Category Archives: Book

Seasons of the Sword Book 4 Title Reveal

Since Kano, the third Seasons of the Sword book, comes out in less than two weeks, it’s time for the title reveal for the fourth book!

Kano includes the first chapter of the concluding novel in Risuko’s adventures. It follows her as she, Emi, and Toumi accompany a spoiled young noblewoman to her wedding. What should be a simple assignment—get the bride to the wedding, make sure she’s properly dressed—is anything but.

Because someone wants the lady dead.

After Risuko, Bright Eyes, and Kano, we are excited to reveal that the title of book 4 is…

Continue reading Seasons of the Sword Book 4 Title Reveal

Not an April Fool: Dummy Copies of Kano Shipped

Wish it were an April Fool

Look what I got in the mail last week!

Boy, wasn’t I surprised, since I’m still working with the editors on the final draft! I mean, it would have been great if it had actually been the final text, but the inside looked like this: Continue reading Not an April Fool: Dummy Copies of Kano Shipped

Kano — Ask the Author!

Questions about Seasons of the Sword #3?

Ask the Author Anything!

Kano: A Kunoichi Talethe third book in the Seasons of the Sword series, is almost here!

We hope you’re as excited as we are. In fact, author David Kudler would love to answer any questions about the book or the series you may have. Make predictions about what you think will happen — and what won’t! David may even be willing to give you some hints about what’s to come… but no spoilers. 😉

Comment with your questions or predictions, and David will respond.

Shōgun Returns

Have you been watching the new miniseries Shōgun? I’d love to discuss it with you!

Based on the 1975 novel by James Clavell, Shōgun follows John Blackthorne, an English ship’s pilot (anjin) who finds himself shipwrecked in Japan in 1600 — some 30 years after my Seasons of the Sword books. The empire is in the endgame of the century-and-a-half-long series of civil wars. Blackthorne finds himself both a pawn and a player in a deadly game that will lead to the birth of a new Japan.

Continue reading Shōgun Returns

Meeting the Queen Bee (Kano sneak preview)

Here’s another peak at Kano, book 3 in Seasons of the Sword (coming April 30, 2024).

Risuko and her friends have finally reached the capital. In this scene, they’re headed to an evening at the theater with Masugu’s older sister Yamamoto Yaeko. They’re there to meet an important new character: Lord Oda’s young half-sister, Lady Hachihime.

David Kudler

Meeting the Queen Bee

The theater was in a building that looked as if it had been a temple at some point. Over the wide doors, in gold leaf so faded and flaking that it was barely legible, a legend read, The blessed hear about the Buddha of Infinite Light and call him to mind again and again in the Pure Land.

Richly dressed men and women flowed through the entrance, but just to the side a tiny lady in a bright furisode [a long-sleeved kimono traditionally worn by unmarried women] was berating the leader of a small group of armed men. “No, Kuroi, I won’t have you coming into the theater with me like a bunch of sharks and scaring everyone away.” When the man just grunted, she looked over to us. “Look! There’s Lady Yamamoto and some friends. They don’t need guards. Who’s going to attack me in the theater, silly man?”

The soldier tried to object, but the young woman turned her back on him and strode away toward us, daffodil-bedecked fan sweeping negligently before her. “Yaeko!” she called. “How lovely to see you! Who are these lovely ladies?”

Continue reading Meeting the Queen Bee (Kano sneak preview)

Kano Cover Poll

Help us choose the final cover for Kano

and enter for a chance to win your choice of any item from the store!

We’re still looking for input in our Kano Cover Poll. We’d love your feedback on the best cover for the third title in the award-winning Seasons of the Sword series.

Continue reading Kano Cover Poll

New Kano Release Date

Please note the new Kano release date!

I hope that you are enjoying a wonderful beginning to 2024. Last year was a challenging one for so many of us in so many ways; here’s to a better, brighter new year — preferably one with lots of great books! Continue reading New Kano Release Date

Kano Sneak Preview: Creatures of the Night

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.

Lord Oda.

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, Author Talk + FREE Historical Fiction!

Kano Is Coming

Pre-order Kano: A Kunoichi Tale, Book 3 in Seasons of the Sword!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

David Kudler, author of the Seasons of the SwordAuthor 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!

Tiptown (Kano, Chapter 1)

Happy holidays! Akemashite omedeto gozai masu!

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)