Anyone who’s read Jim Butcher’s books knows he loves his mashups. His Dresden Files combines a classic gumshoe-detective tone with elements and tropes from every type of fantasy fiction and mythology you can think of. His Codex Alera novels were inspired when he was challenged to write a mind-bending combination of prompts: the Roman Empire and Pokemon.
The Aeronaut’s Windlass, the fun first novel in Butcher’s new Cinder Spires series, is yet another mashup: a rollicking nautical(ish) tale in the tradition of C.S Forester’s Horatio Hornblower set in a Steampunk world where steel rots and electricity doesn’t seem to exist but the ability to use a quasi-magical substance/force called aether allows for interesting takes on familiar technology, and in which the planet’s surface is barely habitable, leaving humanity confined to spires — enormous, nation-sized towers built in the distant past. Continue reading Book Review: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher→
I was going to post my review of Empire of Storms over on my own blog, but it occurred to me that folks here might be more interested in what I had to say. Have you read the Throne of Glass books? What do you think?
By the way, I avoided spoilers for the book as best I could, and have hidden spoilers for the series behind the cut. — David Kudler
Risuko is an artfully crafted novel that evokes a heavy sense of place and enchantment. The world in which Risuko lives is filled with lords and ladies, spies, and complicated battles, not all of which are fought out on the field. Lady Chiyome especially is an interesting figure, with a depth that is mirrored in the complicated relationships in the rest of the tale. Risuko becomes an interesting blend of both the historical and the magical, and the stakes of the story are enormous. In turn, Risuko’s development and evolution are fascinating to watch in this powerful and relentless coming-of-age adventure.
Nice. Not only am I happy that they liked the book, but I’m really pleased with what they liked about the book.
What do you think?
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InDTale Magazine, a news and review journal for indie publishing, posted a glowing featured review of Risuko!
It is easy to invest in the characters, and once the reader starts this book, it’s almost impossible to put it down. Risuko goes through a lot of character growth throughout the book. An entertaining story with excellent writing and haunting descriptions, a relatable heroine, and fast-paced writing.
I enjoyed Risuko very much. The prose is very vivid, the culture and Japanese language blended in as smoothly as supernatural elements in a well-written fantasy. Risuko is caught between trying to function in a war torn world, and daring to dream about making a difference. — Michele Lee, MonsterLibrarian.com
MonsterLibrarian Review: Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale by David Kudler
Kano Murasaki, better known as Risuko (Squirrel) loves only one thing more than climbing—her family. But her mother has just sold her to Lady Chiyomi, a mysterious woman who runs a compound that trains women to be soldiers in Japan’s hundred year long civil war. It takes Risuko a while to figure this out, but readers will know it right away. Chiyomi’s women are spies, body guards, assassins. They are intelligent, strong, capable, and clever. Risuko fits in well, except it’s not the traditional role little Japanese girls grow up imagining themselves in.
Happy Year of the Monkey! Not only is it a chance to celebrate the traditional beginning of the new year (Japan switched to the Western calendar in the 19th century), but it’s a chance to share a new review of Risuko:
I’m here to tell you: read this. You won’t regret it. The story is filled with character tension and growth, intrigue, and immersion in a Japanese world that feels incredibly authentic. — Kate, Hounds & Habits