Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale
(Seasons of the Sword #1)
by David Kudler
Can one girl win a war?
My name is Kano Murasaki, but most people call me Risuko. Squirrel.
I am from Serenity Province, though I was not born there.
My nation has been at war for a hundred years, Serenity is under attack, my family is in disgrace, but some people think that I can bring victory. That I can be a very special kind of woman.
All I want to do is climb.
My name is Kano Murasaki, but everyone calls me Squirrel.
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.
Seasons of the Sword
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?
Kano Murasaki moved like a spider, she could climb walls and building with ease. This may be one of the reasons why Lady Chiyome got interested in her, and before she knew it, her own mother sold her to the noblewoman. Hurt and feeling betrayed for her mother’s treachery, Kano Murasaki became Risuko, the Squirrel, and was thrown into slavery among other orphans. She met other girls and boys who were more or less her age, but not everyone liked her. Most girls were mean to her, but Toumi was the one who wanted to kill her from the get go.
Once they were all under Lady Chiyome’s stewardship, they learned things that most adults do. Cooking, basic household chores and the best – they learned special skills like sword fighting. They were taught the ways of a Japanese assassin, the Kunoichi style of killing.
A ghost made its presence known, targeting all of them. And soon Risuko would realize her worth and value in the group. She would soon be thrown into a 100-year old Japanese war, and she’d do everything to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
Risuko is a great Japanese character, I liked how she was portrayed in the book. Solicitous, understanding, but she was also quite headstrong and willful. The other orphans were commendable too, but I think Risuko captivated me. Author David Kudler has written a wonderful story that features old Japan with all its rich culture and traditions. This is quite a mind-reeling and overwhelmingly expressive read!
NOTE: I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.