Publisher: Stillpoint Digital Press
Publication Date: June 15th, 2016
Series: Seasons of the Sword, #1
Genre: Historical Fiction
As a disclaimer, I have to say that I rarely don’t finish a book even if I hate it. And this book, I even tried to like. I tried so hard. But I got to a point where I just couldn’t do it anymore. I just couldn’t.
The premise of this book had my attention. Muraski is a 13-year old Japanese girl whose deceased father used to be a Samurai. She is called Risuko, which means Squirrel, for her insane climbing abilities. While Japan is ravaged by a civil war, Risuko is bought by the Lady Chiyome and taken to her school where she essentially is going to train to be the female equivalent of a ninja.
Lady ninjas in Feudal Japan? Sounds awesome, right?!
Except that it wasn’t. It just dragged on and on and on and on. It was boring, boring, and boring. The first 20% of the book was Risuko being dragged behind Lady Chiyome, trying to figure out where she’s going. The next 37% that I read was Risuko as a novice working in the kitchens learning how to cook kimchi, then pluck chickens, then butcher pigs and cows. Sorry, I thought I was reading a story about lady samurais, not a cook book!
Risuko was also about as interesting as a bucket of old nails. It didn’t feel like she was a character even though the story is told from her perspective. Except for climbing up things, there really isn’t anything interesting about her. I can’t tell you what her personality is like because well…she didn’t have one. I think it’s a problem when the minor characters are completely overshadowing your heroine.
Speaking of characters, so many were introduced that I couldn’t keep track of them. They didn’t have much to setting each of them apart so only a handful of them I recognized when they re-entered the story.
It eventually just became too much, and I had to quit. I couldn’t do it. I had to pull a Sherlock and move on.
It’s just so disappointing when you hear a concept with such potential, and then its execution is so very poor. Anyone else read a book like that?