A Hero Born (Legends of the Condor Heroes #1) by Jin Yong (translated by Anna Holmwood) is a martial arts epic, retelling Chinese legends. The author is one of China’s most widely read living writer.
- 416 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250220602
As many people who do not live in China, I was unfamiliar with Yong, but I always enjoyed Chinese mythology (even though I could not tell you much about it) and the fantasy realm around them. The movies are mostly fantastic, so when I read about A Hero Born (Legends of the Condor Heroes #1) by Jin Yong (translated by Anna Holmwood), I decided to give it a shot.
This novel is very reminiscent of the old tales of knights and chivalry. Instead of swords, the warrior fight with kung fu, but are just as chivalrous and cartoonish. It’s easy to see how these stories have influenced many in the literary world, as well as other media such as TV shows and movies.
In fact, I could easily see Kill Bill and other Tarantino movies being influenced by these stories.
This novel is the first in a series of 12 books, Legends of the Condor Heroes. The novel draws on Chinese history, traditions, myths, and legends. The translation reads like an adult fairytale, it is vibrant and easily imagine if you’re a fan of kung-fu movies, or even the epics coming out of China in recent years.
The Song Empire in the 13th century has lost half its territory, including the capital, to the Jurchen invaders. While the war is raging, the peasants suffer and the great powers underestimate the Mongol warriors who are being untied by Genghis Khan.
In the great Kahn’s army, a son of a murdered Song patriot grows up. Gou Jing is humble and loyal, but not too smart. Gou Jing’s fate, however, is to confront an opponent who has many more advantages than him.
To help Gou Jing confront his fate, several masters, shifus, help him out. The Seven Heroes of the South train him endlessly so he can fulfill his destiny at the Garden of the Drunken Immortals.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free.
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