|A Novel of the Tortall|
|Antagonist||The Shadow Snake, Crookshank|
|Setting||Corus in 246 HE|
|Cover Artist||Jonathan Barkat|
|Release Date||Oct. 24, 2006|
|UK Release Date|
Terrier is book one in the Provost's Dog trilogy by Tamora Pierce. It centers around protagonist Rebakah Cooper, ancestor of Eleni Cooper and George Cooper. Her story takes place about 200 years before Alanna: The First Adventure. The book is about Beka's first weeks as a puppy, or trainee, in the Provost's Guard.
Beka Cooper is placed with Senior Dogs Matthias Tunstall and Clara Goodwin, two dogs famous for their work in the Lower City. Soon, they begin investigating the murder of three-year-old Rolond Lofts, son of Beka's friend Tansy Lofts and great-grandson of Ammon "Crookshank" Lofts, a rich criminal. This leads them to the realization that many children have been kidnapped and held for ransom in the last three years. If the child's parents pay the ransom, usually a valuable item in the parents' possession (such as a lily necklace, a ruby pendant, fire opals, curses, etc...), their child is returned to them. If not, the child is killed.
Supposedly, the villain behind these kidnappings is the Shadow Snake, a being from a legend used to scare young children into behaving. Beka, however, does not believe this and sets out to learn what's really happening.
Meanwhile, things are unstable in the court of the Rogue, a league of criminals. Kayfer Deerborn, the current king of the Rogue, is old and frail, and young hopefuls flock into town. Notably, one such hopeful, Rosto the Piper, and his two female friends, become friends with Beka.
Soon, Beka realizes that the Shadow Snake, or whomever is posing as the snake, is not the only crook working on a large scale lately. She suspects Crookshank of hiring workers to dig up rare fire opals from him - and killing the workers afterwards. However, there is little proof for either mystery and Beka, as a puppy, cannot go after them as she would like. Still, she continues to hunt for clues.
Spoiler Alert: The following section contains spoilers about Terrier.
The Prologue itself is divided into three journal entries.
The first entry is taken from Eleni Cooper's journal of March 18, 406 HE. She has just fetched her son George from the local guard station because he has been caught stealing. As Eleni wants her son to become a respectable citizen she tells him of their famous ancestress, Rebakah Cooper, who was a guardswoman and strict about abiding to the law, in the hope that George will take her as an example.
It follows an entry from Ilony Cooper's journal of November 13, 240 HE. Ilony is the mother of Rebakah Cooper and worried for her daughter because Beka claims that the pigeons talk to her. Ilony takes Rebakah to Fern Cooper, Beka's grandmother, who tells them that Beka isn't mad but has a strange kind of magic which allows her to hear the dead spirits who ride on the pigeons. The spirits hold on to the pigeons when they are not ready to pass on and Fern tells Rebakah that they may have information which can be useful to her. Fern adds that Beka can not only hear dead spirits but also the voices caught on breezes which the dust spinners collect. Finally Fern invites Rebakah to come to her regularly so Fern can teach her how to use her magic.
The last journal entry was written by Matthias Tunstall on November 13 of 244 HE. Lord Gershom invited Tunstall, a guardsman in the Provost's Guard, and his partner Clara Goodwin to dinner at Naxen's Fancy, a fine eating house, because they arrested Bloody Jock, a murderer, rapist and thief. They as Lord Gershom how he managed to arrest the Bold Brass gang in 238 HE. The gang had been committing burglary for about a year before they were finally imprisoned. Lord Gershom tells them that neither of the rumours which they had heard was true. In fact it was a eight-year-old girl, Rebakah Cooper, who told him where to find the Bold Brass gang. Afterwards Lord Gershom took the Coopers in to live at his household as thanks and because Beka's mother, Ilony Cooper, was deadly ill.
April 1, 246
Rebakah Cooper begins writing her journal and gives some general information about herself. This is her first day of duty and she is highly enthusiastic that she will be successful at her work.
When Beka arrives at the guard station and meets her fellow trainees of whom only Ersken Westover, Verene and Hilyard are named it is revealed that Beka is the only one of them who is glad that she was assigned to the Lower City. While the first Puppy, Ersken, is assigned to his training Dogs, a woman enters and asks about the murder of little Rolond Lofts. Ahuda tells her that they don't know who strangled the boy, yet, but that his great-grandfather, Crookshank had made enough enemies in his lifetime. The investigation of the boys death was given to Nyler Jewel and Osgyth Yoav, one of the best Dog pairs in the Lower City. However, they wouldn't search very hard for the murderer as Yoav, too, holds a grudge against Crookshank, as her sister committed suicide on behalf of him. After the woman left the assignment of the Trainees to their training Dogs continues. Beka is the last one who gets to know who her partners are. To her surprise she is going to work with Clara Goodwin and Matthias Tunstall, two of the best Dogs in the Lower City. Her new partners are just as surprised and take this news quite differently. While Goodwin is furious and doesn't want a Puppy at all, Tunstall takes it calmly and is content with having a trainee.
As Goodwin doesn't succeed in refusing to take Beka as their Puppy, they leave together for their first night on duty. Before they get far, however, Pounce introduces himself to Beka's new partners. Although irritated at the beginning, Goodwin can't help it but being just as intrigued and charmed by Beka's pet as Tunstall. Thus they continue on their way to Crookshank. They pass the Nightmarket, where they meet Deirdry Noll. Mistress Noll mentions her acquaintance to Rebakah and Goodwin and Tunstall ask if she saw anything related to the murder of the little Rolond Lofts, but the old baker says that she didn't see or hear of anything related to it. She claims she would tell the Dogs, if anything came to her about it.
After having some pastries given to them for three Beka and her training Dogs are on their way again to visit Crookshank. While Tunstall and Goodwin talk to Crookshank, Beka goes to see her friend Tansy Lofts, who lives in the same house and is half mad with grief for her dead son, Rolond. The pregnant woman only begins to eat and see reason again after Beka dumps a pitcher with water on her. Shortly before Beka has to leave again, Tansy tells her of a rock that her husband, Herun Lofts, gave her the day before her son was taken. She says that the stone brought bad luck with it, even though Herun claims that the stone will make them rich. Because Tansy doesn't want it anymore, she gives the stone to Beka. After this Beka and her training Dogs are on their way again.
They break a brawl on the Nightmarket up and decide they earned their supper afterwards, thus continue on to the Mantel and Pullet. After having some trouble while getting the ale for her training partners and meeting a man who is new to Corus, Beka tells Goodwin and Tunstall about her discussion with Tansy and shows them the stone. Even the experienced Dogs don't know what sort of stone it is.
About the rest of her watch Beka writes the next day.
April 2, 246
Beka begins this day with writing what happened after she and her partners had something to eat the previous night. She is embarrassed because she gave chase to a cutpurse, all eager to catch him and prove how good she already is at her work, but misses his lookout, who tripps her. Thus she falls in a pile of fish garbage, which causes quite a few jokes on her behalf the following days and her her self-esteem to sink.
Rebakah begins her next day with feeding the pigeons in Glassman Square to hear if their ghosts have something new for her. Her pigeons don't have any major information that day, only a little bit about a boy being kidnapped and held together with two other children before being killed. Beka also pays a short visit to her grandmother, Fern Cooper, that afternoon.
Before Beka and her partners can go on collecting the Happy Bag from the Court of the Rogue, they go to see the mage on duty, Fulk. They present him the stone Beka got from Tansy Lofts the night before but Fulk tells them that it is worthless. He wants to keep it for further testing but Pounce jumps on Fulk, making the mage drop the stone. It slides through a whole in the floor and is seemingly lost. Goodwin and Tunstall are quite surprised when they are on their way to the Court of the Rogue and Pounce appears with the lost stone.
They continue to the Court of the Rogue where they have a short encounter with Deirdry Noll, who is there with her son to persuade Kayfer Deerborn to give up some of the good flour he has bought as she didn't get any. While waiting for the Rogue to talk to them Tunstall has a conversation with the chief of Prettybone District and Goodwin and Beka meet Rosto the Piper and his two girlfriends Aniki Forfrysning and Koramin Ingensra. They are new in Corus and claim that they just want to be entertained although Goodwin thinks that they may want to challenge the Rogue. Their conversation is interrupted however when Crookshank arrives and accuses Deerborn of being the Shadow Snake. Although Deerborn rejects these charges Crookshank tries to stab the Rogue. Rosto steps in and saves Deerborn's live, which gives Rosto a good start at the Court of the Rogue. While Goodwin and Tunstall collect the Happy Bag from the Rogue Rosto and his two friends begin a conversation with Beka.
After they have passed the Happy Bag on, Beka and her partners are on their way again. They are called to a family with a drunk and violent mother, the Ashmillers. Orva Ashmiller hits Goodwin, which breaks her jaw, and flees. Beka sets after her and subsequently catches her after chasing Orva through the whole of the Cesspool. Beka arrests her and brings her back to Jane Street kennel, where Goodwin is treated by a healer.
Goodwin, Tunstall and Beka have something to eat at the Mantel and Pullet and speculate about Crookshank, the Shadow Snake and the Rogue. Finally they continue their patrol of the Cesspool and when they are finished Beka's legs hurt terribly.
April 3, 246
Beka begins her day with visiting the dust spinners of the Lower City. They don't have anything specific for her but Hasfush was really disturbed because he had the noises of seven to nine murders, all at once, in himself. Beka visits two other spinners who have collected breezes which had caught noises of the murder.
She is interrupted by Tunstall who arrives and tells her that they are to go to see a mage who can tell them about the stones. The mage turns out to be Jungen Berryman. He works for the Gem Merchant's Guild and has experience with gemstones. He tells them that the stones are very rare and valuable fire opals. There is even an auction of fire opals to be held in July although normally only a handful of these stones enter a market every year.
Shortly after duty for the Evening Watch begins fire is set to the house of Crookshank. While Beka helps getting the people out Goodwin searches Crookshank's rooms. Pounce opens a hidden compartment to reveal notes written by the Shadow Snake and addressed to Crookshank. In these notes the Snake demands fire opals. As Crookshank didn't pay up his great-grandson Rolond was taken and killed, when Crookshank still refused to pay. The notes also reveal that the Snake isn't done with Crookshank, yet.
Outside Tansy tells Beka that her son wasn't the only victim of the Shadow Snake. She points a dozen more families in the crowd out who were targeted by the Snake. When she hears Beka can't believe that the Dogs didn't do anything about it but Tunstall and Goodwin explain to her that there aren't enough of them to do their everyday work, let alone search for missing children. Often the parents sell the children to the slave traders themselves or kill them. Beka swears to herself that she will put a stop to it and catch the Shadow Snake.
April 4, 246
This is the first day on which Beka hears the spirits of the dead diggers. It is also the day on which Rosto the Piper, Aniki Forfrysning and Koramin Ingensra move into Beka's lodging house. She gets immediately friendly with Kora and Aniki but doesn't quite know what she should make of Rosto's living in the same house with her. Verene, Phelan and Ersken also arrive, wanting to make sure that Beka doesn't spend her whole day alone. Together the seven have their first breakfast together on Beka's floor. When Beka and Ersken go to get some more food she enlists his help in getting information about the Shadow Snake.
Beka and her partners have a mostly quiet night on their watch. They raid an illegal slave auction, Beka being able to capture one of the leaders, who wanted to escape through the side entrance where Beka was stationed. However they get into trouble near the end of Evening Watch, when a brawl in the Barrel's Bottom breaks out and Goodwin and Tunstall try to get order into things. They are outnumbered seven to one. Thus it is lucky that Sabine of Macayhill, a lady knight, is present and sides with them. When the Dogs from Night Watch arrive - the watch has changed by then - the four of them quickly leave, letting the Night Watch do the rest. While Beka goes to her lodgings Tunstall and Goodwin decide they will grab something to eat together with Lady Sabine.
April 5, 246
This day isn't quite eventful. Beka and her friends have breakfast in her room, where Verene shares the newest gossip. One of which is the news of a dead Dog, who had been on the other side of the law. There is a new pigeon, too, Mumper, who carries one of the dead digger's ghosts, although he doesn't have any new information. This nights duty is also uneventful. For the most part only small-time criminals.
April 6, 246
It's Court Day. This means that Beka doesn't have duty that day. Instead she spends the whole day in the Magistrate's Court, mostly witnessing the testimonies of other Dogs on their captures throughout the week. However, she has to report on one case herself. It is the rule that the Dog who was there for the whole process of capturing a criminal makes the report. In the case of Orva Ashmiller that would be Beka. She is very intimidated by speaking in front of all the people present and the reputation of the Magistrate, Sir Tullus, of not having much patience, doesn't help, either. In the end Tunstall has to get up and do the beginning of the report, although this, too, would be Beka's job. She manages her part with much stammering and is very glad when she can be seated again.
April 7, 246
It is Tuesday, Beka's day off. She decides to visit her brothers and sisters at Provost's House. On her arrival she is heartily welcomed by Jakorn, one of her first teachers and also one of Lord Gershom's personal guards, and Myaral Fane, her adoptive aunt and the cook at Provost's House. The welcome she receives by her sisters isn't as heartily. They are with Lady Teodorie's other maids and although they make no jokes on Beka's expense like their companions, they don't stand up to her, either. They don't even really welcome her and also refuse to hug Beka. The conversation with Lady Teodorie doesn't go well, either. The Lady tells Beka how she brought shame to all of them with her poor performance in the Magistrate's Court the preceding day. It is clear that Lady Teodorie still disapproves of Beka's being a Dog; as it is clear that she has still hope that Beka may change her mind, in which case she would be all too ready at helping Beka as good as she can.
After she is dismissed from the lady's presence Beka decides to go feeding the pigeons. They have news for her, or at least some further information on the dead diggers, of whom Beka already knew. She learns that there were nine diggers, all of whom are present as ghosts in orchard, where she feeds the pigeons. They can't give her any real information about where they were killed or by whom. Some time after the pigeons are gone Lord Gershom comes and talks to Beka about the previous week. In this she realises that it has really only been her first week and that she did fairly well for it, even if she didn't do everything right from the first moment on. He also tells her to take three more items from the gear room, as she didn't take enough the last time.
Her meeting with her brothers goes better than meeting her sisters. Nilo is really enthusiastic about Beka and Will is also glad to see his oldest sister, once he returns from the palace, where he was doing his work as a messager. They have a good time until Diona and Lorine arrive. An argument starts when Diona tries to slap Nilo and Beka prevents her from doing it. Beka leaves after the head hostler told them off for making such noise in the stables.
On her way home Beka meets Mother Cantwell, a beggar. She catches her at stealing and they strike a bargain. Beka won't arrest Mother Cantwell, who will in return keep her ears open for news of the Shadow Snake or more diggers being hired. Before Beka goes to her lodgings she passes by Mistress Noll's shop on Daymarket to get some food for their next breakfast. There she doesn't only meet Gemma Noll, Mistress Noll's youngest daughter, but also Yates Noll. He gets violent against Beka and only leaves after Lady Sabine also arrives. After an advice to Gemma to go to the temple of the Great Mother Goddess for help as she shows several bruises, most probably from her brother, Beka and Lady Sabine part, Beka bound for her lodgings.
April 8, 246
This morning at breakfast Beka tells all of her friends about the Shadow Snake and the vanished diggers. All of them promise to keep their eyes and ears open, surprising Beka by their willingness to help.
Later that day, when she is on duty with Goodwin and Tunstall, they are on Nightmarket. There they visit the booth of Mistress Noll, who apologizes in the name of her son for the incident the preceding evening. All are surprised when Beka's friend Tansy arrives. She still wears mourning for her dead son and seems to be on the brink of tears. She is accompanied by a maid, whose name is Vrinday Kayu and who seems to be rather a mage than a maid. Inky, the pigeon who has been carrying the ghost of Rolond, comes. Rolond wants to talk to his mother so badly that he takes control over the pigeon. Tansy is startled by the bird and even more so, when she suddenly hears her dead son's voice because she is touching Beka. She tells Rolond that he is dead and must move on, which he eventually does, finally finding his peace with the Black God. Afterwards Vrinday Kayu accompanies Tansy home and Beka and her partners are on their way again through the Nightmarket.
Over supper they decide to pay Dawull, the Rogue's chief of Waterfront District, a visit as they suspect him of being bribed by Crookshank. On their way to Dawull they encounter Lady Sabine and two of her fellow knights, who decide to go with them to Dawull. The confrontation with the Rogue's chief doesn't bring them any new information and of course Dawull denies having anything to do with Crookshank. Aniki, who works for Dawull, sits with them for some time and gets friendly with Lady Sabine. After their watch Tunstall returns and it is later revealed that he even danced with Lady Sabine, while Goodwin still disapproves of their initiating affair.
April 9, 246
In the morning Kora tells Beka about a woman she met while doing the laundry whose neighbour's child had been taken by the Shadow Snake. Both young women visit the woman. She tells them that the Snake demanded a lily pendant for the child but doesn't have any other really helpful information. After returning to her lodging house Beka remembers how Lord Gershom handles complicated cases which is by doing maps. Thus Beka herself makes a map which shows where the victims of the Snake were took and where they were found.
On their watch that evening didn't happen much. They collected the Happy Bag from the Rogue and had their regular duty afterwards.
April 10, 246 - April 13, 246
Beka doesn't write much in her journal on these days as she has a cold. Thus she only writes the most important things like new victims of the Shadow Snake, which she mostly gets from Aniki and Kora.
April 14, 246
It's Beka's free day again. However she decides against going to Provost's House. Instead she visits her grandmother, Fern Cooper, who advises Beka to tell her Dogs about the maps she made to keep track of the Shadow Snake victims, and some of the Shadow Snake victims afterwards with Aniki and Kora. Two of the potential victims are revealed to having sold their children to slavers and just using the Shadow Snake as an excuse.
April 15, 246
When they muster for duty that day Beka follows her grandmother's advice and tells Tunstall and Goodwin about the maps. They give her some additional advice and tell her to make copies of her map for them and to keep those copies up-to-date. Afterwards Goodwin also wants to see Beka's dust spinners. Beka takes them to Hasfush. He had nothing new about the Snake or the dead diggers, but Beka got news of another murder from him. Goodwin and Tunstall called for two additional pairs of Dogs, including one of the scent-hounds, Achoo, whose handler is Phelan. Together they find the killer and learn that he killed the young dancer Esseny the Lily. They arrest him even though he has sought refuge at the Court of the Rogue, which is normally not done as the Rogue's court is off-limits for Dogs. Kayfer doesn't step in, however, and just hands the murderer over, although it would be his responsibility to protect him.
April 17, 246 and April 19, 246
Beka has some difficulties with making the maps for Goodwin and Tunstall and is concentrating on that. Thus her journal entries are much shorter than normally. On Sunday a woman comes to the kennel confessing to having drowned her child because her new lover wouldn't move in with her then there was a child. It is found out that she told the truth but was magicked into confessing with the aid of truth- and compellingspells. Beka strongly suspects her friend Kora of being the mage behind it because she saw the woman some days previously sitting with Kora at a fountain and doing their laundry. When she returns home Kora near about confesses magicking the woman.
April 20, 246 and April 21, 246
On Monday is again Court Day. Fortunately for Beka she doesn't have to report on any cases that day because her Senior Dogs were with her at all arrests and thus do the talking that day. However, Beka's friend Tansy Lofts comes to talk to her again and gives her another fire opal, which she herself got from her husband Herun. Beka gives the opal to Tunstall so he may take care of it.
The following day Beka gets four new names of Shadow Snake victims from her grandmother.
April 22, 246
That day two more pigeons appeared at Beka's window. They carry the ghosts of two brothers who were killed the night before when they tried to kill Rosto the Piper. Beka also learns that Rosto's gang leader, Ulsa, hired the brothers and thus deceived Rosto. After disputing with herself whether she should tell Rosto Beka decides in favor of him and shares her news with him. Later that day, when she and her Dogs are making a break at the Mantel and Pullet, they learn further news about the matter. Apparently Ulsa claims to have nothing to do with it and even promoted Rosto to a better position in an effort to keep him on her good side.
April 23, 246 - April 29, 246
Beka is frustrated because she doesn't have any more news about the Shadow Snake or the dead diggers. She doesn't want to write any more in her journal until she has more news. However, she has to write some news down on Wednesday. She saw Ersken and Kora the day before and noticed that both were a couple. She asked Kora about Rosto, whose lover Kora was previously, but Kora told her that Rosto knows and doesn't disagree.
April 30, 246
It's the night of Beltane, thus more Dogs are on duty than regularly. Beka and her Dogs save two nobles from being robbed by four members of the Court of the Rogue. Beka has to chase one of them and they end up fighting. Eventually Goodwin and Tunstall arrive, arresting him properly. Afterwards they visit Mistress Noll, where they get something to eat and Tunstall has a small argument with Gunnar Espeksra. They continue their walk.
When they finally return to the kennel after a long night, nothing is as it should. They learn that Verene and one of her Senior Dogs, Rollo, were killed that night.
May 1, 246
The mood on this day is quite subdued as an effect of Verene's death. There's no joking on the breakfast gathering and Phelan doesn't look very good. Rosto invites him to a walk, which eventually leads to Phelan resigning from the Provost's Guard and becoming a criminal himself. Later that day both Rollo and Verene are buried. Lord Gershom is one of the speakers in Rollo's honour and Ersken speaks for Verene. All are subdued and shocked because of her death but Hilyard is the only one who misbehaves at her funeral, wearing a cityman's clothes and speaking rudely. He even quits the Dogs and gets thrown out of the burial ground by Lord Gershom.
On their watch Ahuda tells them the details of Rollo's and Verene's deaths and Tunstall asks her to change him, Goodwin and Beka with another pair. Thus they have duty on the Cesspool that day instead of the livelier areas of the Lower City. First they have to collect that week's Happy Bag however, as they had been assigned to other tasks on Beltane. Later they are breaking up an illegal slave auction together with Yoav, Jewel, Lady Sabine and Lord Gershom, who afterwards also walks with them for a while, as he does after every Dog's death.
May 2, 246
The mood at breakfast that day is still subdued. Kora helps Beka with feeding the pidgeons and they talk some about them. When Phelan arrives he tells the others that he quit the Dogs the previous evening because Verene had been given to a fool and a drunk as their Puppy. When Beka goes to the kennel she learns that three other Puppies besides Hilyard quit the Dogs.
May 5, 246
Beka only writes in her journal that day because she has to keep the maps and notes for her senior Dogs up-to-date. By then she has twenty-three confirmed Shadow Snake cases with some more she has yet to check. Beka gets less and less names from her informantes as time goes on and is afraid that she'll end up without finding the Snake. There are no news on Crookshank or his diggers either.
May 7, 246
When Beka wakes up that morning she notices eight more ghosts riding the pigeons and she realises immediately that they, too, were Crookshank's diggers, who were killed after the cellar they were digging in was void of opals. Beka skips their breakfast meeting of that day and goes in search of her dust spinners instead. From Hasfush she learns the name of one of the diggers' guards, Jens. However, that's all the news she learns that day. Her pigeons don't have more news concerning the diggers or the Snake, either.
Once they've mustered for their watch Beka and her partners set off to the Court of the Rogue because it's time to collect the Happy Bags again. It doesn't go as planned however, as Ammon Lofts, who still thinks that Kayfer Deerborn blackmails him with messages signed as the Shadow Snake, comes to the Rogue's Court with more than forty bought off duty soldiers and the Jane Street kennel's Evening Watch mage Fulk. Crookshank searches for his grandson, Herun Lofts, who had been kidnapped earlier that day. Tunstall and Goodwin decide to collect the Rogue's Happy Bag another day and leave the Court. They warn their fellow guards of the happenings because Crookshank's actions are bound to result in violent responses from the rogues.
They are about to walk their regular watch when Beka has the idea that they might look at Crookshank's house to see if they can find any trace of Herun or the Snake. Upon their arrival there they discover the servants of the household bound and gaged. Tansy and Annis are held in the chambers of Crookshank by one of Yates Noll's friends, Gunnar Espeksra. He claims that Yates doesn't know of his being at Crookshank's but Beka and her partners suspect otherwise. He was probably there in search of the fire opals. They give him over to the cage Dogs and decide that a word with Mistress Noll is in order. She claims that she hasn't seen her son in five days and adds that she wouldn't tell them where he is when she knew it.
May 8, 246
At breakfast Beka tells her friends about the new ghosts of Crookshank's opal diggers. They are surprised because none of them had any news concerning diggers being hired. As the weather is fine for the first time in days they decide to eat outside, where they are joined by some members of the Court of the Rogue. Pounce finally has enough of Aniki manhandling him and brings her a kitten of her own, which she names Laddybuck. After Kora protests, that she, too, wants a cat Pounce brings another kitten for her. She names her kitten Fuzzball.
After breakfast Beka decides to visit Tansy to see how she does. Upon Beka's arrival she meets a teary-eyed Tansy, who is pretty much upsed over the pigeons on her windowsill because she wonders whose ghosts they carry. Beka tries to console her and afterwards lets herself out. On her way down Beka sees Crookshank and the mage Vrinday Kayu, who works for him. Beka gets into an argument with Crookshanks which eventually turns violent. In the heated discussion Beka lets slip that she knows about his fire opals.
When they muster for their watch that evening Lord Gershom is present, telling them he wants the killing initiated by Kayfer Deerborn as a response to Crookshank's raid on his court the previous day stopped. All the same Goodwin asks Ahuda for permission to pull four Dog pairs off their regular patrols in order to watch Inman Poundridge, Jens and Vrinday Kayu. Ahuda doesn't give in, however, and only allows Beka's Dogs to leave their regular routes. They decide to watch Poundridge, as the others must eventually come to him. That night not much happens, however.
May 9, 246
Following new information brought to her by Mistress Trout Beka and Ersken visit Amaya Painter after breakfast that day. It turns out that Mistress Painter's son, Calum was probably the first child abducted by the Shadow Snake in early 243 HE. At that point the Snake was still acting differently, taking the child not from his bed but out of the Nightmarket and with differences to his notes, too. Mistress Painter, who couldn't know the Snake meant business, didn't believe the notes and thus refused to give her ruby pendulum up. Thus her son never came back. Afterwards she told her neighbors and her husband that the child had been taken by slavers and sold to the Yamani Islands. He left a year later, wanting to buy their son back. His ship sunk. By 246 HE Mistress Painter has moved from the Cesspool and now lives in Patten District.
After leaving Mistress Painter's Beka and Ersken meet the Ashmiller children. It turns out that their father has gone missing after he got new work and their landlord threw them out of their home when they couldn't pay the rent. The children accuse Beka of being responsible for all of this because she arrested their mother a month earlier. Still Beka takes them in and lets them stay at her little rooms.
Once they finished muster for their watch that evening Goodwin and Tunstall insist on seeing the children. They learn some news from them but not much. Beka is relieved, however, when she realizes that she doesn't have to pay all of the children's housing on her own, as both Tunstall and Goodwin, after some hesitation on the part of the latter, give some money and they also tell Beka that she can reclaim some of her expenses from the Dogs because the children are witnesses.
They continue to watch the slave markets for Crookshank's associates. They get help from Aniki and four of her friends from Dawull's court—all of whom quit Dawull that night—and from Lady Sabine. Not they can watch all of the market's entrances. Beka and Goodwin see how Crookshank's bookkeeper, Uta Norwood, enters the market. After she leaves Aniki follows her.
May 10, 246
That morning Beka gets important news from Aniki, who followed Crookshank's bookkeeper the previous night and learned that the digger guards are paid that afternoon at Poundridge's. Beka immediately goes to Goodwin's to tell her the news and sends Ersken off to tell Tunstall. She wants to give her Dogs as much time to prepare for that evening as possible. Goodwin summons a bunch of other people, among them Ahuda and Jewel. She manages to convince Ahuda that they are to move that night. Goodwin and Tunstall also enlist the help of Berryman and Beka's friends Aniki and Kora. Lord Gershom also gives his permission and he lets them draw off ten Dogs from Evening Watch and also assigns additional Dogs.
They set to work, watching the slave markets that afternoon. Berryman is to show them the death marks by which the guards can be recognized. When one after the other comes and leaves he or she is followed by two or three Dogs. Beka, Goodwin, Aniki and Berryman follow their guard to a house on Mulberry Street, which has barred shutters. After some time Tunstall and Lady Sabine also arrive, as does Kora. Once they are convinced that all guards are in the house for the night they magically send word to Ahuda, who brings the other Dogs. When Kayu arrives, pressumably to kill another crew of diggers, they act. Berryman and Kora subdue Kayu and the Dogs go into the house. In the cellar Tunstall and Beka find the diggers, who were nearly killed by the guards. Beka recognizes Jack Ashmiller among them.
The pigeons' ghosts, who were restless all day and have followed Beka throughout it, finally find their peace when Beka and other Dogs reach the houses where they were murdered and left to rot. After a bath and supper at the Mantel and Pullet Beka takes Mister Ashmiller to her lodgings, where he finds his children.
May 11, 246
A runner fetches Beka and Ersken early that day to riot backup duty. People learned that Crookshank had killed seventeen people and things escalated, leading to the Dead Men's Riots. By the time Beka and Ersken arrive at the mustering point Rosto is also there, telling Beka that the army is coming and taking care of things. He also says that Yates Noll and three other men are hiding in one of the sheds of the Sheepmire Tavern. Beka, her Dogs and Ersken get the permission to go and arrest Yates. Upon their arrival Yates commits suicide to escape the execution waiting for him. The guards arrest the other men and free Herun.
While they are waiting in the line to give their Rats over to the cage Dogs Beka gets permission from her Dogs to tell Deirdry Noll of her son's fate. When she arrives at Mistress Noll's she realizes that Yates couldn't have been the Shadow Snake. Instead Mistress Noll was the one responsible for the kindapping and killing of the children. Beka arrests Deirdry and Gemma Noll and takes them to the kennel.
May 13, 246 and May 14, 246
That morning Beka learns that Rosto killed Kayfer Deerborn and is now the new Rogue of Corus. Later that day Tansy, her husband and mother-in-law leave with the Lofts' servants to move into one of Crookshank's Patten District houses.
The next day an eclipse session is held for sentencing the Shadow Snake gang. The public is banned from it, but Dogs and nobles are allowed to attend it. Along with the Lower City's magistrate Sir Tullus the Lord High Magistrate and Lord Gershom are present that day. Beka has to report on how she went to Mistress Noll's and arrested her and her daughter. This time she manages better than before, although she has a hard time getting started. After the trial ended Lord Gershom invites Beka and others involved in solving the Shadow Case and Opal Murder cases to supper. Three of Beka's younger siblings are also there.
The story is told through the diary entries of Rebakah Cooper, which leads to a first-person narrator. It also allows for some special formatting like ink splatters or cat paws on pages. There aren't any real chapters. Instead the book is divided in diary entries for the day in question. The language, too, is more colloquial because of the diary form as Beka herself grew up in the Lower City of Corus and now works and lives in it, she also uses some of the terminology.
See also: Provost's Dog Trilogy terminology
- birdies - informants
- dog - guardsman or -woman who has gone through puppy training and achieved dog status
- cages - jail
- cove - man
- gixie - girl
- hobble - tie up or arrest
- kennel - law enforcement station
- mot - woman
- puppy - guardsman or -woman in training
- rat - criminal
Terrier is book one in the Provost's Dog trilogy and was published in hardcover on October 23, 2006 . The publication of the trade paperback edition followed a year later, on October 23, 2007. Book two, Bloodhound, had a tentative release date of Spring 2008 but was actually released on April 14, 2009. Book three, Mastiff, has a release date of 2010.
Except from being published as hardcover and paperback books by Random House, the book has also been made into and audiobook by Listening Library. The reader is Susan Denaker and the audiobook is about 15 hours long. It was published simultaneously to the hardcover edition and is available on CDs as well as for download.
There also exists a Danish translation in which the novel has been split in two parts.
For a full list of characters see Characters in Terrier.
- Rebakah Cooper
- Matthias Tunstall
- Clara Goodwin
- Ammon "Crookshank" Lofts
- Rosto the Piper
- Aniki Forfrysning
- Koramin Ingensra
- The Shadow Snake
- Deirdry Noll
Notes and references
- Excerpt of Terrier
- Excerpt from the audiobook (might need to scroll down a bit)
- Excerpt of Terrier read by Tamora Pierce
- Continuation to the link above