Ex Libris Kirkland

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Subtitle Legends of the Condor Heroes I
Translator Anna Holmwood
First Written 1957
Genre Fiction
Origin China
Publisher MacLehose Press
ISBN-10 0857053000
ISBN-13 978-0857053008
My Copy paperback
First Read May 10, 2018

A Hero Born

The Legend of the Condor Heroes is a famous epic from China - I thought it was an ancient text, but it's a modern book (the author is alive!), and is just set in the 1200s. It's a martial arts novel, which mixes wuxia fighting along with the plot. It's got a complicated cast of characters, but they're not hard to keep track of, and they're well delineated. When a friend told me that it ws his favorite book - and I saw it was being translated to English for the first time, I had to give it a go.

I liked it! I see the appeal, and the fighting is both well-described and also mysterious, because the characters fight with moves called 'Black Dragon Fetches Water' and 'Nine Yin Skeleton Claw.' But these are pretty great - they're evocative without being descriptive, which I think threads the needle pretty carefully.

Noted on May 29, 2018

The Prince wants us to dig up his grave and steal Yue Fei's poetry!

Quoted on May 29, 2018

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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