A treasury of Japanese folklore and wisdom, beautifully bound by Folio and fully illustrated by artist Yuko Shimizu.
A Hero Born
Legends of the Condor Heroes
Illustrated by Ye Luying
Introduced by Ken Liu
Translated by Anna Holmwood
Jin Yong’s action-packed fantasy transports readers deep into China’s tumultuous past. This Folio edition of A Hero Born features stunning artwork by Ye Luying and an introduction by Ken Liu.
‘One of the world’s most beloved writers … His work, in the Chinese-speaking world, has a cultural currency roughly equal to that of Harry Potter and Star Wars combined’
- New Yorker
It is 1200 AD and China is a land divided. The Song empire has been driven south by the fierce Jurchen peoples, and now corrupt officials scramble to save their own hides while ordinary men and women struggle just to survive. Yet in the far north, under the eye of Genghis Khan, a young hero is rising whose destiny it is to change history… Trained in kung fu by the Seven Heroes themselves, Guo Jing will face betrayals, mythical villains and an enemy as cunning as he is ruthless. Filled with breathless action from the first page, and populated with unforgettable characters, A Hero Born is the first step in a journey beloved by millions of readers worldwide.
This edition uses the 2018 MacLehose Press, (an imprint of Quercus Publishing Ltd), translation by Anna Holmwood
Bound in foiled and printed paper
Set in Albertina
Frontispiece and 6 colour illustrations, including 2 double-page spreads
10˝ x 6¾˝
The first step in a hero’s journey
‘A Chinese Lord of the Rings’
- Irish Times
Originally written in the 1950s and a record-breaking bestseller in China, A Hero Born received its first English translation in 2018. Capturing all the spectacular action, humour and scope of the original text, this is the perfect introduction to the work of Jin Yong, China’s most celebrated popular writer. Complimented by Ye Luying’s lush and kinetic artwork, this edition features a spectacular foil-blocked illustrated binding and a striking slipcase. The award-winning fantasy writer Ken Liu has written a fascinating and detailed introduction examining Jin Yong’s remarkable life, and the unique variety of treasures to be discovered within the series Legends of the Condor Heroes, of which this novel is the first volume.
One of the most popular writers in the world
Jin Yong is the pen name of Louis Cha, one of China’s most celebrated writers. He was best known for his work in the wuxia genre, a particular form of Chinese fiction concerning the adventures of martial artists in ancient China. Drawing on real histories and philosophies, as well as timeless themes like good versus evil, Jin Yong’s stories are rich in detail and spectacle, yet always grounded in realistic human emotion. Legends of the Condor Heroes, the series of which A Hero Born is the first part, was originally serialised in the 1950s in the Hong Kong Commercial Daily newspaper and went on to become a true cultural phenomenon, with multiple adaptations made for both film and television. Yong’s influence can be seen across a vast breadth of media, from the classic kung-fu film to modern video games. As science-fiction writer Chan Koonchung once wrote, ‘Of course, there were other wuxia writers, and there was kung-fu fiction before Jin Yong. Just as there was folk music before Bob Dylan.’ From the first chapter of A Hero Born readers are thrust into a world of gravity-defying combat and world-shaking battles, of drinking contests and strange dark magic, and it is all the more thrilling for the backbone of real history that runs through it all.
Depicting the magic of the Condor Heroes
Ye Luying is an award-winning artist from China. Her work draws on traditional Chinese art and often finds inspiration in folklore and legend, making her the perfect illustrator to take on the Legends of the Condor Heroes series. Luying has produced seven vibrant full-colour images for this Folio edition, two of which are double-page spreads. Rich in detail and drama, and filled with billowing fabrics and flashing blades, every panel of her artwork is alive with movement and imagination. Whether capturing the chaos of the Seven Heroes fighting in the Garden of the Eight Drunken Immortals, or the creeping terror of Twice Foul Dark Wind, Luying’s romantic aesthetic and skilled use of colour make this edition a visual feast.
Without warning, Yang launched straight into Deadly Dragon Flies the Cave, his spear a smear of red as the tassel spun and the tip swirled towards the Taoist’s chest
Bringing a classic of world literature to a new audience
An award-winning fantasy writer in his own right, Ken Liu has also translated many critically acclaimed novels and short stories, and so is uniquely placed to discuss this first English-language version of A Hero Born. In his thoughtful and comprehensive introduction, written exclusively for this Folio edition, Liu examines the impact of Jin Yong’s war-torn youth on his fiction, and the vast influence his larger-than-life characters have exerted over the wuxia genre and Chinese storytelling in general. A screen writer for part of his career, Jin Yong brought a cinematic sensibility to these wild stories of martial prowess and mythical beings, and the result is a timeless series ripe to be discovered by a new generation of fans. In her own introduction, translator Anne Holmwood describes A Hero Born as ‘an explosive epic of courage, honour and justice by one of the world’s best-loved writers’.
About Jin Yong
About Anna Holmwood
About Ken Liu
About Ye Luying
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