Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale by David Kudler

Can 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.

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.

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys, it’s Meaghan! I’m finally back with another review! I was in a bit of a reading slump for a little bit, with all the books I was trying to read just not being interesting! Finally, Risuko caught my attention, and I was finally able to finish a book again. My full review is below!

[I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through NetGalley]

“Be swift as the wind, silent as the forest, fierce as fire, steady as a mountain.”
Stars (Out of 10): 7.5/10
Overall Thoughts: I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would! It wasn’t exactly what I excepted, as it was a bit different from the description made it seem. It also didn’t have a well-known plot, but it actually made sense in this book, as the main character didn’t know what was going on either! Overall, I liked the concept and how “historical” it felt, and it was a nice read.
SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

I’m telling you why we broke up, Ed. I’m writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened.

Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.

-Synopsis from Goodreads

Meaghan here again! Let me preface this by saying that this book absolutely destroyed me, and am I so glad I read it. My reasons why are below!

“A girl meets a boy, Ed, and everything changes, or so she says.”

Stars (Out of 10): 9

Overall Thoughts: This was an emotional rollercoaster, and I am so glad I stuck around for the ride. I feel like I went through this break up right along with Min. Originally I started this book and got about 30 pages in before putting it away again, as the writing style really threw me off, but as I continued it again, it clicked perfectly with the idea of the story. This girl has just broken up with her ex-love, and now she’s returning his stuff. What we’re reading is her letter to him of her thoughts, and “why they broke up”, so of course it’s going to run on and be messy, because that’s Min’s emotional state at that time. It takes some getting used to, but it’s perfect.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE
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The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love… or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear… the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

It’s Meaghan here again! I was so excited to read this book, and even though it wasn’t exactly what I expected, I still loved the plot, characters, and the world! More details are in my review below!

“She wanted again to hold on to him, and have him hold on to her, so they could whirl together through the cosmos like galaxies that could not—and would not—be confined.”

Stars (Out of 10): 9.5/10

Overall Thoughts: I always love books with games, competitions, or riddles, and this one was no exception! It’s definitely different in how it was done, and wasn’t like most “game” related books I’ve read, but I loved it for its uniqueness! The characters were amazing to read, and I loved both the POVs that I was given! Overall, a great book, and I’m curious what the author will do with the rest!

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes

Rebels, royals, and monsters wage war over the Mytican throne in the shocking fourth book of the Falling Kingdoms series, from New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes.

CLEO: Reeling after a bloody showdown in Limeros ending with Amara’s abduction of the water crystal, and a vacancy in the Mytican throne, Princess Cleo must cast aside her feelings and look toward her kingdom with the eyes of a Queen.

MAGNUS: With the kingdom in chaos, Princess Lucia still missing and quite possibly in danger, and a shocking realization about Cleo, the steely prince is once again torn between love and duty, leaving him wondering whether he’s strong enough to rule his people.

LUCIA: The young sorcercess has had her vengeance after the cruel death of her first and only love. Heartbroken and unable to trust anyone, she allies with the awoken Fire god, who also seeks revenge.

JONAS: After escaping death by the skin of his teeth, the defeated rebel—along with a mysterious stranger–leader reunites with Princess Cleo, only to find himself a mere pawn in a dangerous hunt for the elusive Kindred.

KING GAIUS: Abandoned by Melenia and betrayed by his own children, Gaius flees Mytica and sails to Kraeshia, where he attempts to ally with the famously brutal emperor across the Silver Sea.

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys! It’s Meaghan here again, finally back with another review! I was on vacation for a bit, and read quite a few books, just didn’t have the internet to post my reviews! I finished the final published book of the Falling Kingdoms series, and loved it so much that I can’t wait until the next one! My full review is below!

“Because if you don’t choose to fight against the wrong in the world, then you are the wrong in the world.”

Stars (Out of 10): 9.5/10

Overall Thoughts: I didn’t enjoy this as much as Gathering Darkness, but I still absolutely loved it!! I enjoyed all the POVs except Lucia, especially the new ones introduced of Amara and Felix! The plot was so amazing, and we got to see more of the world that Morgan Rhodes has been built. Overall a great addition to the series, with an action-packed ending! I’m anticipating the next one in December!

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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