Risuko- A Kunoichi Tale By David Kudler

 25737655.jpgCan 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.

Historical adventure fiction appropriate for young adult and middle-grade readers. Synopsis taken from Goodreads. 

3.9 out of 5 stars ****

Rusiko is a beautiful story set in sixteenth century Japan. Females are warriors and Japan is tearing itself apart all in the belief they are helping put the country back together.

Risuko is full of beautiful language, amazing settings and jam packed with cultural knowledge.

Risuko is a girl that was plucked from her small poor village to go live in a school and train to become a Kunoichci… She thinks she is going to learn how to Dance and serve tea when in fact the School is a place for woman sneaks, spies, body guards, assassins, and warriors.

I loved all of the world descriptions my favorite was the descriptions of the fighting dance, the smooth movements and grace, the prediction of moves and serenity. I felt I was there doing the moves with Risuko in the falling snow with the other woman.

This is exactly what I imagined the school to look like! + bad-ass ladies or course

The reason this wasn’t a 5 star or even a full 4 stars was the ending. The ending was lacking and I spotted the plot twists a mile away it was all too predictable for me and I think this is because it is more MG then YA.



I wanted a big fight scene! Something action packed that involved climbing! A finally with a BANG! Instead received a scared girl and a annoying antagonist.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing I like Risuko even more now as she isn’t tough, she isn’t better then anyone or particularly skilled, she is just a little girl and shes doing her best, BUT I just felt I needed something a little bit more to round this book off.
I expect in the next books Risuko will go through A LOT of character development and I can’t wait to see what happens and how this story evolves.
I have high hopes that the next book will be full of training and a heap more character development oh and some more beautiful world descriptions.

Favorite quote:


“No harm,” he said as he danced on, cutting the air. Only now, the snowflakes began to bleed as he cut them. Battle of white and scarlet…
“ota-san, what can I do?” I wept in the dream, my tears freezing to my cheeks.
“Dance,” he said, his face still and calm, his blade whistling through the air. Blood flew from the tip of the sword, painting characters of death and disaster across the white ground.

Thank you Net galley and Still point Digital Press for allowing me to read this in exchange for a honest review and Thank you David Kudler for giving us this beautiful story.

Add this to you to read list on Goodreads here or you can pre-order this beauty here.


Do you guys enjoy the Middle Grade genre? or Historical fiction? I don’t read it much but when I do I have so much fun! I’m not sure why I don’t pick up more books like this but I will definitely look out for more. Any historical fiction books or anything with fantastic imagery let me know.

I’m always on the look out for recommendations and new books!


4 thoughts on “Risuko- A Kunoichi Tale By David Kudler

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