Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale (Seasons of the Sword #1)



Can one girl win a war?


Though Japan has been devastated by a century of civil war, Risuko just wants to climb trees. Growing up far from the battlefields and court intrigues, the fatherless girl finds herself pulled into a plot that may reunite Japan -- or may destroy it. She is torn from her home and what is left of her family, but finds new friends at a school that may not be what it seems. 

Magical but historical, Risuko follows her along the first dangerous steps to discovering who she truly is.

Kano Murasaki, called Risuko (Squirrel) is a young, fatherless girl, more comfortable climbing trees than down on the ground. Yet she finds herself enmeshed in a game where the board is the whole nation of Japan, where the pieces are armies, moved by scheming lords, and a single girl couldn't possibly have the power to change the outcome. Or could she?

Historical adventure fiction appropriate for young adult and middle-grade readers. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Please note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review courtesy of YA Bound Book Tours.


This book is definitely going to be a kickoff for a middle grade / young adult series that I think could be pretty good!  Since the book is a standalone at the moment, it’s not as deep and rich of a world-building as it could be, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit.  Kudler does a great job starting to reveal the politics and greater picture of the world without detracting from the immediate storyline revolving around Risuko.

Risuko is intriguing and unique.  I didn’t connect with her as well as some other main characters, but I still enjoyed it.  I believe she’s supposed to be 13 or so years old, but in some ways she struck me as quite naïve.  That may be, however, because I’ve been reading books with older protagonists recently.  All in all, I think this was a great start to something that could be a very interesting and complex series.

Warning: Contains violence.

Rating: 4 stars!

Who should read it? Middle grade / YA fans who like books in line with “Alanna” or “Graceling”.

Want to read the whole series? TBD