Saturday, 7 February 2009

The Dust of 100 Dogs - A.S. King

Do you know when you read a book and then you can't wait to review it? This is one of those books!
I was hooked since page one and remained hooked the whole way through. And obviously I loved it!

It's about Ireland and Barbados, pirates and dogs, treasures and battles, embroidering and jewels and especially about love - love 'till the end of the world.
So the story goes that once upon a time, in a beautiful Irish valley in 1600s lived Emer Morrisey, a bright and lively kid, and her peaceful family. Then Oliver Cromwell came and changed everything. Emer's parents are killed fighting and Emer is packed off to live with her cousins and violent uncle. There, in Connacht, she also meets Seanie O'Carroll, her one and only love, but her uncle has other plans and packs her off again to Paris to be married to some fat man.
I don't want to say too much about what happens because half of the fun is to follow Emer through her picaresque travels and wonder what will happen next to her.
The other half is about Saffron Adams, Emer's reincarnation. Yes, because Emer, on her last seconds of her life, is cursed to live a 100 lives as a dog and then to reincarnate in a human again, with her memories intact. So now Saffron is a child prodigy, knowing too much about history and too little about how to be a proper teenager. The one thing she knows is where her treasure is, and she's determined to go and dig it out, as soon as she turns 18.
Even though Emer's story is more exciting and I longed to follow her ever since she appears on the page, I didn't think Saffron's was in the way. It was fun to see how a 300 year-old soul would deal with a teenage body and duties. And I was dying to see what was gonna happen once she arrived in Jamaica.
There's a third layer to the story, and it's about an obnoxious fellow who is violent toward everything around him, including a dog (argh! poor dog). At first you might wander what such a guy is doing in the story, but it all comes together, at the end. Actually I urge you now NOT to read the interview at the end (like I did) before reading the story. There's a BIG spoiler, I would have rather not know...So you're warned.

I found this story completely fascinating. Lots of battles, adventures, escaping, big villains and lots of swearing.
I loved how the "dog facts" where placed carefully in the middle of the story, telling bits of Emer's lives as a dog and at the same time connecting to what is happening in the stories.
And I loved that Saffron isn't exactly Emer, but her own person who makes different decisions, based on what she has learned in her previous lives.
If you like strong women characters, pirates and great storytelling, you have to read this book.
For all the others, read it anyway. I think this is going to be the must-read book of the year :)

One last warning: It was rather graphic when it comes to violence scenes, so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone under 15 years-old.

For a chance to win a copy visit A.S. King's blog regularly. She has many creative giveaways almost every day! There's one now which ends February 8th.

Finally, the book trailer. This is what made me want to read this in the first place. Thanks to Renay!

other blog reviews:
Carrie's YA Bookshelf
Presenting Lenore + interview
Liv's Book Reviews: Dust of 100 Dogs...Get Excited
The Magic of Ink
Becky's book reviews
Reviewer x
Jen Robinson
Bookshelves of doom

have I missed yours?

Shop Indie Bookstores


mariel said...

Ooh curious. I won't read the spoiler! Thanks!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Awesome review. Thanks for the warning about the interview! I need to go and pick this up. I wanted too the last time I was in the bookstore, but I didn't have enough money. Must. Get. It. though. LOL

Did you buy this? If so, enter The Story Siren's huge giveaway for it!


Anonymous said...

HA HA yes another vict--er, I mean fan! I have this in my possession but have not started reading it yet (curse you, sickness!). However, today, that will all change.

I still love that trailer like burning.

Nymeth said...

Somehow I don't remember hearing about this one before (though I suspect I have, because the cover looks familiar), but wow, you sold me! I definitely like strong female characters, pirates, and good storytelling, so yeah...I want this.

valentina said...

mariel, you're welcome! The author said she might edit the interview and put a spoiler alert!

Lauren, I didn't buy it. Amy (the author) sent it to me kindly! :D

Renay, I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Ana, maybe you haven't heard about it because it's just being published. But there's already lots of good reviews on amazon so I expect this to be big:)

Memory said...

I've seen a few reviews for this recently, and I have yet to hear anything bad about it. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

Thanks for the link to the author's blog. I toddled on over and entered her contest. It was fun; I like that she asked everyone to do something a bit more creative.

Darla D said...

I read a review of this a while ago and thought it sounded like fun - but I'm still waiting for my library to get a copy. I guess I have enough books in my pile to get me through till I cave and end up buying it! Great review (and thanks for the spoiler warning).

celine said...

Must. Get. Hands. On. This. Booooookkkkkkkkkk. ( dons hat and gloves and treks to bookshop)

Em said...

alright, you've totally got me hooked. Great review! :)

Lenore said...

Love this book? Did Amy sign it for you? If so I am super envious!!

valentina said...

Memory, I hope you can like as much as I did. It sure is a fun read.

Darla, if the library gets it, read it!I can't wait to see what everyone thinks of it.

Celine and Em: great! hope you like it:)

Lenore: YES! She did signed it for me and I was so happy. Hihi!
she wrote"say hello to Dublin for me" :D

celine said...

It's not available in any of the book shops I went into! Why? I'm going to get my local store to ship it from the states.

valentina said...

Yes, it's only published in the US for now:(

celine said...


Anonymous said...

I wanna, wanna, wanna read this book soooooo bad!

Andrea said...

This is definitely on my to be read list. Can't wait now!