In the sixth section of Bloodhound, I WAS SORT OF RIGHT BUT THEN NOT AND OH MY GOD THIS IS SO EXCITING. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Bloodhound.
I bet a lot of you were cackling when I said (MULTIPLE TIMES) that I didn’t understand where this book was going because I WAS SO CLOSE TO LEARNING THE TRUTH. And lord, the sheer possibility for this book just shot through the roof because I LOVE THIS. I LOVE IT, AND I CANNOT WAIT TO WATCH GOODWIN AND BEKA ACT OUT A BUDDY COP / UNDERCOVER COP SITCOM FOR ME. THERE IS A 0% CHANCE THAT THIS WON’T BE HILARIOUS, I CANNOT WAIT.
There’s just…. there’s just so much here that I love. Tamora Pierce delicately threads the tension into this entry through a number of techniques. We’re curious as to why Ahuda sent for Beka; then, we get brief section where Beka admits that her head is spinning after what just happened before she launches into a lengthy description of EVERYTHING EXCITING FOREVER; then, Ahuda leaves her desk. AHUDA LEFT HER DESK ARE YOU READING THIS SHIT??? I didn’t even realize how much I’d associated Ahuda with the visual image of her lording over all the Dogs until Karel took her place and led Beka and Goodwin to the secret meeting.
WHICH IS UP A SET OF STAIRS THAT THEY RARELY GO UP BECAUSE THERE’S NOTHING OF USE UP THERE.
AND THEN LORD GERSHOM IS THERE DRESSED ALL FANCY AND NOTHING MAKES ANY SENSE. Actually, the nickname Ahuda gives Pounce – Master Saucebox!!! – is 100% sensical, and I cannot get over how perfect this is. Anyway, all of the Commanders are in the room, and it was clear that some shit was going down. But who cares about any of that because SERGEANT NESTOR HARYSE. I CAN’T. FINALLY. I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT HIM. Oh my god, CANONICAL GAY CHARACTER WHO WILL HAVE TO PLAY A BIG PART IN THE NARRATIVE. !!!!!!!!!!!!! DON’T MIND ME, JUST THROWING A PARTY IN MY OWN REVIEW !!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, now that I’ve got that out of my system, allow me to gush about this meeting. Initially, I thought it was a clever and necessary way to move the colemonger plot along. It showed the reader how serious and potentially disastrous it was that so many counterfeit coins were entering Corus through the gambling dens. It was also fascinating to see so many senior Dogs all in one place, you know? Some of these people we’d only met briefly or not at all, and it gave me a chance to understand how the administration of the Dogs worked. As the commanders and sergeants spoke openly about their plans to stop the colesmithing (as well as acknowledging the possibility of the rye poisoning), I because to wonder why Beka was there. having her take notes seemed a bit strange, since… well, why did they need notes taken? Wasn’t there something who did this sort of things for senior meetings anyway? I began to think that Beka would be involved in the investigation in a manner that took advantage of her unique Gift. Hell, I even convinced myself (prior to Ahuda’s part) that the scene with Raaashell was meant as foreshadowing, that Beka would use the spinners in Corus more and more in order to track down talk of the fake coles.
Mithros, I wasn’t even close.
“Why not send Goodwin and Cooper? Goodwin’s one of our best, and she’s worked in Port Caynn before. Cooper can use the experience in a strange town and with investigation. She’s already shown a talent for that.”
My initial reaction: THIS IS BRILLIANT AND PERFECT.
My secondary reaction: EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS IS PERFECT AND BRILLIANT.
My reaction now, an hour after I first read this: GOODWIN AND BEKA TOGETHER, UNDERCOVER, SOLVING CRIMES, THIS IS MY ACTUAL DREAM SCENARIO.
I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this. That’s not to say that this isn’t a difficult, complicated twist to the story, and Pierce does a fantastic job addressing how hard this is going to be for Beka. BUT OH MY GOD I LOVE IT.
Goodwin’s Past / Beka’s Future
Look, I’m calling it now, more out of desire than any sort of prediction: I think that while in Port Caynn, we’ll get to learn more about her “loose” past. I was just as shocked as Beka was when Goodwin revealed that before she was a Dog, she was certainly on the wrong side of the law. SHE NEARLY DIED BECAUSE OF THIS, and that’s how she came to work for the Dogs. And now she’s returning to Port Caynn, where she has a storied past? OH MY GOD, THERE’S NOTHING ABOUT THIS THAT DOESN’T MAKE ME EXCITED.
Plus, Pierce acknowledges the challenge they’ll both have to face in Port Caynn. For Goodwin, she’s going to have to engage with a part of her that she left behind years ago. She’ll have to spend money gambling poorly that could have a million better purposes, and she has to leave her husband Tomlan behind. But I think Beka is going to have the most difficult time in Port Caynn. In order to pull off their investigation, Beka and Goodwin will have to invent a narrative to not only explain Beka’s presence, but to cast all suspicion away from her so that she can do her job. This involves her having to pretend that she’s a spoiled, entitled Dog, relying on Lord Gershom’s favor to keep herself out of harm. It’s everything that Beka has studiously avoided in her training! Hell, that’s precisely why she’s so upset later on about the Pell’s death. She doesn’t want other people to think she can’t defend herself. Except now she has to deliberately act as if she’s helpless and airheaded, won’t she? No one can suspect that she’s smarter or more clever than she appears to be.
This will be infinitely more difficult, at least at first, because Pounce reveals that he’s not coming to Port Caynn with her. I have no shame for how this messed me up because… shit. I depend on Pounce being in the narrative. I’ve gotten so used to him and his sass and advice that I’ve relied on it. But I’m glad he points out that Beka has clearly been well for herself; he knows that his absence is going to upset her. I don’t know what business he’s attending to, but I was very sad that he wouldn’t be accompanying to her. (Oh god, is that why he was so bold about speaking to other humans as much as he has in the past few days? DID HE KNOW HE WAS LEAVING? OH GODS.)
Tunstall / Lady Sabine
I relished the chance to get to see both of these characters from a different perspective here. Am I going to miss Tunstall’s humor and his charm and his ice cold intimidation techniques? Of course. And I’ll miss Lady Sabine, too! But before the narrative departs from them for the time being, we get a glimpse of their relationship and a more emotional side to their lives. I did feel like this was also an intentional thing Pierce did so that we’d understand that these two characters were not defined by their jobs or their toughness. In each other, they’ve found the kind of companionship that most people look for their entire lives. I admit that I was a little shocked by how close they’d grown, but not because I thought it was out of character. When Sabine and Tunstall first started courting each other, I simply wasn’t sure if it would be a serious thing. But reading this scene between them here in Bloodhound, it’s undeniable that this is special. They toy with one another, but it’s not cruel. It’s all from a place of love and respect. As Beka says:
It’s delightful and lonely to watch them together. They are so different, but they fit so well. I’ve known married folk who’ve been together twenty year and had ten children who don’t fit as they do.
So it’s comforting in that sense that Goodwin and Beka will be leaving Tunstall behind because… well, he’s got Lady Sabine, and they’re so good for one another. Of course, as Goodwin predicted, Tunstall is furious with the decision. But I noticed that he didn’t fight them as much as I thought I would. Look how quickly he resorts to giving Beka tips and advice! He goes from resentful to protective in a matter of seconds, and it’s super adorable to me. He knows there’s nothing he can do, you know?
Does this mean that Tunstall will be absent for most of the book? THIS IS SO UNEXPECTED. Hell, all of this is unexpected, but y’all, I’m so endlessly excited to read more.
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