Rating: 4 stars (Spotlight Review)
On her sixth birthday, Emer Morrisey watched her family fight to the death during Cromwell’s invasion of her Irish village. Her home set ablaze, Emer hid in the secret place she and her brother created until her cowardly Uncle Martin literally dragged her out. Emer endured Uncle Martin’s abuse and responded by refusing to speak to anyone; until she met Seanie Carroll, her one true love. Forbidden to see Sean, Emer was sold to a Frenchman and forced aboard a ship to Paris. Upon arrival, Emer met the old, fat man who now owns her and makes a run for it.
In an effort to escape Paris and get back to Sean, Emer disguises herself as a man and takes work aboard a ship; but her secret is soon revealed. When the ship is attacked by pirates, Emer’s bravery and fighting prowess help secure her ship’s victory. As reward for her efforts, the captain gives Emer the pirate ship and a few of his loyal men as her crew. When she and the crew become bored and restless, Emer seeks to create adventure and soon becomes a feared and successful pirate.
After amassing an impressive fleet and immeasurable wealth, Emer finally gets the one thing she has been waiting for since leaving Ireland – to be reunited with Seanie. Leaving the pirate life behind, Emer and Sean bury their treasure and plan to start a new life in Jamaica -- until the Frenchman finds her. Before taking her final breath on the beach, next to her beloved Sean, Emer is cursed to live the life of 100 dogs.
Three hundred years later, Saffron Adams is born to a lower middle class family in Pennsylvania. With all memories intact of her life as the pirate Emer Morrisey, Saffron just has to get through her first 18 years so she can get back to Jamaica, claim her treasure and get on with her life.
There aren’t enough words to praise The Dust Of 100 Dogs. The intertwining of past and present was seamless. The use of reincarnation was well thought out and integral to the plot, with a few well-placed twists. A.S. King did an amazing job finding a new angle on a traditional pirate tale, giving it new life and dimension. From the first page to the last, I was captivated and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. My only regret was that I eventually ran out of pages.
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Flux (January 13, 2009)