Category Archives: Review

Bright Eyes has arrived — and the critics are already speaking!

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

Continue reading Bright Eyes has arrived — and the critics are already speaking!

Book Review: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher

The Aeronaut's WindlassAnyone 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

Review: Empire of Storms is a hurricane of epic fantasy

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

As someone with an interest in YA novels about female teen assassins, I’ve enjoyed Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series. The latest volume, Empire of Storms, delivers all of the pleasures that have made the previous installments addictive — fast-moving action, well-thought-through epic fantasy, and, at its center, the snarky, sneaky assassin-heroine Celaena Sardothien Continue reading Review: Empire of Storms is a hurricane of epic fantasy

Foreword Reviews: ★★★★★ Risuko “powerful and relentless”

Look what came in the mail today!

Foreword Reviews: Risuko

Foreword Reviews gave Risuko: A Kunoichi tale a spotlight, five-star review in this quarter’s issue. (Oh, and notice that they used the cover as the central design!)

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?

Foreword is a leading trade review journal of independently published books. We like them. Especially right now.

You can read the whole review here! 

I’m going back to working on Bright-Eyes now. 🙂

Risuko Blog Tour Starts June 1!

Risuko - Can one girl win a war? Coming June 15! Risuko.NetBlog Tour

Starting June 1, YA Bound Blog Tours will be organizing a week-long series of reviews, feature articles, and guest posts on Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale and author David Kudler! (See the schedule below.)

Over eighteen bloggers will be discussing and reviewing Risuko, which comes out in bookstores and online on June 15. Look for more updates as the tour gets underway! Continue reading Risuko Blog Tour Starts June 1!

Risuko Review—BookTuber WhyMermaids: “Really enjoyed!”

BookTuber WhyMermaids gives a quick review of Risuko! 

Check out WhyMermaids’s YouTube channel for this and other great YA book reviews!

WRAP UP | march 2016


InDTale Magazine Risuko Review: “★★★★½—Impossible to put it down!”

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. 

Continue reading InDTale Magazine Risuko Review: “★★★★½—Impossible to put it down!”

Risuko MonsterLibrarian Review: “A fascinating tale”

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 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.

But Risuko isn’t a traditional girl either. Her father was a famous samurai. He fought in the war until he was also forced to choose between honor and family. Chiyomi choose Risuko, not for her climbing skills, but for another, more personal reason. Continue reading Risuko MonsterLibrarian Review: “A fascinating tale”

Kirkus Risuko Review: “A tight, exciting, and thoughtful first volume”

The first of the major reviewers, Kirkus Reviews, has given Risuko a glowing review!

“A tight, exciting, and thoughtful first volume in what promises to be a fine series about a female ninja.” — Kirkus

Continue reading Kirkus Risuko Review: “A tight, exciting, and thoughtful first volume”

Risuko Review: “Read this. You won’t regret it.”

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

Continue reading Risuko Review: “Read this. You won’t regret it.”