January is coming to a close and most of us are looking out our frosted windows at ice and snow. As you read this, imagine yourself drifting away from the frigid wintry winds. Spread your arms and embrace the warm salty breezes of the Caribbean Sea as it ruffles your hair. Look upon the crystal blue waters from the deck of a wooden ship. Stand tall, for people fear you. For good reason. You are a pirate.
I invite you to read a tale of adventure, tragedy, truimph, romance, danger and burried treasure. Prepare to be swashbuckled...
*stick around after the review for an interview with the author and a pirate!
The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King:
Emer Morrisey was a shy, simple girl living in Ireland in the 1600's. She loved her family and she enjoyed sewing. All she wanted was to be happy and embroider a beautiful cape that all would envy. One day her sweet dreams became a terrible nightmare when war took away all that she held dear. The only comfort she had after these tragic events was that she finally met the love of her life.
As quickly as Emer began to dream again of a new life, everything was taken from her once more. This is when she decided to take control of her own fate and she became her own woman. This is when Emer became one of the most feared pirates of the Caribbean Sea. No longer would she let men push her around. It was her time to to push, plunder and steal. If someone told her she couldn't have something she would change their mind with her deadly blade. Her life became full of adventure, treasure and blood.
Unfortunately, Emer's life came to an untimely end while trying to get out of the pirate business. She was murdered and cursed to live out the lifetimes of 100 dogs before finally becoming a human again. All of her memories would remain intact throughout the years to torment her.
Fast forward 300 years and 100 lifetimes and meet Saffron. On the surface, Saffron seems like a normal teenaged girl. She goes to school, deals with family problems and she's very smart. Behind the facade of a regular girl beats the heart and mind of fierce pirate. That's right, Saffron may be her name now, but long ago she was Emer. The pirate is back, and she wants her treasure. She's got her shovel and her ticket to Jamaica and she's ready for one more adventure.
Dust of 100 Dogs is so much fun! It goes back and forth through time as it follows both Emer and Saffron in their respective quests. As Saffron tells her story you will delight in her viscious inner voice and you will cheer her on as you hear the tragic circumstances that lead to Emer becoming a pirate. There are chapters in between containing lessons that she learned while being a dog and you will meet another shady character who will become an important part of the story. If you like adventure, I highly recommend this book, but remember that a pirate's life is full of danger, so beware if you are faint of heart. This book made me want to do some swashbuckling of my own, or at least book a cruise!
I am very excited because I was able to interview Saffron with the help of A.S. King and naturally, Emer. If you have any questions for any of them and you live in the Exton, PA area, you can ask for yourself on Saturday, March 28th from 1:00 to 3:00 at the Borders Express in the Exton Mall. I will remind you again when it gets closer.
Thanks for having me, Michelle. It's nice to meet other Pennsylvania people!
My first question for you would be, how would a pirate say hello?
So, was there ever a time when you thought about giving up and giving in to what the world thought a woman should be?
I'd say Emer and I would agree that it's not really a choice. We don't know any other way. What the world thinks we should be isn't any of our business.
Did you realize that you were one of the first feminists in history?
SAFFRON: Hold on. Let me get Emer to answer this one. (Pretends to take Emer out of her head, and sits her in a miniature chair on the table.)
Did the violent life of a pirate ever get to you? Did you enjoy it? Were you ever scared?
EMER: I was scared. All the time.
What is more frightening, being a pirate or being a modern teenager?
Pirate. No, teenager. No. Pirate. Hmm. In context, both can be pretty dicey.
You were cursed to live out 100 lifetimes as a dog and that makes me wonder. Are there a lot of dogs out there who were once pirates? Is that why dogs bury their bones?
For me this was exactly the opposite. I hated burying things as a dog. It only reminded me of how much of a nuisance it was to hide things, because you will have to find it again one day.
What is your best advice for dog owners, as an insider?
Be patient. Dogs don't have the same priorities as humans.
I got discouraged a lot of times during the dog years. There were even a few times when I'd wander in front of oncoming traffic in order to move time more quickly. But, mostly, I tried to enjoy it as much as I could. I got to see some beautiful places.
Do you think your story is over or do you see more adventures on the horizon?
I think 326+ years is quite enough. I know Amy moved on from this book years ago and is working on something she's really loving at the moment – more history and contemporary mixed into a yummy packet of YA strangeness.
Well, thank you so much Saffron. I have one last question for you, and it is very important. As a pirate, what would you do if you ran into a ninja?
Thank you so much for having me (us) Michelle! About the ninjas: I think we'd have coffee. I mean, pirates have a lot in common with ninjas. We go about our business differently, but really we're both after the same sort of thing, right?
Oh, and Saffron, I think I found a good place for you to retire to: