What I've Been Reading – Risuko

So I’m a little bit addicted to NetGalley, which provides free advanced readers copies of books in exchange for an honest review. I signed up a few months ago and have been just a teensy bit obsessed excited to read all the new books. All of them. I’ve been a little less prompt about writing reviews, but I’ve been determined to write reviews prior to the book’s publication date. I’m catching up a bit now – just in time for your summer reading list. I read a mix of young adult, crime fiction and some mainstream fiction, so here you go.

 Risuko: A Kuniochi Tale by David Kudler, anticipated publication date of June 15, 2016 from Stillpoint Digital Press.

My kids are HUGE Lego Ningajo fans, so I’m pretty sure that makes me an expert in all things ninja. For instance, I know that ninja is both the plural and singular noun. And I know way more than I ever wanted about Jay’s Elemental Dragon (if you have to ask….). But I’m also pretty sure reading the historical young adult novel Risuko taught me much more about, um, actual ninja.

In the novel, Risuko, the title character, is sold to an enigmatic noblewoman in 16th century Japan and journeys through a war-torn countryside to a secure compound to begin training. Much of the novel details Risuko’s life at the bottom of the ladder (she spends a lot of time in the kitchens with the other newbies) but Risuko soon deduces that there’s a larger purpose behind all of the seemingly mundane tasks she and others do.

There’s a bit of a mystery, some secret back stories and the promise of future novels that will chart Risuko’s growth as a warrior. I loved the premise and the settings and was fond of Risuko. The book is marketed as YA but it’s more for younger readers. I suspect I will enjoy the later books in the series more, once Risuko matures, but I’m intrigued enough to keep the series on my to be read list.

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