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, The Seasons of the Sword follow 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?
Seasons of the Sword Newsletter
Kunoichi Companion Tales
David Kudler, author of Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale, is releasing the Kunoichi Companion Tales, a series of prequels to his teen historical novel novel series, Seasons of the sword. These stories introduce characters and themes from the Seasons of the Sword novels, and are currently available exclusively to Risuko subscribers. To read the stories for free, subscribe now.
Kunoichi Companion Tales introduce characters and themes from the Seasons of the Sword novels, and are currently available exclusively to Risuko subscribers, along with news, blog posts, and other exclusive gifts!
To read the stories, subscribe now:
Kunoichi Companion Tales
This series of short stories, set before and between the novels of the Seasons of the Sword series, is available exclusively to our subscribers and to our Kickstarter supporters.
There are at least nine planned stories, each exploring the origins of Lady Chiyome's army of "dangerous flowers":
Kunoichi Companion Tales
- White Robes — Mired in her own grief, Lady Mochizuki Chiyome encounters two young women who give her a whole new, much more interesting opportunity (now available!)
- Silk & Service — A young Takeda warrior meets a servant who is much more than she seems (now available!)
- Waiting for Kuniko — Mieko is waiting at a rendezvous behind enemy lines. In the rain. Without a hat. The person who comes up the road is the last person she expected to encounter.
- Wild Mushrooms — A Hōjō commander is delighted when two pretty young shrine maidens enter his camp on the evening before a battle. Perhaps he shouldn’t have been. (now available!)
- Ghost — At a banquet to celebrate a new alliance, Chiyome contemplates murder, and discovers a new servant (now available!)
- Schools for Talented Youngsters: Monthly Headmistresses’ Dinner — Three unique ladies get together once a month to share the joys and challenges involved teaching young ladies with very particular… talents. (Historical fantasy/crossover — now available!)
- Shining Boy — Plucked off of the streets of the capital, an orphan girl tries to figure out what story she's wandered into (Coming soon!)
- Blade — Toumi doesn't want anyone messing with her business (Coming soon!)
- Little Brother — Returning to the monastery turns out to be as hard as leaving it was (Coming soon!)
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News from the Full Moon
Here’s the first sneak preview to Kano, the third book in the Seasons of the Sword series!
Obviously, there are spoilers for Risuko and Bright Eyes — if you haven’t read them yet, you might want to check them out first!
Chapter 1: Tiptown
Lady Hōjō,” sighed the Uesugi captain, “I can’t let you and your party through without an escort—there’s trouble on the other side of the province. We’ve already had to send half of the garrison west, so I can’t spare any men to protect you.”
Mieko gave him her most disgusted Lady Chiyome glare. “Ruffian.” She turned to me and Toumi, kneeling to her left in the captain’s office. “What will Masugu-sama think if we don’t arrive in the capital on time?”
I put my hand in her knee like the supportive lady’s maid that I supposedly was. “I’m sure the shōgun will understand if his cousin, your intended, has to change the wedding date.”
When Toumi gave a dismissive snort and muttered, “Sure he will,” Mieko covered her face in her hands and began to wail.
I handed her a silk handkerchief marked with the orange, three-triangle mon of her supposed clan.
The Uesugi commander ground his teeth, clearly unused to having to manage high-strung noble brides—or cunning kunoichi. “My lady…” He closed his eyes. “Can I get you something, my lady?”
This was the cue we had been waiting for. “Please,” I simpered, “if this humble servant might fetch her ladyship some wine, that might help our mistress’s nerves.”
“Yes, yes,” grumbled the captain. “The stores are immediately across the courtyard, to the right of the main gate.”
As I bowed, Mieko sniffled, “Oh, you go with her, Toumi. She’s always getting lost.”
“Yes, my lady,” said Toumi in a more than passably respectful manner. Really, if you didn’t know her, you might almost have thought she was sweet. Continue reading Tiptown (Kano, Chapter 1)
I tell yeh, Bright Eyes. Men and women? A bloody mess. Every time. — Kee Sun on sex and gender, Risuko
Is “toxic masculinity” just a way of saying men are toxic?
I get asked a lot about why I decided to write about young women in my Seasons of the Sword novels. There are lots of reasons.
But an online conversation I was part of recently made one of them very clear to me.
In the conversation, someone argued that “toxic masculinity” was feminist code for the assertion that all men are bad/toxic.
No. No. No.
Masculinity ≠ Men Continue reading Risuko, My Father, and Toxic Masculinity
Working with a master educator, author David Kudler has added two sets of resources to those already available for studying Bright Eyes, book 2 of the Seasons of the Sword novels:Continue reading Bright Eyes Resources for Teachers and Students