Kathy 's Reviews > The Dust of 100 Dogs

The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King
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's review
Oct 06, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: teen, young-adult, great-titles, favorite-covers, historical-fiction, ireland, pirates, highly-recommend
Read from June 14 to 16, 2011 — I own a copy

Originality of story, creative formatting, unpredictable characters, and some history thrown in are aspects of what I consider great reading. They also happen to be aspects of this novel, The Dust of 100 Dogs. Add a great title and great cover art to the mix, and, voila, a successful novel is born. From the hardships of an Irish childhood after the wake of Oliver Cromwell to her high adventure of female pirate of the Caribbean to the ordinariness of teenagedom in small-town America, Emer Morrisey/Saffron Adams, with her lives as 100 dogs included, has an interesting 300+ years. Reincarnation can be a bitch, literally, but young Emer finally gets to her life as Saffron and the chance to renew some old dreams or build some new ones. The dog years are a minor blip in the book and handled quite creatively as very short interludes on the nature of dogs and, more importantly, the nature of their humans. A few references to some of her dog lives add interesting insight. Emer's life was a short one, but she managed to experience both extreme brutality and absolute love in it. As Saffron, she must call upon the strength of Emer as well as the lessons learned in her dog lives. A.S. King deftly handles all the different times and characters across the ages and shows herself to be an exceptional storyteller. She didn't set out to write a young adult/teen book; it was categorized YA during the publication process. I felt that it transcended any labeling, another aspect that endears it to me as a reader. The most apposite word for this unique novel is "clever."
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