I’ve been enjoying the classic series Legends of the Condor Heroes by Jin Yong so much. I just started book four, A Heart Divided, which is the final book of the translated series. The story is so much fun!
When I started the first book, A Hero Born, I was a bit overwhelmed by the list of characters at the beginning. What was I getting myself into? But soon, I was caught up in the story, and the character list came in handy to refresh my memory.
I was very curious as to how they could describe the fast-paced action of the wuxia movies, but Jin Yong (and the book translators) do an amazing job of imaginatively describing and naming the different moves and it’s incredibly fun to follow along. I love the heroes, and love to hate the villains. My favorite character is Cyclone Mei, who is featured in the illustration above. She’s one of the villains, but… it’s complicated! 😀
I read the popular She Who Became the Sun by Shelly Parker-Chan, but didn’t enjoy the story or characters at all. The Legends of the Condor Heroes is way more my type of book.
There’s a Chinese television series from 2017 that I will watch after I finish the books. Besides spoilers, I don’t want my imagined versions of the characters to be influenced by the actors in the drama. I prefer to look to the illustrations (which are sparse) from the book.
For more info, you can read this article from Alan Yu at NPR about Jin Yong and his amazing series.
Okay, back to A Heart Divided!