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
Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This is my second go-around with this bi-annual event, which was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 120 hours!
Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM–but there is also a red team, a gold team, an orange team, a red team, and an indie team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!
If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.
I’m David Kudler, author of the YA historical adventure Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale, which follows a young, orphaned samurai girl who is recruited to become a kunoichi — an assassin, spy, and bodyguard.
SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE
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!