Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Review on Risuko



When Kano Murasaki's mother sells her to Lady Chiyome, her whole world changes. Although she is told she has been bought to become a shrine maiden, she soon finds out that this is not the truth. Alongside her new friends Emi and Toumi, Murasaki, nicknamed Risuko for her ability to climb, must find out the truth about why they are there. However there is a traitor in their midst who is searching rooms and trying to poison everyone. Risuko must find out who the true culprit is if she is ever to shift the blame from herself.

I found this book while browsing through Netgalley, and as is it is a YA book set in Japan it grabbed my interest. I feel as if the majority of YA books are set in English speaking countries, so I found it interesting that this book was not. The book follows Kano Murasaki, a young girl who has been given the nickname Risuko (Squirrel) as she loves climbing. However she is taken away suddenly from her mother and sister by Lady Chiyome, who explains that her mother has sold her so that she can become a shrine maiden. I found the start of the book to be a little slow, but once they ran into the armies the book picked up pace and I loved the fast paced fights that took place. I especially loved Mieko, one of Lady Chiyome's servants who is an exceptionally good fighter, and easily takes down the soldiers. I loved the idea of training young girls to become samurai's who could easily hold their own against male soldiers.

Although I did love their journey to the school, I did find the middle of the book somewhat boring. Although I loved the little hints that were thrown in that Risuko and her friends weren't actually there to become shrine maidens, I felt as if there was way too much time explaining what they were doing in the kitchen, such as butchering animals and making soup. Understanding what each herb was for was necessary to the plot, but apart from that I felt as if a lot of the time spent in the kitchens was unnecessary and my interest in the plot did start to slip. I loved Risuko's backstory, especially with what had happened to her father and the reasons why he decided to stop being a Samarai and become a scribe.

I loved that there was a traitor in the school who was searching through Lady Chiyome and Misugu's rooms and attempting to poison everyone. I always enjoy trying to guess who it is in these kinds of situations, and I was glad that I had no idea who it could be until it was revealed! It was a huge surprise and there was multiple instances where I suspected a certain character, only to find out that it wasn't them. I loved hearing the explanation for why they did it, along with Risuko trying to save everyone else.

I loved Emi and Toumi and their individual personalities. Although Toumi initially hated Risuko, I loved watching their relationship gradually change to a point where they became reluctant friends. However I did feel as if the male characters needed more work, as I felt as if their personalities weren't revealed to the reader, and although some of the male characters such as Misugu were important to the plot, I felt as if I didn't know enough about him or his background.

There were certain parts of the story which I loved, but as a whole I felt as if there was too much build up to revealing the true reason why Risuko was there, and I was bored for the majority of the book. Although this is part of a series, I was hoping for this book to progress faster than it did and for Risuko's training to get more underway than it did. I'm torn between if I want to continue with this series or not, as although I didn't enjoy this one much, I'm interested to find out what will happen to Risuko next, and if she will become a great Samurai like her father once was. As the next book isn't out until next year, I am afraid that I may forget about this one before the sequel is out.


Risuko is  available to purchase from 15th June!



1 comment: