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
I’ve written nearly sixty-eight thousand words of Bright Eyes, the sequel to Risuko.
The most satisfying word of all to write?
That’s the kanji character for “The End.”
After all this time, I have a complete draft of the second Seasons of the Sword book — and I’m really excited about being able to finally share more than snippets with you!
I’m working hard at editing — and if you’ve signed up for Risuko’s Beta Army, you’ll be hearing from me soon. And we’ve set a release date: May 5, 2022. (That’s Japanese Children’s Day, for what it’s worth.)
Keep an eye out for news, exciting offers, and more — and sign up for our newsletter, if you haven’t already! You’ll get free access not only to updates, but downloads of the prequel Kunoichi Companion Tales as well.
(Oh, and in case you’re wondering what I happened to the character who refused to die… I killed them off. Gleefully. And I’d do it again!)
Last summer, I had a really interesting conversation with Scott Calhoun of the Inner Typewriter about Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey® and how authors can use it to enrich and focus their writing:
Among other things, I look at Risuko, and how my work on it reflects the Hero Journey.
The Hero’s Journey is a registered trademark of Joseph Campbell Foundation (JCF.org)
I owe you an apology.
I had promised — and confidently expected — to finish and release Bright Eyes, book #2 in the Seasons of the Sword series, in 2018.