She's a Dog now—a full-fledged member of the Provost's Guard, dedicated to keeping peace in Tortall. But there's unrest throughout land. Counterfeit coins are turning up in shops all over the capital city of Corus, and the nation's economy is on the brink of collapse.
The Dogs discover that the counterfeit money seems to originate in Port Caynn. So Beka heads upriver to investigate, traveling with her mentor, Goodwin; Achoo, a hound whose nose is as sharp as her claws; and the pigeon Slapper, who carries the voices of the dead.
In Port Caynn, Beka delves deep into the gambling world, where she meets a charming banking clerk named Dale Rowan. Beka thinks she may be falling for Rowan, but she won't let anything—or anyone—jeopardize her mission. From the Silversmith's Guild to the Provost's House to the city sewers, it won't be enough for Beka to be her usual Terrier self. She'll have to learn from Achoo how to sniff out the criminals—to be a Bloodhound. . . .
I still hold firm to the belief that Tamora Pierce is flawless.
This, like Terrier, was a reread. However, unlike Terrier, I have only read Bloodhound once before, and that was perhaps two years ago. So now, picking it up again? I knew nothing but the basic plot. There were many twists and turns that had completely escaped my memory. This is why I enjoy letting books sit for a while before picking them up again; the story seems a little new when you can't quite remember it.
Honestly, there isn't much to add that I haven't already said in my review of Terrier. The world-building, the writing, and most of all, the characters, are all completely fantastic. In the sequel to Terrier, we get to leave the Lower City and travel to the coast city of Port Caynn. I loved the change of scenery, for several reasons. For one, it was refreshing, exploring an entirely new place. I love Corus and the Lower City, but a little switch of scenery is always appreciated. For another, I loved seeing Goodwin and Beka in a different environment. They weren't the same rough, assured Dogs covering their home turf. In Bloodhound, you see so many different sides of these two fabulous characters, and I love it.
Which brings me to the third reason I love this little change: the characters. There are so many new characters in this installation, and I love every last one of them. I love Hanse, large and rowdy and completely crooked. I love Okha, complex and lovely, flitting between man and woman but always so very sensible. I love Nestor, sweet and stubborn and badass. I love Dale Rowan, the charming flirt, the gambler, the man who is not perfect in any way but it is good enough for Beka. I even love Pearl, the murdering Rogue with a sweet spot for animals.
But most of all . . . I love Achoo. Achoo is undeniably my favorite character in this series, and one of my favorite characters, period. And yes, she is a scent hound. No, she doesn't speak. Yes, she is the sweetest, loveliest, most loyal, bubbly, and fantastic hound one will ever read about, and if you don't love her you do not have a soul.
I did miss Pounce and his dry comments, though Achoo certainly made up for him. I wish the conflict he'd settled amongst the stars had been elaborated upon; while I realize that Pounce is rather tight-lipped on that subject, as it is, it seems as though that was simply a plot device to get him out of the way. So we could see how Beka fared without her constellation cat.
Pounce-ness aside, the plot was incredible. Most books with such a formidable length have a tendency to drag, and I often think that significant portion could've been cut without harming the story. I've never gotten that feeling from one of Tamora Pierce's books. In her novels, every page counts. There is not a single thing that doesn't happen for a reason. This plot is huge and complex and perfect, and I really can't say much more without spoiling the book.
Honestly, even if this book weren't wonderful in its every aspect, I would recommend reading it just for Achoo. Her magnificence leaks through the pages.