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
By the way, I avoided spoilers for the book as best I could, and have hidden spoilers for the series behind the cut. — David Kudler
In Tower of Dawn, Sarah J. Maas turns a corner from sprawling epic to thrilling psychological fantasy.
In epic fantasy, the action usually centers around outsized acts of valor and evil committed by prodigious heroes and villains. It’s true in The Lord of the Rings. It’s true in A Song of Fire and Ice. It’s true in the first five of Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass books. But the latest installment in the series, Tower of Dawn, looks at action and heroism of a different kind.
I’m so excited, in fact, that I’d love to make you an offer. If you send me a purchase receipt for the Risuko audiobook, I’ll send two download codes good for any audiobook on Audible.com!*
In any case, hope the end of summer is treating you well (or the end of winter, if you’re in the southern hemisphere).
P.S. If you’ve read Risuko but haven’t had a chance to share your thoughts, I’d love it if you’d post a review on Goodreads or Amazon or your favorite ebook store. Or you can even respond to this email and let me know what you thought directly!
*If you’re in Britain, let me know and I’ll send you codes good on Audible.co.uk.
I’m hard at work on the Risuko sequel, Bright Eyes — and designer extraordinaire James Egan of Bookfly Design has come up with options for the cover! We’d love for you to help us choose your favorite Bright Eyes cover art.
Vote in the poll, and enter to win a copy of the soon-to-be-released Risuko audiobook!
So this is a departure from my regular series of Kunoichi Companion Tales. But it should still be fun!
The wonderful YA author Mackenzi Lee runs a regular Twitter feature called #BygoneBaddassBroads. It offers profiles of historical women who were… well… baddass. I came across her when she did a profile on one of my favorite bygone baddass broads, Lady Mochizuki Chiyome. A week or so ago, she profiled Locusta the Poisoner, who ran a school for assassins under the Roman emperor Nero. I joked that someone should write a crossover between the two; she joked back that I should throw in Fredericka “Marm” Mandelbaum, Queen of the Fences in late 19th century New York, who ran Marm Mandelbaum’s School for Gifted Youngsters, training the Gilded Age’s pickpockets, thieves, and master criminals.
How could I resist?
Here’s the story that sprang into my head!
Welcome to the fourth port in the YA Summer Scavenger Hunt!
I’m David Kudler, and I’m writing Seasons of the Sword, a historical adventure series about a young girl who’s been pulled into a plot that may save Japan—or may destroy it. Along with another 138 members of the Alliance of Young Adult Authors, I’m participating in a word-search treasure hunt. Gather up the words, put them together to tell the story, and enter to win prizes, including free books and a $500 Amazon gift card. Read to the bottom to collect my word and get one step closer to the treasure. Continue reading YA Summer Scavenger Hunt #4!