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
David Kudler’s teen historical adventure novel Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale is on sale through Thursday, August 18 only. Buy the ebook for just $0.99 on Amazon’s Kindle Store!
Samurai, assassins, warlords… and a girl who likes to climb
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
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.
On writing historical fiction as if it were fantasy
When I first began working on my novel Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale, my daughters were both young, and they were both voracious readers. Which, not surprisingly, I am as well. And so we happily read a lot of books together — both pleasure books and books assigned by their teachers.
Now, most of the books Sasha and Julia brought home from school were wonderful. But I noticed pretty early on that a lot of the “historical fiction” was way heavier on the historical than the story.
Again, some of the books were great. The Witch of Blackbird Pond? Crispin: Cross of Lead? Number the Stars? Terrific.
But a lot of the others were… less so.
I found myself looking at the books that my daughters and I found compelling and realized that, first and foremost, they were great stories — that they had lot more in common with the magic in the fantasy books that we all enjoyed together (Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, Tamara Pierce’s Tortall books) than a history text.
And so, as I thought about what style I wanted to take on when I began writing Risuko, I decided that I was going to write my historical novel as if it were a fantasy.Continue reading The Magic of History→
Set in sixteenth-century Sengoku era Japan, Risuko follows the journey of a young woman who is recruited to become a kunoichi. What does that mean, how will she adapt, and can one girl affect the outcome of a hundred years of civil war?
Interested in finding out more?
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David Kudler (author): My friend Sue has been helping run a podcast for a number of years. Called PotterFicWeekly, it was originally dedicated to discussing Harry Potter fanfiction, but over the years they’ve branched out. Poufwa Exchange is their podcast for discussing other fandoms — and on the most recent podcast, they discussed Risuko and interviewed me!
Thank you so much to all of you who have pledged your support to the Kickstarter campaign — and especially to those of you who increased it, as well as those who’ve let their friends know! Every pledge counts, and I truly appreciate your help.