Bloodhound is the second book in Tamora Pierce's Beka Cooper trilogy, which is set in her fictional world of Tortall a significant amount of time before the books that made her famous in such circles as mine. Despite a great desire on my part to like the book, and the series, Bloodhound didn't remedy the mistakes of the first book, Terrier, or make me very eager to read the concluding volume if and when it ever comes out. You see, when the author herself mentions several times how difficult it was to finish the book ("I want to dedicate this long-delayed second volume" . . . "Many of you will have noticed I have taken an uncommonly long time between the first and second book of this series" . . . "kept me slap up to the mark so I would finally finish the durn thing."), it doesn't exactly inspire confidence. There are two problems with the Beka Cooper series: the journal-based narrative (or at least, how it is handled), and the archaic language. The former is a bigger problem than the latter, in my opinion, as the journal framework consistently yanks the reader out of the narrative and into the exciting world of . . . report writing. And, if that weren't exciting enough, Beka constantly writes about how she is writing in her journal. There are a lot of things that could have been done to improve the pacing of the narrative, which deals primarily with tracking down counterfeiters threatening the stability of the nation (not the most quick moving bad guys ever known), foremost of which would have been chopping out a good 100 pages or so of description. As for the archaic language, I understand what Tamora Pierce is trying to do, using vocabulary to make us feel the "olden times" atmosphere in which Beka lives. However, any time you need to reference a book's glossary is time that you are not in the narrative, enjoying the plot and characters--and for a book that already suffers from its own verbosity, this could be the killing stroke. I am ashamed to admit that I almost didn't finish. The good news is, Pierce will be on to another project by this point, and the book isn't that bad, despite what I may have conveyed here. It's just not up to the standard that I expect.