The Legend of the Condor Heroes by Jin Yong

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The Legend of the Condor Heroes, by Jin Yong is about a slow-witted, honest, gullible, teenage boy who leaves the safety of his Mongolian tribe, to the corruption of the Song Empire to avenge his father, meet his sworn-by-birth brother, and defend the country of his ancestors. During his journey, he meets the legends of the kung fu world, some teaching him, others trying to kill him as he becomes allies with their enemies. He also meets, Huang Rong, the sly, kind-hearted daughter with incomparable beauty and cooking ability of one of the five most powerful martial artists, the brilliant Eastern Heretic, who takes him on many adventures. Despite his stupidity, he improves to become one of the most powerful heroes of the Jiangnan, but is unable to protect his loved ones, instead, leading Genghis Khan’s armies to murder thousands of people, eventually withdrawing as the Great Khan starts setting his sights on the Song Empire. He starts questioning his power and ability and realizes that having such power is not a curse of wringing devastation on everything you encounter, but something that depends on how the owner uses it.

This novel is a Chinese classic, but you can find an astonishingly accurate English translation online. (It still contains a few errors, but compared to most translations, it's really good.)

 

The story is pretty complicated, but it is hilarious, ingenious, clever, meaningful, and entertaining.






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