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Mastiff: The Legend of Beka Cooper #3

Mastiff - Tamora Pierce 12/8/13 ** re-re-read
6/1/13 ** Re-read

8/18/12 ** One of the things that I most enjoy about Pierce is the way she tackles issues in our own world within the context of her fantasy world.

In Beka Cooper: Mastiff, the third book in Beka's trilogy, Pierce addresses the issue of slavery, particularly child slaves. Though we tend to think of this as a solved issue, there are still many slaves in our world, and parents may still feel forced to sell a child into a labor mill to provide food for others.

As I've read the Tortall books in a condensed time-frame and looked at copyright dates, I've also noticed the ways in which Pierce responds to social issues of the time. The Alanna quartet, written in the mid80s, explores a young woman's sense of self and what it might mean to be sexually active with a young man. Does entering an intimate relationship mean losing one's own identity as a strong, independent woman? In the second Beka Cooper book, written in the mid-2000s, Pierce has a supporting character who is trans-sexual.

Pierce continues to be a valuable mirror and window into different ways of approaching the world - something inherent to YA literature.