My name is Kano Murasaki, but everyone calls 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 and 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 possible have the power to change the outcome. Or could she?
YOUNG ADULT HISTORICAL ADVENTUREAs featured in Kirkus, Foreword, and on the cover of Publishers Weekly!
Tight, exciting, and thoughtful... The characters are nicely varied and all the pieces fit into place deftly. -- Kirkus Reviews
Risuko is an artfully crafted novel that evokes a heavy sense of place and enchantment.... Risuko's development and evolution are fascinating to watch in this powerful and relentless coming-of-age adventure. -- Foreword Reviews (spotlight review)
Vividly portrayed, flush with cultural detail, and smoothly written. -- BookLife
A native of Sausalito, California (famous mostly for being the town at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge, and for having a cookie named after it), David Kudler is an author, editor and performer.
He is the founder, publisher, and editor-in-chief of Stillpoint Digital Press. Since 1999, he has overseen the publications program of the Joseph Campbell Foundation, where he has served as the managing editor of the Collected Works of Joseph Campbell series. He is honored to be serving as the current vice-president of the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association (BAIPA).
He lives in Mill Valley, California (the next town north from Sausalito) with his wife, teacher and author Maura Vaughn, their two author-to-be daughters, and their non-literary cats.
He is working on Bright Eyes, the sequel to his award-winning young-adult historical adventure novel Risuko.
Want to keep up with him? Sign up at stilpt.us/risuko!
After a snowstorm forces him to take shelter, Jack comes across a village in need of protection from raiding mountain bandits. Torn between moving on or helping, Jack is persuaded to stay and fight the villagers' cause.
But Jack is the first and only samurai to do so. Now he must enlist other warriors to the villagers' aid before the bandits return to steal their harvest. No easy task when the reward is so little and he is a foreigner. If only he had his friends to call on...
Using the Ring of Fire, can Jack overpower the bandits and win?
But the Shogun's samurai are hot on his trail. Barely escaping their clutches, Jack runs headlong into a trap. Kidnapped by ninja and led to their village deep in the mountains, Jack has no means of escape.
The only question is who will kill him first - the ninja or samurai?
Determined to discover the truth, Jack goes on a quest to retrieve his belongings - his precious swords, his friend Akiko's black pearl and most important of all, his father's prize possession. Relying on his samurai and ninja training, Jack realises The Ring of Water is the key to his survival.
But with only a washed up Ronin - a masterless samurai - for help, what will Jack manage to find? What will he lose? And what will he have to sacrifice?
Sachiko and Kenji just want to welcome the new year in the proper way, but their mother tells them they don't have the money for a New Year's feast. An act of generosity brings help from an unexpected source in this heartwarming Japanese classic.
May the Seven Gods of Luck visit you!
"A lively adaptation of a Japanese folktale.... The well-paced, carefully plotted text has a sprightly partner in its stylized, gently colored illustrations." - School Library Journal
"A sweetly illustrated retelling" - The New York Times
Across the ages, the headmistresses of three very unusual schools (along with their very unusual students) share a meal.
Lady Mochizuki Chiyome plays host to two of the only women who can understand why she teaches young women to do very unladylike things. Like her, Locusta the Poisoner and Ma Mandelbaum run schools for very particular students gifted with very particular talents.
Inspired by a conversation with Mackenzi Lee, author of Bygone Badass Broads, this short historical fantasy explores what would happen if three of history's most bloodthirsty schoolmistresses had been able to share a (very carefully checked) meal.
Some come wearing silk
A young Takeda warrior meets a servant who is much more than she seems. And teaches him what a warrior truly can be.
This is the second of six Kunoichi Companion Tales, prequel stories to David Kudler’s historical novel Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale:White Robes — Mired in her own grief, Lady Mochizuki Chiyome encounters two young women who give her a whole new, much more interesting opportunitySilk & Service — A young Takeda warrior meets a servant who is much more than she seems (coming soon!)Ghost — When Lady Chiyome receives a note from the shōgun, she finds that the messenger is much more intriguing than the messageShining Boy — Plucked off of the streets of the capital, an orphan girl tries to figure out what story she's wandered intoBlade — Toumi doesn't want anyone messing with her businessLittle Brother — Returning to the monastery turns out to be as hard as leaving it was
“Get my purse, boy!” growled Captain Oniyama, “And more sake!”
Masugu watches the girl appear as if from out of the floor to pour the rice wine into the captain's cup: smooth gait, smooth hair, smooth—
“Boy! My purse!”
Masugu shakes himself, blushing, and leaps to his feet. “Yes, Oniyama-sama!”
The captain is usually patient and polite, but at these regular mahjong games with the other Imagawa commanders, he drinks. And Masugu doesn't like being around him when he's drunk. Doesn't like watching him lose at games.
Also, the girl...
(Teen assassin, historical fiction, love in a time of war, Japan)