Expected publication: June 15th 2016
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?
I really loved the concept of this book and the writing was really great as well. I do think this is more Middle Grade than Young Adult though. I wasn’t really expecting MG so I was a little bit disappointed. I thought the first %10 was kind of confusing and just felt weird to me but it definitely got better. I loved the Japanese culture and history and even though I don’t much about Japan, it felt like the author did a great deal of research and knew what he was talking about.
The one thing that held me back from really loving this book was that I was never emotionally invested. I didn’t really care that much the characters or what happened to them. I think because the last half of the book was so much better than the first half, I didn’t have time to get become invested in the characters.
Overall, I did enjoy this book but it never hit me in the right way. I loved the concept and the writing. But this book just wasn’t really for me.