ARC Review: Risuko (A Kunoichi Tale) by David Kudler

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RISUKO: A KUNOICHI TALE BY DAVID KUDLER
STILLPOINT DIGITAL PRESS (KINDLE), EXPECTED PUBLICATION DATE 15 JUNE
236 PAGES

AUTHOR’S GOOD READS PROFILE

AMAZON.UK

AMAZON.COM

NETI was given this ARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT

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.

Risuko.

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.

OPENING

My name is Kano Murasaki, but most people call me Risuko. Squirrel.

WHAT I THOUGHT

Risuko is an original concept for historical YA fiction. I adored the Japanese culture and history woven throughout the book. I’ve read very little books that use this culture as a background so I found it very interesting. The book is well-written, interesting and the description of time and place are so vivid I felt like I was really there seeing the world with my own eyes. The author does a great job of bringing time and place to life and I can’t fault this. However, mot enough time and effort is spent bringing the plot and characters to life. As much as I enjoyed the wonderful description of the setting, I found myself not caring about the characters or what happened to them. They never felt real to me. I wasn’t move by anything that happened to anyone. I got swept up in the wonderful setting and descriptions and carried along but the flat characters and lack of plot was a let-down. A great book needs a combination of great setting, good plot and great characters to tick all the boxes. Unfortunately, Risuko didn’t tick every box. However, I would probably read the next book in the series to see how things develop and if the characters come to life a bit more.

RATING

3 STAR RATING

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