A HERO BORN

A Hero Born TPB.jpg

Jin Yong

Translated from the Chinese by Anna Holmwood

Trade paperback - Royal - 416pp - 22/02/2018 - £14.99 - 9780857053008

 

China: 1200 A.D.

The Song Empire has been invaded by its warlike Jurchen neighbours from the north. Half its territory and its historic capital lie in enemy hands; the peasants toil under the burden of the annual tribute demanded by the victors. Meanwhile, on the Mongolian steppe, a disparate nation of great warriors is about to be united by a warlord whose name will endure for eternity: Genghis Khan.

Guo Jing, son of a murdered Song patriot, grew up with Genghis Khan's army. He is humble, loyal, perhaps not altogether wise, and is fated from birth to one day confront an opponent who is the opposite of him in every way: privileged, cunning and flawlessly trained in the martial arts.

Guided by his faithful shifus, The Seven Heroes of the South, Guo Jing must return to China - to the Garden of the Drunken Immortals in Jiaxing - to fulfil his destiny. But in a divided land riven by war and betrayal, his courage and his loyalties will be tested at every turn.

 

A Chinese Lord of the Rings
— Irish Times
[Jin Yong’s] fantasy worlds rival J.R.R. Tolkien’s every bit in creativity, breadth, and depth
— PAUL FRENCH, author of Midnight in Peking
Jin Yong’s oeuvre has been passed down in the East from generation to generation and thus nurtures people of all ages. For adults, they are fairy tales, while for children, they are mythologies. Anyone who longs to grow up and yearns for innocence after reaching maturity must read his novels
— YAN LIANKE
Jin Yong . . . is working with themes that are absolutely timeless - good versus evil, love versus sacrifice, nature versus nurture, honour versus deceit . . . This is magnificent writing that will more than reward your patience. It’s also nice to finally read a translation that isn’t stilted in any way and is as fresh on the page as if the source material were written yesterday
— IAN WHITE, Starburst
The world’s biggest kung fu fantasy writer . . . Guo Jing, a young soldier among the massed ranks of Genghis Khan’s invading army and son of a murdered warrior, may soon become as familiar a questing literary figure as Frodo Baggins from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, or Jon Snow from Game of Thrones
— VANESSA THORPE, Observer
The pace and drama is as swift and smooth as the intricate and detailed fighting scenes. This is the first in the series and I shall look forward to reading the second
— Historical Novel Review
Elise Williams