Title: Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale.
Author: David Kudler
Genre: Historical fiction, YA adventure
Publish Date: June 15th, 2016
Part of a Series? Yes: Seasons of The Sword #1.
I received an advanced copy of Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale from Netgalley. I am so glad I did, as this is not my normal read, yet I adored it!
Set in historic Japan, steeped in mystery and war. For a hundred years, lords fighting lords. Risuko has no part in all this. Her father, once a samurai ended his life as a scribe, her family in disgrace. She lives in the Serenity province with her sister and mother, enjoying her freedom and climbing.
One day, Lady Chiyome comes through and everything changes. Risuko has been “sold” to the lady as a servant and student. She will go to the school of the full moon, whatever that is. As she meets up with Emi, Toumi, and Aimaru (all orphans who have been picked up by Chiyome), Risuko quickly realizes that things are not all they seem. Meiko, Chiyome’s servant, is a fighter when she must be. The Kunoichi, which the three girls are to be trained to be, are more than they seem. Through battle, intrigue and deceit, Risuko learns how to balance her new life with what her father would have wanted.
On a personal level, I was intrigued by the characters of this book. I felt an affinity toward the over proud and cranky Toumi, and for Risuko. The story was fluid and interesting, though I will say it lagged in parts. While it is listed as YA, I might go lower. While anyone could enjoy this book (it is a great story after all) I can see it in the hands of nine and ten year olds. There is violence, written tastefully and not horribly descriptive in a way that would worry me giving it to a younger child. The vocabulary, while a stretch, would not be out of bounds.
I eagerly await the next one!
This book is perhaps a one on the adult content scale for violence.
The book will the out 6-15-2016. Go get it!
Link to book: