In the twenty-third part of Bloodhound, Beka catches up with old friends and prepares for the raid. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Bloodhound.
REUNIONS. FRIENDSHIP. EAR-TWISTING. UNENDING NERVOUSNESS. Oh, shit, y’all, I’m so close to the end of this book, and it’s ruining me.
I was most anticipating Beka’s reunion with Goodwin, and I was not disappointed. I totally dig the fact that Pierce is dropping these two characters straight into the buddy-cop dynamic and then not looking back. I mean, seriously? Goodwin is the straight character to Beka’s wackiness, which is even funnier when you realize that Beka wasn’t the risky one before. It was Tunstall! (Goodwin even confirms this out loud.) As Beka relates some of what she’s done since Goodwin left, Goodwin basically acts like the superior officer who’s annoyed at the rookie officer’s absurdity. WHICH INCLUDES BEKA WEARING A BLACK GOD’S HABIT IN FRONT OF HER OH MY GOD. It is beautiful, it is everything I have ever wanted, someone frame this and put it in a museum. Ear twisting like she’s a mother. I love you Goodwin.
Reunions and planning
There’s a huge chunk of this part of the book devoted solely to Beka’s report to the group of Dogs, mages, magistrates, and knights, and in the process, we see SO MANY FAMILIAR FACES AGAIN. Lord Gershom! Sir Tullus, who is now UTTERLY AMUSED by Beka’s ENTIRE EXISTENCE. There’s Jewel, Yoav, Ersken, Birch. I MISSED THEM SO MUCH. But there’s no real time spent on them until they leave the countinghouse and shit gets unbearably real. Here, Pierce focuses on Beka’s attempt to relate her entire story as best as possible. Beka’s been stripped of the false identity that she used to hide behind while undercover. (Well, technically, does that count as undercover if she didn’t technically change her identity?) So her anxiety of speaking in front of strangers returns, but she makes small strides in getting better. She doesn’t do too bad! I did love that little moment where the mages were offended by the reveal that she could talk to the dead. DEAL WITH IT, DUDES.
After Beka does her job and answers all the questions Gershom allows, Gershom begins the intricate planning stage. I was fascinated by this because Pierce had spent a great deal of time making the world of Port Caynn and it’s rich cast of characters into a complicated framework of intentions and motivations. There’s never been an easy answer along the way, and that’s evident in the plans that Gershom executes. They’ve got to take Sir Lionel before he leaves town; they’ve got to take in Pearl Skinner and most of her minions while taking minimal damage; they’ve also got to deal with the impending food crisis; and they’ve got to cope with the vacuum of power that will be left in the wake of taking down a Rogue without offering a replacement. While all of these issues are addressed, there’s still an air of uncertainty to the planning. Sir Lionel? I think they’ll get him without any problem. Pearl? Lord, she’s going to put up a nasty fight, and it’s probably the thing I’m most worried about. She’s vicious, we know this, and Zolaika is still alive, too. Like I said before, she’s got everything to lose, so I don’t think I should discount how risky this is.
The people of Port Caynn? The Rats? That’s… complicated. It is! Because you can’t control how information spreads. While Serenity offers to help out – using the temples to help spread news that it was Pearl Skinner who was the colemonger – it’s not the answer. It’s just one. I agree with Nestor that at this point, the best that they can do is just get the news out that the authorities aren’t responsible for the economic crisis. They just need to make sure that the people of Port Caynn don’t turn on them. The same complication arises in the issue around the loss of a Rogue. There’s only so much they can do, you know? And while Fair Flory is a BRLLIANT choice for a replacement, it’s not guaranteed that she’ll take the position OR that she’ll survive long enough to be the new Rogue OR that she’ll be accepted by the Rats OR – well, you get the point. Too many things could happen.
The Raid, Part I
Because I am who I am and this is what I do, I’ve been cliffhanger’d. Beka gets put with Gershom’s group that is going to capture Pearl Skinner, and I spent the pages leading up to the confrontation more nervous than I’ve ever been in this book. Along the way Beka has an adorable conversation with Ersken about how Rosto is jealous as hell about Beka finding a man to spend time with in Port Caynn. IT MADE ME LAUGH.
As far as I could tell, it looked like Pearl and her people had no idea that the Dogs were coming to get her. They managed to surprise the guards (and Ersken got hit on in the process!), and right as the Dogs ram down the doors, Beka is “weary.” AND THE ENTRY ENDS. Now I understand why this was written days after this. SO MUCH HAS ALREADY HAPPENED and Beka is still recounting the events of a single day. Oh god, what transpired in the Riverside court? I AM SCARED TO FIND OUT.
The original text contains use of the word “mad.”
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