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The title of this book comes from a Japanese expression "while duty is heavier than a mountain, death is lighter than a feather.". This is poetic, as the entire book is told from the perspective of the Japanese.

This book is a novelised historical recount of an invasion that never occurred in our world. It is an alternative history book that looks at the end of world war two?s pacific war. It is 1945, Japan is all but beaten, but refuses to surrender. The US is surrounding it, preparing to invade. However, in the book, the United States atomic experiments failed, and the US has no atomic bombs to drop. Instead, it has to rely on ?Operation Olympic?, the intended plan for a full scale invasion of Japan.

Concentrating on the battle scenes, and dealing with a succession of personal stories and viewpoints from combatants on both sides, the book conveys a very real sense of being there, along with the sense of hopelessness, and dread.

As a war novel concentrating on the little people it succeeds. As a map for an alternative world at war in the 1940s it is outstanding. As a campaign resource, or plot background for this universe, it is perfect.


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