Book review: Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale (Seasons of the Sword #1)


Author: David Kudler

Format: Kindle (ARC)

Publication date: June 15, 2016

Publisher: Stillpoint Digital Press

3.5 Stars



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.

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 possibly have the power to change the outcome. Or could she?

Historical adventure fiction appropriate for young adult and middle-grade readers.

IMG_20151126_223635My thoughts

Thank you Netgalley and Stillpoint Digital Press for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review.


  • Risuko-Proper name: Kano Murasaki
  • Lady Mochizuki Chiyome
  • Mieko and Kuniko-Lady Chiyome’s maid
  • Hanichi Emi and Tasugu Toumi-Risuko’s friends.
  • Little brothers-Servants of Lady Chiyome.

“A Kunoichi is married to her duty and to death.”

I have a lot of things to say about this story by David Kudler; there were things that I didn’t like, still there were good things to mention. Let’s just talk about first what was the story all about.

Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale takes place in Japan, specifically Mochizuki in Nagano. There was a girl named Kano Murasaki, or for everyone they called her Risuko (Squirrel). The reason for this nickname was because, she climbs trees and roofs as fast and high as the squirrel. She lives in a simple life with her mother and her sister, though their lives were not as good as the rich ones. But, someone made her life turn in an unexpected way; Lady Chiyome bought Risuko from her mother because she wants Risuko to train as Kunoichi (Ooppss. I will not tell you what really it is!) Before she become what her destiny wants her to be, she must first face the challenges that will make her stronger and will make her true abilities sharpen.

Well, I will not continue the story until the end, what am I a story teller? Just kidding. 😛

Seriously, I will now make points on what are my perspectives about this book.

The things I like:

  1. The concept of the story
  • I was become intrigued in the story line of this. It really fascinated me because of these facts: Young girl destined to fight for a war, sets in Japan and a historical fiction. What will I say? Though, I know there were a lot of books the same with this one; but one thing was for sure, the author really nailed this concept plus the cover was absolutely stunning.

       2. The world built-up.

  • For this, it was an OKAY for me. Well, it really didn’t level my expectations if I will base from the blurb in the story. Still, this really amazed and excites me as I read every chapter of the book, and I wasn’t really bored while reading this one. It was a light-read plus the words can pick-up easily which was a good point, because it was categorized for young-adult/middle grade. Thumbs up for this!

3. The characters.

  • The characters felt like they were really a young persons, which is my standard to every book that I read. Though there were no progress has been made for them, still their characterizations was like a Ying and Yangbalance.

Next, the things that I dislike in this book:

  • Yes. As I said earlier this story was a light-read; but there were times that I really got confused on what has happened in a particular scene. Fortunately, I was able to tolerate this one. But my concern was, if the others will read this especially the target audiences, it will give them a hard time to process on what’s happening to the story. On the positive side, you can still understand it because as I mention above, the author wrote it using with light words.
  1. Unanswered questions.
  • There were some parts that I didn’t quite understand, because there were parts that I hope it answered clearly. Well, it is the first book, and I’m still expecting alot from this.

Phew! Congratulations, I was able to make this review up to this point. LOL. As you noticed, my likes and dislikes for this book was a balance. If you will ask me if I will recommend this one, I will just say–YES.


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