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
I’ve been asked many times how old Risuko and the other girls are in the Seasons of the Sword books.
Since these are young adult novels, it’s a good question. It’s one, however, I specifically chose not to answer in the text of the books. Before I answer, I need you to know that my answer will include some spoilers for Risuko. Just so you’re not surprised. Continue reading How old are Risuko and the others?
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about gender.
I’ve been thinking about gender because I’m writing a series of books in which it plays an important role. But it’s also on my mind because it’s very much a part of the global conversation these days. Issues of women’s rights in general and transsexual men and women’s rights in particular flare regularly in my morning news feed. My wife is teaching an online class in theater and gender that looks at these subjects in depth. The subjects comes up frequently in my conversations with my daughters and with my friends.
I’m just old enough that when I was young we didn’t make any distinction between sex (as defined by one’s physical appearance) and gender (one’s identification and behavior). Certain toys were girl toys and others were boy toys. Some boys were girly and some girls were tomboys. When I reached high school, we were taught that people with XX chromosomes were female while people with XY chromosomes were male.
That’s just the way it was.Continue reading Gender, Risuko, and Granny Weatherwax
Bright Eyes reviews:
The sequel to David Kudler’s award-winning YA novel Risuko hit bookstores today — and critics are applauding!
“Once again David Kudler has fully succeeded as a novelist with a genuine flair for historical fiction populated by memorably crafted characters and decidedly entertaining plot twists and turns. Like the first novel in the author’s ‘Seasons of the Sword’ series, Bright Eyes is imaginative, original, exceptionally well written, and highly recommended” — Midwest Book Review
“The martial arts was well done, the mystery was riveting, and the ending unexpected!” — Azalea Dabill, Author
“David Kudler crafts an enthralling. unputdownable tale due in no small part to his outstanding world building. He ties enough aspects of real-life feudal Japanese culture to give the perfect balance of reality in this fictional world. […] The well-crafted mystery, well-honed history and world-building, and Risuko’s adventurousness leave the reader wanting more.” — Shailyn Rogers, Ind’Tale Magazine