Tanner, Lian. The Path of Beasts.
9 October 2012, Delacorte
Copy provided by YABC and review posted there.
Goldie, Bonnie and Toadspit are staggering back into Jewel after their escapades in City of Lies when they see Blessed Guardians dumping a sack in the canal... a sack which contains a barely alive Grand Protector. When they get back to the Museum of Dunt they find out that the Fogelman has taken over and is trying to bring the town of Jewel to its knees. Goldie, especially (having been imbued with the spirit of the ancient Merne Princess Frisia, who is very warlike!) is not okay with this, and she and her friends start attacking the Guardians as they are trying to get pay to Fogelman's mercenaries. Far from being just a nuisance, this action almost wipes out Fogelman's support, so he resorts to tough tactics to try to find out who is launching these attacks under the name of the Hidden Rock.He even arranges to sell children to a slave trader, and Goldie ends up on the slave ship as well. To get Fogelman to release her, she pretends to have the plague, and the entire ship is set free. Eventually, Toadspit challenges the Fogelman to a duel. Will Goldie be able to help and get the town of Jewel back to normal?
Strengths: Even though I did not read the first book in this series, The Museum of Thieves, I was able to follow the story and figure out the characters. There was plenty of action and adventure, and Goldie was a strong female character-- having the "wolf-sark" of Princess Frisia that made her want to attack and kill people who threatened her was interesting. This trilogy would make a good gift for an avid fantasy reader.
Weaknesses: I don't like the murky cover, and I wasn't quite sure about the world in which this was set. It seemed sort of Victorian, but there were vehicles that were sort of like cars. This may have been clearer if I'd read the first two. I have relatively few students who read fantasy now, and there is so much published, that I buy only titles I know will be really popular.