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
Samurai, assassins, warlords... and a girl who likes to climb
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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
These bestselling authors have teamed up to offer a delightful selection of new books.
Available August, 2023 only!
Find your next favorite read! Over 75 historical fiction books to kindle your Kindle and ignite your iPad — FREE! (Includes “White Robes” by David Kudler)
Squirrels are not creatures of the night. So sitting there on that stump in the dark trying to mend embroidery—trying not to stab myself with the sharp needle while keeping my ears pricked for any strange sounds—wasn’t easy on my nerves.
I fetched Masugu’s short sword from where my bedroll still lay, warm and inviting. The black lacquered sheath made a nice, hard surface for me to work against.
As I picked out the orange threads, cutting them with the tip of the needle, my mind worried at our destination. The capital.
Could I kill him?
Did I hate him?
I knew I hated the idea of him. I hated what he had done to my father, to Emi and Toumi’s.
But to kill him?
By the light of the waxing moon, I removed the threads of the Hōjō mon. One by one, I dropped them into the soot-covered embers of the fire. There they would briefly catch flame, writhing like snakes as they burned.
I was left, finally, with the blank white disk of the Mochizuki. The Full Moon.
A convenient emblem for a clan of spies and assassins.
I was just finishing the top blue stripe to the mon on my kimono when one of the horses snorted. I responded with my own snort of amusement. Do horses dream? What do they dream of? Running? Long, green grass and clover? Stomping on snakes?
Another sound broke my reverie, however—whispers. The sound was barely audible above the smooth rush of the water and the gentle rustle of the night breeze in the leaves overhead. But I was sure it wasn’t my imagination. Low voices came from the direction of the horses, like stones rumbling down through a stream.
I found myself on my feet, the beautiful robe forgotten in the dust, and strode toward the riverside with my sword drawn.
So much for being a cautious coward. Continue reading Kano Sneak Preview: Creatures of the Night
Kano Is Coming
We now have a release date for the next Seasons of the Sword book: March 1, 2024!
Through raging battles and deadly court intrigue, Risuko must follow a path narrower and less stable than any pine branch. And the consequences should she fail are sharp and hard as rocks below.
The red-and-white disguise of the kunoichi awaits.
Is Risuko ready?
See David Kudler Interviewed Live
Author David Kudler will be speaking live online with librarian Charlotte King-Mills about his inspirations, the joys and challenges of writing outside his own lenses, and what keeps pulling his imagination back to the Land of the Rising Sun. He’ll also be taking questions, so have yours ready!
Check out the Zoom interview: Continue reading Kano is Coming, Author Talk + FREE Historical Fiction!