By Tamora Pierce
The latest book in Pierce's Tortall stories continues the tale of Beka Cooper, ancestor of the Rogue in Alanna's time. Young Beka has passed her training with the Dogs of the Provost’s Guard (Tortall's medieval police force), but she can't seem to get a good partner. It has become a joke, with her friends and colleagues taking bets on how long each new partner will last. Finally, after being humiliated by the latest partner, Beka sees a Dog mishandling a scent hound named Achoo. Losing her temper, she takes on the poor animal.
Temporarily partnered back with Goodwin and Tonstall, the faithful pair who got her safely through her training, the three stumble across counterfeit silver streaming into the city causing food prices to soar. A bread riot in Corus ensues, knocking Tonstall out of action with broken legs. The Lord Provost sends Clary Goodwin, Beka and Achoo, undercover, to Port Caynn to try to discover the source of the counterfeit money.
The mission is a dangerous one, as the Rogue of Port Caynn, a nasty mot by the name of Pearl, might be in on the counterfeit; the Lord in charge of the Dogs in Port Caynn will do nothing to stop the Rogue; and a budding romance for Beka threatens to distract her from her duty. Helped by the pigeons, dust spinners, and Achoo, Beka and Clary must sniff out the counterfeit ring before the whole monetary system of Tortall implodes.
Beka’s wit and spirited temperament shine through in this enchanting, fast paced fantasy world that is well structured and peopled with balanced, full characters.
Part of my 100+ reading challenge