In the twenty-sixth and final part of Bloodhound, I have buried myself in tears. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to finish Bloodhound.
no nope nooOOOOOOOO MY EMOTIONS
I was hit pretty hard by the end of this book, and so let me start off saying that I’m glad that there is another book in this trilogy or else this would have devastated me beyond all hope. It’s not even that particularly sad or anything! It’s just that there’s so much here that feels final. It’s the thought of what the future is going to hold for these characters. It’s the return home. IT’S THE RETURN OF POUNCE, OH MY GODS, I WAS NOT AT ALL READY FOR THAT AT ALL.
Let’s get to it.
After being asleep/unconscious during the intense healing session she got, Beka wakes up to Lord Gershom, who provides the appropriate amount of last-minute exposition and tear-jerking unfairness. We learn the following from him:
- There are a good number of folks in Port Caynn who are convinced that Goodwin and Beka framed the Rogue. Which… isn’t all that surprising? It really isn’t! While I got the sense that both Corus and Port Caynn accept the presence of Dogs in their city, the corrupt Dogs in Port Caynn would lead those people to be more inclined to believe that the police are always corrupt.
- Beka and Goodwin’s wounds were POISONED. That could have been because of Pearl’s weapons, or it could have been from hanging out in ACTUAL HUMAN WASTE, but it’s why Beka was unconscious for so long.
- pounce pounce POUNCE POUNCE POUNCE!!!
- Goodwin’s ear will forever be disfigured due to Pearl, but she’s okay with it!
- Pearl and her conspirators are being held in Corus until their trial, which will start once Beka and Goodwin are able to give evidence.
- The surviving Finers have been released safely, and they are understandably angry. 🙁
- Sir Lionel is a noble, so while he’ll be stripped of ever holding office, he’s probably not going to face any legal ramifications for what he did. As Gershom puts it, “Knowing his father, I think there will be all manner of humilations there, but they will be private ones.” BOOOOOOOOO
- Beka, Goodwin, Nestor, and Sergeant Axman will all receive King’s Awards for their service, NO, I’M NOT CRYING YET, I SWEAR just kidding I’m overwhelmed.
- Achoo is perfect and nothing happened to her because she’s perfect.
- Pearl and her gang were planning on executing the same plot in the Yamani Islands OH SHIT.
And then I’m destroyed:
“But you and Goodwin did far better here than even I expected, and I will not be forgetting it.”
I smiled sleepily at him. “I have the very best of teachers, my lord.” I might not have spoken so boldly, had I not been getting tired all over again. “I started with you, didn’t I?” I fear very much that I went to sleep before his eyes.
Hahaha, wow, I’m fine, I swear.
Really, the return of Pounce to Beka’s life was just SO HUGE to me. I missed his sarcasm and his aloof attitude. I missed his catty (HA) comments. And it sounds like he was up to some shit while he was gone. (Headcanon: since he’s a constellation god thingy, time is immaterial to him, so he was off helping Alanna, and his death in her timeline sent him back to Beka.)
Anyway, there was a lot more to be wrapped up in this book, and I felt like the remainder of Bloodhound from this point on was bittersweet. There are a lot of changes here. Beka’s fire opal cracked into pieces from the sewer water, for one. That’s a small detail, sure, but it’s part of a larger picture. It’s not long after this that Goodwin hints at her big reveal later, nor is it long before Dale Rowan arrives at Serenity – to bid goodbye to Beka. I suppose I wanted to entertain the notion that they could make a relationship work, but it really was too complicated to pull off, especially considering that they hadn’t pushed towards any sort of monogamous arrangement. I appreciated Dale’s honesty here, but it didn’t make the goodbye any easier. I came to like Dale a lot, and I definitely respected him even more for his kindness towards Beka in his last scene with her.
But it was time for Beka to go home. However, even that won’t be the same. On the boatride back to Corus, Goodwin reveals that she’s had enough field work. She’ll be taking Ahuda’s place in Beka’s kennel, content to be a desk sergeant. And after the hellish experience that was Pearl Skinner, I don’t blame Goodwin. She was pretty seriously injured by it, but she also found that it no longer excited her. Now that I think of it, there have been hints towards this along the way. How many times did Goodwin say that she missed Tom? We know that Goodwin is comfortable at home with her husband, and perhaps this will give her more time to do so, at least without the threat of losing her life IN A FLOODED SEWER.
Which means that TUNSTALL WILL BE BEKA’S OFFICIAL PARTNER. AND I APPROVE OF THIS IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY. oh my god, the buddy cop dynamic will be at an ALL TIME HIGH, y’all. It’s an exciting thought, and Beka’s reunion with Tunstall at her and Goodwin’s surprise party is just a hint at how ridiculous this is going to be. (LADY SABINE OH MY GOD I MISSED YOU.) But I am excited to see how Beka will continue to grow as a Dog in the coming book because Bloodhound was such a fulfilling experience for me. Y’all know I feed off character development like it is oxygen. Look what Beka was able to do here! In the end, she earns the nickname of Bloodhound from her fellow Dogs, and it’s an immense sign of respect. Again, Pierce isn’t saying that Beka is perfect. Goodwin and Tunstall did their fair share of (justified) criticizing of Beka’s behavior, and Beka certainly has a lot to learn. I hope a lot of that comes in the form of official training for her and Achoo! I’d love to see them learn to be even better than they already are.
Actually, let me save some of that for my predictions post. By all rights, this book should have been boring. It was a dense, prolonged examination of counterfeiting and the affects it would have on a complicated port city. But holy shit, I loved it, so so so so so much. It’s not without a few problems. Now that I’m at the end of the book, I must admit that I’m disappointed that we didn’t get a final scene with Nestor or Okha. And I think that while I appreciated Okha as a character (because not many fantasy authors delve into queer relationships), I still think there’s a problem with the equivalence of a drag queen and a trans women, which are entirely different things that are unfortunately combined into the same character with no critical analysis. Still, I want to see Nestor and Okha again! VERY BADLY.
Oh, well. Off I go to make terrible predictions and start Mastiff!
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