Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow: Dance of the Hours is the ninth in a series of young reader books written by Rob Kidd dealing with the early life of Jack Sparrow. It was released on September 25, 2007.
Jack is certainly off the map this time! In their struggle to keep a charmed timepiece away from their enemies, he and his crewmate Fitzwilliam P. Dalton III have unlocked another of its powers—the ability to warp time. Now they have no idea where, or rather when, they will turn up!
A sweaty and frustrated Jack Sparrow and Fitzwilliam are making their way through the time-stopped Isla Esquelética. As they approach a dock filled with frozen sailors, Fitz suggest starting up time again so that the men could assist them. Jack agrees, but insists that in order to play it safe, they climb into a nearby cave before reactivating the watch. Once they settle themselves into their hiding spot, Jack presses down on the crown of the timepiece, and everything springs back to life. Things quickly get strange, however, when Jack and Fitz spot a dark shadow appearing on the ocean, and the sky above it turning black with stars shining through. The blackness and the shadow quickly begin spreading rapidly, causing half the earth and sky to be bathed in night, while the rest remain in the daytime. A stunned Jack and Fitz realize that their interference with time has caused it to be turned upside down.
Just then, the boys hear a series of rumblings coming from behind them, and turning to look, realize they have been found by none other than Captain Torrents. The enraged captain initiates a duel with both boys, during which time Jack notices that, unlike the last time they had encountered an angry Torrents, it isn't storming like mad. Torrents explains that during his time stuck on the island, he realized he could control the curse laid upon him by Davy Jones, harness the energy of storms and bend the elements to his will, if he learned to control his anger. Sheathing his sword, he demonstrates his newfound power by summoning two giant waterspouts with his hands. Jack whips out the watch and attempts to stop time, but nothing happens. A bewildered Jack tries shaking the watch, then notices its minute and hour hands going crazy, spiraling in different directions around the face. Jack and Fitz then decide the time has come for them to run, but as they attempt to make a break for it, Torrents makes the waterspouts grow even larger, blocking the entrance of the cave and sucking the duo into their very vortexes. Torrents uses the spouts to hurl the boys through the air and into the volcano of the goddess Chantico. As Jack and Fitz prepare themselves for certain death, a flame rises out of the bottom of the volcano and begins to morph into the form of a woman. Revealing herself to be none other than Chantico herself, the goddess harshly admonishes the duo for meddling with the proper flow of time and causing the hours to "dance" again. Before leaving the pair, Chantico informs them that they have twelve hours to change everything back to normal, or she will kill them.
Suddenly, a group of pterosaurs begin circling and wheeling on the hot currents above the volcano. A few begin diving at Jack and Fitz, who attempt to fend them off with their swords. It soon occurs to the boys, however, that they should lure two of the beasts down to them at the same time in order to catch rides out of the volcano. Fitz, remembering what his father told him about some birds of prey loving shiny objects, begins waving his sword slowly back in forth in order to capture the attention of the remaining pterosaurs and has Jack do the same. Soon, each of the boys manages to lure a pterosaur close enough to jump into its claws and lift off out of the volcano.
As Jack and Fitz glide over the island, their respective pterosaurs begin viciously attacking each other mid-air. Fitz's bites Jack's wing off, and Jack and his beast begin plummeting to Earth. Fitz thinks quickly, using his skills as a horseman to climb on his pterosaur's back and take control of it. With some clever maneuvering, Fitz gets the beast to dive towards a free-falling Jack and catch him just in the nick of time. Soon after they land and dismount from the prehistoric creatures, the duo are attacked by a group of sabertooth tigers. Just as one is about to claw Fitz to pieces, the aristocrat's pterosaur (whom he had fondly named "Drag") slices his beak through the attacking cat's neck. Jack decides their best option is retreating up on Drag's back, to which Fitz quickly complies. As Fitz reaches out his hand to pull his companion up alongside him, one of the cats jumps up at Jack, catching his arm and pulling him right out of the air.
Just when all hope seems lost, the largest flock of pterosaurs the duo had seen yet approach. Fitz assumes they're coming to eat him and Jack, but Jack realizes that they're actually eyeing the cats. In one uniform motion, the flock of pterosaurs rapidly dive at the sabertooths, allowing Jack and Fitz to escape unharmed.
On their way to the Barnacle, the boys spot a group of island warriors under the spell of Stone-Eyed Sam taking the famous sailor Leonardo Leone (whom Fitz recalls lived two hundred years before their time) captive. Jack realizes that if he doesn't restore the proper flow of time and save the captive sailor, he may actually wipe out his own existence, as Tortuga and its surrounding islands would not have been discovered were it not for Leone, and Jack believes some of his grand-kin may have met around there. Intending to go seek out Tia Dalma's help, the duo make their way back to the Barnacle by traveling underwater with a tipped over boat over their heads for air. However, soon after coming aboard the ship, Jack and Fitz once again come face-to-face with Davy Jones, who forces them aboard the Flying Dutchman and has them locked up in the brig. To their immense surprise, Jack and Fitz find Tia Dalma imprisoned there as well. Before helping them escape from the Dutchman, Tia cryptically tells the boys that in order for time to be restored, the watch has to be placed into the possession of someone who doesn't exist in the present, and that the person must drop the watch once it chimes twelve times.
Back on the island, Jack, Fitz, and Tia come upon Torrents and Stone-Eyed Sam in the midst of a duel. Using both the Sword of Cortés and his own cutlass, Jack joins in the battle between the two vicious pirates. As Fitz draws his sword to jump in and assist Jack, Torrents creates a cyclone that picks him up and carries him over to the top of a tree, stranding him in its highest branches. Jack throws the watch onto Stone-Eyed Sam's wrist as the timepiece begins to chime. Sam knocks Jack down and is about to deal a death blow when the watch chimes for the twelfth time and Tia Dalma quickly pulls it off Sam's arm, causing time to be immediately reverted back to normal. Stone-Eyed Sam turns into a skeleton and the nearby buildings begin disintegrating into rubble right before their very eyes.
Tia Dalma forces herself back aboard the Flying Dutchman and makes Jones leave the island. Jack and Fitz watch on as the Dutchman submerges under water, worrying that Dalma is a prisoner of Jones once more, and are shocked when she suddenly returns to them, completely dry. Just then, Chantico appears on the scene in a blur of flame. Much to the amazement of Jack and Fitz, Chantico bows before Tia Dalma and tells her that "Too much time has passed since we last met". A confused Tia sadly admits that she is only beginning to remember who she is and where she has been. Chantico assures her that she will remember all things in time, and expresses her certainty that she will one day be "free again". The two women then suddenly disappear, and as the boys begin planning their next move, Jack spots the Misty Lady, the ship helmed by his father, Captain Teague, in the distance and begins to panic. He and Fitz quickly make their way back to the Barnacle in the skiff, and once on deck, Jack lets out a scream of shock as he sees the British Royal Navy chasing the Misty Lady in their direction. As Jack frantically tries to figure out what to do next, he suddenly feels a sword at his back. Too shocked to even put his hands in the air, Jack turns slowly to see Fitz pointing his rapier at him. Dropping all of his normal airs, Fitz reveals to an entirely befuddled Jack that he had actually been working for the Royal Navy the entire time, pretending to be "an-aristocrat-turned-pirate" in order to get Jack to lead him to Teague, and then to deliver them both to their deaths.
- Jack refers to being in the small group of islands at the western edge of the East Indies. The region where the story takes place is, in fact, the eastern edge of the West Indies. The western edge of the East Indies would be where Sumatra is, off the coast of southeast Asia.
- Fitzwilliam was marked by Tia Dalma in the seventh book in the Jack Sparrow series, City of Gold. The footnote on page 70 incorrectly states that this happened in the book before that, Silver.
- Tia Dalma
- Fitzwilliam P. Dalton III
- Davy Jones
- Leonardo Leone
- Arabella Smith (Mentioned only)
- Jack Sparrow
- Stone-Eyed Sam
- Tartaglia (Mentioned only)
- Calypso (Mentioned only)
- Sea Hag (First mentioned)
- North Wind (First mentioned)
Creatures and Species
- Sabertooth tiger (First appearance)
- Whale (Mentioned only)
- Seals (First mentioned)
- Polar bears (First mentioned)
- Isla Esquelética
- Northwest Passage (First mentioned)
- Russia (First mentioned)
- Outer Hebrides (Mentioned only)
- Tortuga (Mentioned only)
- England (Mentioned only)
- Far East (First mentioned)
- East Indies
- Japan (First mentioned)
- Fiji (First mentioned)