Sunday, December 30, 2007

Dragon of the Mangroves by Yasuyuki Kasai

Publisher: iUniverse
ISBN: 13: 978-0-595-39026-7 (pbk)
13: 978-0-595-83414-3 *ebk)
Genre: Fiction

Many stories of World War II are untold on both sides of the battles fought in the Pacific theater that should be told of the bravery displayed by the ordinary soldier on both sides and the terrors they often faced. This is one such story, based on events that occurred during the Japanese withdrawal from Ramree Island.

How does one look through the eyes of an ordinary man conscripted to fight a war he doesn't really understand and depict what he sees or what is happening around him? Talented author Yasuyuki Kasai has used his understanding of human nature to craft a tale that shows us how men react when faced with certain death.

This is a tale that could be applied to any group of men in any similar situation. The confusion caused by orders that call for defense and retreat at the same time, send Second Lt. Yoshihisa Sumi and his men on a rescue mission to remove as many soldiers as possible from Ramree Island. He must find transport to the island when no boats are available, he is given an inadequate map, arms and food, yet he finds the way to obey his orders.

Both the retreating army and rescuers are unaware of dangers awaiting them as they proceed toward a meeting place. There is a definite tension in this story that will hold your attention. History unfolds as you red and you will understand once again the untold horrors of war.

An interesting tale that I'm pleased to recommend to any fiction fan. History, horror and suspense all mingle with facts that prove life can produce experiences worse than any imagination. It is a read that will open your eyes and I can honestly say I learned something about another side to this war and the men who fought it.

Anne K. Edwards

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