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Mastiff: The Legend of Beka Cooper #3

Mastiff  - Tamora Pierce I give warning now of many many spoilers in the following words, but there's no way I can do this review without explaining things thoroughly. My overall feeling about this novel is one of confusion; not for the current story and plot, but for the main characters development. Beka who I’ve known for the last two books to be someone who analyzes things, thinks things through, and doesn’t give in easily to the flatteries of men. So I was beyond lost when I start reading the first pages and they talk about Holborn, Beka’s fiancé who has just died. Let that sink in…give it a minute. I’ll repeat it just to make sure you get it. I said, Holborn, Beka’s fiancé who has just died. Who the hell is he? Where did he come from? And how the hell did Beka end up involved with that silly cove?! Seriously! I felt as if I was missing a book, or maybe a short story. But there is nothing amiss! The story just starts that way.Alright so forget Holborn for a moment. Aparently Beka never loved him really because she wanted a man, not a kid. So why be engaged to him? As I was saying, forget him. The prince has been kidnapped and Beka and her team (Tunstall, Achoo, and Pounce) are on the Hunt. This is one of the things that really make me love the series, the hunting and detective-like aspect of Beka’s job as a Dog. But then while on the Hunt Beka starts falling in love again…after knowing the guy for only two weeks! Is he the rebound guy or something? Just someone to get over her fiancés death? Oh no. Because, you see, Beka really loves him. Enough to ask him to marry her! WHAT!? I just couldn’t believe it, not because of her choice, but the manner in which it was made.Honestly I don’t have anything against her picking Master Farmer, even though I was a firm supporter of Rosto. He is charming, funny and a mage. I have a thing for mages, just mention Numair (from Tamora’s Immortals Series) and I go weak at the knees. But then, what happened with all the hints of Beka and Rosto in the past books? What happened in those three years that skip between Bloodhound and Mastiff? I’ve no idea, and it confused me because Beka is not the girl I thought she was.The ending also had two what-the-hell moments. One of them I’m not even sure can be classified PG-13 with all that talk about hiding things on ones person. And the traitor revealed was a shocker. I mean, come on, after all these years! Can people really turn so quickly against each other? I’ve no idea. Overall I’m giving this 4 out of 5 just because it’s great storytelling. But when paired with the other two books in the series it’s like a discordant note.