Thursday, March 11, 2010


Tamora Pierce mentioned the Provost's Dogs, the proto-police force of her pseudo-medieval city of Corus, in her very first novel about the fantasy kingdom of Tortall, Alanna: The First Adventure.  She hasn't said much about them since, but in her new series she delves into the history of the Provost's Guard.  Beka Cooper is a rookie in the Guard--since they're the Dogs, she's a Puppy--learning to walk the fine line between law and justice on one side and workable corruption on the other, always keeping in mind that her first responsibility is to the people of her district, where she grew up.

Interesting departure for Pierce in some ways: her first foray into first-person narration, for one thing.  Most of her books have been about knights or mages, both in their own ways elite classes even when they came to their current status from a background of poverty; this one looks at the city's poorer class from the inside.  This is also her first prequel series, set two hundred years before her other Tortall books, in the age of the lady knights who had become legend long before Alanna disguised herself as a boy to train as a page.

But I have some problems with the character of Beka; she's too smart, and gets too much respect for a rookie, and her announced character flaw of extreme shyness hardly slows her down at all in practice.  When her training partners refer to her as "the sharpest Puppy of all" the dreaded words Mary Sue inevitably sprang to mind. 

Not that this is going to stop me from reading the rest of the series.

Originally posted at MySpace 12/2/06

No comments:

Post a Comment