‘Bloodhound’: Part 2

In the second part of Bloodhound, Beka, Tunstall, and Goodwin uncover evidence of a deeper counterfeit conspiracy, and then DOOGY DOGGY DOGGY. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Bloodhound.

Trigger Warning: For discussion of violence against animals at the end of the review.

I finished recording that third video and then I’m not even kidding, I just sat there and realized that OH. ACHOO IS A BLOODHOUND. THAT’S THE NAME OF THE BOOK OH MY GOD.

I’m an adult, I swear.

So, it’s clear that the counterfeit plot is going to play a large part in this novel, but I don’t quite see how this is going to make up a full novel. It’s certainly interesting, and I love that the economics of Corus are playing a part in this narrative. It’s different! It’s a new exploration in the same setting and with the same characters! AND YOU BETTER BELIEVE I WAS EXCITED THAT BEKA WAS BACK WITH GOODWIN AND TUNSTALL. I mean, I do want to see Beka get a partner of her own, and if that is what this novel is for, I’m also into that. But they’re the best crime-fighting trio when they’re all together and I’m so entertained.

The first half of this section is largely spent gathering information and reminding us why Goodwin and Tunstall are the best. Which is mostly because I love any chance Goodwin takes to make fun of Tunstall dating Lady Sabine. IT’S TOO FUNNY. Anyway, after much discussion, the five Dogs (including Birch and Ersken) head to the Barrel’s Bottom, which is clearly Beka’s favorite place ever, so that they can hopefully smoke out some more coles. It’s a slim lead, but it is a lead, and it definitely proves to be fruitful for them. I was a little worried that something would happen to Ersken based on Beka’s concern, but thankfully, the mini raid goes off without a hitch.

Well, things are immediately complicated, I suppose, by the first people to leave the Barrel’s Bottom after Birch stirs up suspicion: three of Aniki’s rushers. Like elements of the first novel, Beka still has to navigate her complex position as a Dog and a friend to rushers and Rogues. This time, though, I thought it was pretty damn awesome that Aniki more or less supported Beka and the dogs through her rushers. She’d already told them about the coles, and they all knew better than to mess with colesmithing and Beka. I realized because of this scene that one of my favorite things about how this world is written is the fact that there aren’t dichotomous divisions of good and evil. Even in terms of “legal” and “illegal,” the line is thin. The barrier is blurred constantly. And most of what this comes down to is surviving. The Dogs accept a certain amount of lawlessness as necessary for some people to live!

And then the two folks from Port Caynn make things even more complicated. After finding coles on the man, he refuses to name himself and insists he won them on a boat while gambling. I guess it’s entirely possible that he and his friend are telling the truth and that they actually don’t have anything to do with the coles appearing in Corus. We don’t know, and we won’t until at least the next section because of the Gemcutter’s Guild. I don’t quite understand how the Guild works, though that’s mostly because I feel like there’s a lot more to be revealed in the book. Essentially, though, it feels like a combination between a union and a lawyer. The hobbled Rats (who would be furious that I called them that, lol) won’t talk until they get their advocate, though they promise to be honest once they do. Beka and the other Dogs are also very aware that the advocate will get these two out of the cages, and most likely without any real charges. So they’re frustrated, naturally! But there’s nothing they can do, so Beka merely fetches the Mistress Advocate and goes about her day.

There’s clearly something here. I like Beka’s theory that someone is intentionally gambling with those coles in order to make their money back (and more) by swapping them out with coppers. And my guess is that she’s right; it’s a counterfeit ring, not a sole person.

Anyway, the next morning, Beka is rose grumbling from bed by Tunstall, who lost a coin toss to Goodwin and now has to go after Baker Garnett. I LOVE SO MANY THINGS ABOUT THIS SCENE. I love that the second Tunstall presses Garnett on the coles and realizes he’s kept them, Beka and Tunstall communicate so quickly and with ONE SINGLE WORD SPOKEN BETWEEN THEM. Yes, the trio are incredible together, but it’s a nice reminder that Beka actually pairs off with both Dogs extremely well. But I’m also endlessly amused whenever Tunstall does his nice guy routine because HE CAN BE SO INTIMIDATING. Yeah, he’s a giant goofball manchild to me, but I love seeing that other side of him.

I also had to remind myself what a horrific offense it was to counterfeit coins. It’s almost like blasphemy in this culture; it also explains how Tunstall is able to twist Garnett into writing down the six names of the people who used coles to pay for his goods. The threat of Execution Hill is real! And Garnett was caught with undeniable evidence that he was taking the coles he got and repainting them with silver so he could give them to others and protect himself. That’s something that Beka harps on later: This man sought to protect himself first, instead of thinking how coles hurt everyone the more they circulated.

POUNCE. POUNCE. As good as a Dog. (MY FAVORITE LINE IN THIS.) The final scenes of this section show us what a little shit Pounce is (I ADORE HIM PLEASE GIVE ME WILD MAGIC) when he more or less orchestrates a confrontation between Beka and Hempstead, who is now in charge of Achoo the bloodhound. You know, I’ve had this sneaking suspicion for a while that Pounce is way more responsible for events than he’s let on, and I wouldn’t be surprised if his conversation with Beka prior to coming across Hempstead was specifically to distract her so he could lead her to Achoo.

I have no complaints about him doing this, though, because like Beka, I absolutely cannot deal with people who abuse animals. Hempstead is horrific here, and it’s clear that in all his egocentric glory, he has no idea how to treat any dog ever. Of course, he blames Achoo’s behavior (WHICH IS PERFECTLY FUCKING NATURAL, YOU FUCKHEAD, SINCE ALL DOGS EVER SNIFF AROUND) on her instead of taking half a second to see things from her point of view. I’m also creeped out by people who constantly refer to themselves as “master” of their pet dogs without any sense of irony at all? It’s so creepy! Of course, he follows this line with a personal jab at Beka, so I was 1000000% done with him at that point:

“She’s got no discipline. She’s useless! Won’t obey a command in plain Common instead of some foreign jabber! No sense of who’s master!” He leaned in. I could smell the drink on him. He was swilled, and the hour not even noon. “Just like you. Terrier.” He laughed.

dead. to. me. 

I just wanted to sweep Achoo into my arms and nuzzle her and give her kisses and Y’ALL KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE DOGS. THIS WAS TOO MUCH. But gods, Beka is a great companion to Achoo, and I’m already excited to see them work together. I mean, I really think that this book is called Bloodhound because these two are going to work together for the remainder of the story. I also think Kora won’t be able to resist giving Hempstead his comeuppance, and while I don’t want Beka’s life to be complicated more than it already has, I KIND OF WANT BEKA TO DESTROY HEMPSTEAD.

Pounce, telling everyone all of Beka’s secrets. You little shit.

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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