A Hero Born (Hardcover)
A Novel (Legends of the Condor Heroes #1)
St. Martin's Press, 9781250220608, 416pp.
Publication Date: September 17, 2019
The epic Chinese classic and phenomenon published in the US for the first time!
A fantastical generational saga and kung fu epic, A Hero Born is the classic novel of its time, stretching from the Song Empire (China 1200 AD) to the appearance of a warlord whose name will endure for eternity: Genghis Khan. Filled with an extraordinary cast of characters, A Hero Born is a tale of fantasy and wonder, love and passion, treachery and war, betrayal and brotherhood.
And then a hero is born...
After his father, a Song patriot, was murdered, Guo Jing and his mother fled to the plains and joined Ghengis Khan and his people. Loyal, humble and driven, he learned all he could from the warlord and his army in hopes of one day joining them in their cause. But what Guo Jing doesn’t know is that he’s destined to battle an opponent that will challenge him in every way imaginable and with a connection to his past that no one envisioned.
With the help and guidance of his shifus, The Seven Heroes of the South, Guo Jing returns to China to face his foe and carry out his destiny. But in a land divided by treachery and war, betrayal and ambition, he’ll have to put his courage and knowledge to the test to survive.
About the Author
JIN YONG (pen name of Louis Cha) was a true phenomenon in the Chinese-speaking world. Born in Mainland China, he spent most of his life writing novels and editing newspapers in Hong Kong. His enormously popular martial arts novels have become modern classics and remain a must-read for readers looking for danger and adventure.
ANNA HOLMWOOD is a producer and translator from Chinese and Swedish into English. She is co-founder of the Emerging Translators' Network in the UK.
Praise For A Hero Born: A Novel (Legends of the Condor Heroes #1)…
“The Hong Kong writer, Louis Cha, writing under the pen name Jin Yong from the mid-1950s through the rise of a movie star named Bruce Lee, created what have become the world’s greatest and most beloved martial arts novels. When he passed in 2018, he left behind epic stories of betrayal and honor, intrigue and amour, slashing blades and flashing fists, and a dazzling parade of indelible characters that hundreds of millions of readers have come to love. The arrival of the U.S. edition of The Legends of the Condor Heroes is a major event. Welcome to the world of Jin Yong. Once you’ve entered, you may never want to leave.” — Jeff Chang, National Book Award Winner and author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation
"Full of noble heroes and pitched battles, Cha's stories were epic, featuring not just fantastical kung fu swordsmen who can fly and walk on water, but also complex characters and plots woven into dramatic historical events." – CNN
"Widely known by his pen name, Jin Yong, his work, in the Chinese-speaking world, has a cultural currency roughly equal to that of 'Harry Potter' and 'Star Wars' combined." - The New Yorker
"[A Hero Born is] actually one of the most famous works by author Louis Cha (commonly known as Jin Yong), a Hong Kong writer beloved across the Chinese-speaking world." – NPR
"...his works were loved by generations - both in China and worldwide." - BBC
"A Chinese Lord of the Rings." - Irish Times
“The world’s biggest kung fu fantasy writer.” – The Guardian
“In Anna Holmwood’s spirited translation, this action-packed and ideas-laden saga is as revealing of modern as of ancient China.” – economist.com
“…the novel makes use of hundreds of characters to create an epic world of martial arts and entangled human stories, not just about familial bonds and romance, but also brotherhood and patriotism.” – Global Times
“A Hero Born reads like…an early legend, such as the Death of King Arthur.” - GeekDad
“A Hero Born is a stirring epic, full of gravity-defying kung fu, treachery, loyalty and love.” – The Times
“The plot includes betrayal and allegiance in different martial arts schools, and the rise and fall of dynasties.” – Telegraph UK
“…[Jin Yong’s novels have] become a touchstone for generations of readers, and an influence on authors such as Ken Liu.” – The Verge
“The world imagined by Chinese writer Jin Yong is one which celebrates loyalty, courage, and the triumph of the individual over a corrupt and authoritarian state – carried out by no less than heroes who fly through trees and deliver deadly blows to their enemies with a single finger.” – Quartzy.com
“You’ll be rooting for the heroes to the end.” – SFX Magazine, 4 starred review
“Cha…created an imaginary world in his 15 novels – one featuring martial arts, poetry and plots with deep roots in Chinese history, culture and beliefs.” – South China Morning Post
“Prepare to be swept along as our champion gallops towards his nemesis and destiny.” – Daily Mail
"Jin Yong's stories have been passed down in the East from generation to generation and thus nurture people of all ages." - Yan Lianke, Man International Booker-shortlisted author