05 April, 2016

#BookReview :: 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.
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.

I am not someone who pays much attention to a book cover. But just look at this one!!! It attracted me so much that I was already halfway there to request a review copy on netgalley. Then the blurb goes on to indicate this to be a tale of a really strong female character and I just couldn’t resist.

Risuko is the tale of a girl who was sold off at a tender age and her journey towards becoming a Kunoichi. It was interesting to see Kano grow and mature with the story. Her energy is infectious. She felt more mature than her age for most parts. But at times her youth and inexperience showed through her rash decisions and actions. She is one of those characters who you is just there and slowly starts to grow on you and by the end you find yourself cheering her on. The plot is simple and quite straightforward and the author’s narration is what keeps you engaged to the story. Japanese Culture is something I have always wanted to know more about and this book has plenty of it. I enjoyed getting a glimpse of the country, even if it is through fiction, and its rich culture. The author has done an admirable job with each setting and the flow of the story is smooth. Apart from the slow start, this book has no pitfalls and will leave you craving for more. You will crave for more of Risuko and more for David’s beautiful language. The book is clearly aimed at younger readers and as such the author has kept his language simple. Yet there is much beauty in that simplicity.

Overall, this book was quite an entertaining read. I dearly wish to get my hands on the next installment.

Review Copy received from Netgalley

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