Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Dust of 100 Dogs-- A.S. King

ARRRRGGGG MATEY! X marks the spot for this pirate tome, and trust me, it's worth a few pieces of eight!

OK, sorry, couldn't help myself... it's the end of a really long work day and pirates are just too fun to pass up.

The Dust of 100 Dogs isn't your typical pirate book. We hear the story of Emer Morrisey, an Irish lass who escapes a life of abuse during Cromwell's invasion of Ireland by slipping onto a ship headed for the Caribbean. We read about Saffron Adams, the modern day incarnation of Emer, who detests her mundane family life in New Jersey and wants nothing more than to return to Jamaica to find her buried treasure. And we also hear the voice of a few different dogs... all incarnations of Emer/Saffron. You see, after she reaches the Caribbean, Emer becomes the scourge of the seas, the most fierce and accomplished pirate to ever intercept Spanish treasures. Just when she is reunited with her true love and about to leave the pirate life behind her forever, she is cursed with the dust of one hundred dogs. This means she has to live one hundred lives as a dog before she is reincarnated as a human and can regain her human existence again.

Sound confusing? Trust me, when you are reading it, this story makes perfect sense. I love the twist on the modern pirate story. There are plot twists and red-herrings throughout, which make this tome a page-turner. King has a very distinct voice for all three of her narrators, and it's hard to choose which of the three incarnations I like the best. I would recommend this to both boys and girls who enjoy pirate stories, especially those who liked Rees's Pirates! and Star-Crossed by Linda Collison.

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