Risuko by David Kudler
Series: Season of the Sword
Published by Stillpoint Digital Press
Published On: June 15, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Japan 1500s
Maturity Level: Young Adult - Minor violence
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I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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?
Firstly, can we all just take a moment to appreciate that cover? That’s an A+ cover. It fits with the mood of the story perfectly.
Normally I would hesitate at a historical fiction book. It’s not usually my genre of choice but I’ve been obsessed with Japan ever since finishing Ink by Amanda Sun and I thought this was an excellent choice to learn more about it! I don’t know how historically accurate these events are (since I know next to nothing about Japan) but they felt like they were at least based on fact. I ended up loving this book for the history it told us! I was actually interested in the war that was happening and what our characters were doing in relation to it. This war was a lot different than others I’ve read about so it was actually really fun for me.
The story started off innocent enough. In the beginning I was worried it was going to be more of a middle grade book. It still could be considered middle grade but after getting through more of the story I was confident in classifying this as a young adult book just I felt some younger kids wouldn’t be able to understand what was happening. Either way, as an adult even I still enjoyed reading this book.
This is one of those stories where it’s hard to talk about the plot or the characters because I found that everything flowed really nicely. It’s a story where we got to watch a young girl being taken from her home and then trying to figure out a way to survive. Our main character was a really clever young girl though still young. It was cute sometimes seeing her take a second to clue into something you figured out a page before. I loved that we got to learn things as our character did and I loved seeing her stick to her morals. It was just a really cute story that was fun to read.
There wasn’t much I didn’t love. I found the story to be a little slow at the start but as I kept reading it I got used to the flow of the story and it made much more sense. This is not a face paced book by any means so keep that in mind when reading!
I’d recommend this to any one looking for a slower paced book with lots of rich detail and history. It’s an adventure story not action so don’t expect lots of sword fights. It’s quite the opposite actually, our character is still growing into herself and most of our story revolves on her growth. It’s a cute story though and I highly recommend it.
A wonderful adventure story following our main character across historical Japan. A great start to a hopefully fantastic series.