My name is Kano Murasaki, but everyone calls me Risuko....
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.
Historical adventure fiction appropriate for young adult and middle-grade readers
Season of the Sword #1
Can one girl win a war?
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 possible have the power to change the outcome.
Or could she?
Kunoichi Companion Tales
David Kudler, author of Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale, has released "White Robes," the first story in a series of prequels to his upcoming teen historical novel novel. The Kunoichi Companion Tales introduce characters and themes from the Seasons of the Sword novels, and are currently available exclusively to Risuko subscribers. To read the story, subscribe now.
"White Robes" introduces Lady Mochizuke Chiyome, a recent war widow who is mired in grief. She has become tired of mourning, tired of wearing the white robes that are the traditional Japanese garb of the grieving. On the road, she encounters two young women who open her eyes to a whole new purpose in life — and a new way to end Japan's century-old civil war.
There are six planned stories:
- White Robes — Mired in her own grief, Lady Mochizuki Chiyome encounters two young women who give her a whole new, much more interesting opportunity
- Silk & Service — A young Takeda warrior meets a servant who is much more than she seems
- Ghost — When Lady Chiyome receives a note from the shōgun, she finds that the messenger is much more intriguing than the message
- Shining Boy — Plucked off of the streets of the capital, an orphan girl tries to figure out what story she's wandered into
- Blade — Toumi doesn't want anyone messing with her business
- Little Brother — Returning to the monastery turns out to be as hard as leaving it was
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News from the Full Moon
Twelfth Night and Kunoichi
I spent last night training a kunoichi.
My wife Maura is directing a production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at her school. As often happens, I’m helping out, working with the actors on the language and teaching them combat. It’s fun to break out the scansion and fencing I learned as a young actor.
The students enjoy it too — though I’ll admit they prefer the sword fighting to the verse. Continue reading On Training Kunoichi
Thanks so much to all of you who helped me complete my 2017 SAG Awards ballot! It was a lot of fun — and very interesting to see what choices you made (and where they did and didn’t agree with mine).
I’ve compiled the list of the winners here. In the single case of a tie, I gave myself an extra vote. Shh!
This was a ballot I was very pleased to be able to cast:
And the winner is…
Waiting for next Seasons of the Sword book? Author David Kudler just shared this sneak preview from the next exciting installment in Risuko’s adventures:
Bright Eyes Sneak Peek: The Cave
I love to climb.
I suppose that’s a silly thing for me to say, at this point. Of course I love to climb. Still—it’s true. It’s always been true. That earliest memory—of my mother weeping with my sister in her arms: I see it from above. Even though we had just moved into the tiny house, even though I was just four years old, I had already found my way up into the rickety rafters. I had always felt more at home up in the air than on the ground. Safer.
There was a reason that my mother came to call me Squirrel.
Yet as I stared at that sheer rock face from within the confines of the Full Moon, I must admit that I was nervous. Afraid.
Toumi snorted as she and Emi shouldered past me, bows and quivers over their shoulders. “Scared, Mouse-chan?”
I shook my head. But we both knew it wasn’t true.
Emi smiled as they walked out the gate. I think she meant it as reassurance. It felt as if she were consoling me: It’s been nice knowing you, Murasaki.
Yesterday, I proudly joined my eldest daughter, my wife, and millions of others for the worldwide Women’s March. We were in San Francisco, but friends have shared images of themselves marching in huge cities and small towns across the United States and around the world.
I’m proud for many reasons. I’m proud because it was wonderful to show support for people and a cause in which I believe, and wonderful to see so many people share that support. I was proud to see the power of young women (and not-so-young women, and men of all ages) to make their wills and voices heard. I was also proud because I wrote Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale in part as a way to show my daughters and their peers that young woman can have and have had the power to change the world, even when society seemed least likely to let them. Continue reading #WomensMarch and the power of young women to change the world
Help David Kudler cast his vote for the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards! Select your choices below, and he’ll compile the results and use them to fill out his ballot.
MUST BE COMPLETE BY FRIDAY, JANUARY 27 IS NOW COMPLETE!
Thanks so much to all of you who helped me fill out my 2017 SAG Awards ballot! If you missed your opportunity, don’t fret — I’ll be voting again next year, I promise. Sign up for my newsletter and you’ll hear about any other opportunities that I have to tap into the brain trust. 🙂
(Note: you need to be signed in to your Google account just so that no one can stuff the ballot box. I’m not collecting any personal info. Just so you know.—DK)