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A Hero Born

(The Legend of the Condor Heroes #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  1,717 ratings  ·  456 reviews
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
Paperback, 395 pages
Published February 22nd 2018 by MacLehose Press (first published January 1st 1957)
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Sareeta For anyone still confused about this, I did some research online to get the answer.

"A Hero Born" is part 1 of 4 parts of the very long first book of …more
For anyone still confused about this, I did some research online to get the answer.

"A Hero Born" is part 1 of 4 parts of the very long first book of the trilogy . There are 4 parts to this book, with 2 parts released in English so far. I assume they are releasing this way because the books would be massively if they tried to release as one volume.

There are 2 sequels called "The Return of the Condor Heroes" and "The Heaven Sword and the Dragon Sabre", which I am assuming will each be divided into 4 books.

So, in total there will be 12 books for this series. (less)

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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  1,717 ratings  ·  456 reviews

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Start your review of A Hero Born (Legends of the Condor Heroes #1)
ARC provided by the publisher—St. Martin’s Press—in exchange for an honest review.

A Hero Born is the start to Jin Yong’s highly praised classic series but a lot of the promising quality of the book seems to get lost in translation.

I’m genuinely sad with my ratings for this one, but I have to be honest that I have mixed feelings towards this novel. When I was around 5 years old, I used to watch The Legends of the Condor Heroes a lot with my parents. When I missed an episode, my parents would
Sean Smart
Mar 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this famous Chinese series, it looked amazing and a beautiful cover but maybe it’s the translation but it seemed amateurish and clumsy, I just couldn’t get in to this and I am so disappointed
John Lloyd
I wanted to write a review since so many of the ones on GoodReads seem to have a political slant or seem to focus on the fact that the reader read something that was not "western". My viewpoint is from one who read this translation side by side with the original while asking questions to a friend who grew up with it over WhatsApp.

A Hero Born is not the Chinese "Lord of the Rings". There are other classic and modern works that better fit the moniker. Its the first novel in a series which is clo
Apr 04, 2018 rated it liked it
It was advertised as a Chinese LOTR but I feel like it has nothing similar at all. Its a style in itself, Wuxia, which is pretty much fable type chinese martial arts. Think crouching tuger hidden dragon. The story and historical elements were great. I found the dialogue a little cheesy or YAish, but I guess that might be the translation. My issue was all the different martial arts schools and moves. I think as a novel its sometimes hard to describe or visualize these moves. In my opinion its eas ...more
Bryn Hammond
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: imagined-fiction
I hope the style of this catches on, in the way they have done this translation. It's very much a serial story, and strongly reminded me of the last 'novel' I read that first existed in serial installments in a newspaper: Sue's The Mysteries of Paris, with its episodic structure and high-excitement, sensational content. I know Dickens (and Dostoyevsky) published in serial too, but read now as novels, they don't come across as installment stories as Sue did, and as this 1950s Hong Kong serial doe ...more
When I heard that this epic historical book would finally be available in English, I could not wait to get my hands on this. Then the book gods answered my prayers and this was sent to me. This is the first English translation since this book was first published back in 1957 -‘exceptionally done by Anna Holmwood.

A Hero Born (Legends of the condor Heroes Book 1) is the first book in a 4 book series. A Bond Undone Book 2 (3/2020), A Snake Lies Waiting Book 3 (09/2020) and A Heart Divided is the F
Sep 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
This book has been advertised as the “Chinese Lord of the Rings.” When I first got the email when this book was being translated I knew I had to read it. A Hero Born by Jin Yong, Translated by Anna Holmwood is the first book in the Legends of the Condor Heroes Book 1. This epic begins with brothers in arms, Skyfury Guo and Ironheart Yang and Song patriots. The novel takes place in China 1200 A.D. during the Jin-Song Wars. When Guo and Yang are murdered, their wives give birth to sons but are sep ...more
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-and-galleys
Two men who are brothers at arm's befriend a Taoist. The Taoist helps choose names for their unborn children and leaves them. These two men are betrayed and murdered. Their wives are captured and their family lines are in jeopardy. That's only the beginning of this generational tale.

A Hero Born is a story that struggles from things outside of it's control, at least in the US. It's an old book that was first published in the 1950s. On top of that it's translated into English which undoubtedly cos
Aug 16, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A Hero Born is the biggest disappointment of the year for me. I admit, I picked it up because it was called "Chinese Lord of the Rings". But sadly, such comparison only resulted in me having enormous expectations that were not met.

Instead of epic powerful tale, all I got was boring story, poor storytelling and impersonal writing style that left me indifferent towards characters. Even fight scenes were super boring and I truly struggled to finish this book. I definitely will not continue reading
DNF. I feel guilty about not finishing this, because I don’t even think there is anything particularly wrong with it, except that we are just not jiving right now.

I attempted to read the introduction three times before I decided it was way too dry and skipped to the beginning. In the beginning, we meet two heroes, Skyfury Guo and Ironheart Yang, that feel earnest in their desire to be heroes, but also a little like SpongeBob and Patrick in their competence. I hate saying that- because I know thi
Sherwood Smith
Jin Yong is an enormous name in Chinese literature--and finally we're getting English translations of one of his most famous series, Legends of the Condor Heroes. This series has been filmed multiple times, and the books have been in print for half a century.

For us Westerners looking through the tiny keyhole of translated Chinese epics, this one I think serves as a good introduction. I cannot comment on the quality of the translation, but I believe that beginning with the tale of Guo Jin was a g
Hey Ya’ll!

This is my spoiler free review of A Hero Born by Jin Yong. Released on September 17th in America, this story was translated from the original Chinese and was actually published back in 1957. Jin Yong is known as the Chinese Tolkein, and I’ve never read Lord of the Rings but I was taken completely by surprise by how much I loved this book. I gave it four stars. Let’s get into the review.

A big thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with this book in exchange for m
Dee Arr
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action, fantasy
Written by Jin Yong (pen name of Louis Cha), “A Hero Born” relates the tale of Guo Jing. The eventful backstory leading to his birth and through the next 18 years is filled with colorful characters and extensive battle scenes.

The book would be a good fit for teenage boys craving action and adventure, and is reminiscent of martial arts movies. While I personally am not a huge fan of these flicks (and by extension, this book), one can’t help but get caught up in the story. Guo Jing is like a leaf
Sherwood Smith
Jin Yong is an enormous name in Chinese literature--and finally we're getting English translations of one of his most famous series, Legends of the Condor Heroes. This series has been filmed multiple times, and the books have been in print for half a century.

For us Westerners looking through the tiny keyhole of translated Chinese epics, this one I think serves as a good introduction. I cannot comment on the quality of the translation, but I believe that beginning with the tale of Guo Jin was a g
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: translated, funny, history
When I first heard of this book, I was very excited. But then, when I first picked it up in my hands, I became concerned. First, two of the blurbs compared the whole Legends of the Condor Heroes series to the Lord of the Rings, and it never excites me to see that something is "the Lord of the Rings, but X"—because, leaving aside Tolkien's problematic race and gender stuff, I don't want to see something I've seen before, I want something that is entirely different. Second, as I was flipping throu ...more
Mar 06, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

Legends of the Condor Heroes honestly is not my favorite Jin Yong's novel, the sequel which comes after it: Condor Lovers (or The Return of the Condor Heroes) and this stand-alone novel: Proud Smiling Wanderer, are my most favorites. However, I still whole-heartenedly wish for this English translation to perform well so more Jin Yong's novels will see the daylight in the English world!

The publisher had marketed this book as an Eastern A Game of Thrones but I don't think it's
The Captain
Sep 09, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandon-ship
Ahoy there mateys! I tried multiple times (3+) to get into this book and just wasn't excited to keep reading. I am not really sure if this was because of me mood or the translation or the story itself. I am not adverse to trying again in the future because it sounds awesome. But I have come to terms with the fact that I am not going to read this before its release date of 9/17/19. I am however grateful to the publisher for the review copy. Happy reading and sailing!
May 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019, arcs

Rounded up to 3 star cause I DO NOT WANT THAT RATING TO DETER PEOPLE!!

This book... was fine. I think it would work much better in its original language (obviously) but, IN MY OPINION, similarly to Game of Thrones, it would work better as a TV show or a movie. I'm pretty sure it is a chinese drama and I'm interested in watching this.

Cause unfortunately, I couldn't bring myself to care about this because of the writing/translation. It was just SO simply written it was impossible to care
An ARC was provided to me for free by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I went into this book really excited - my boyfriend loves the wuxia genre and has explained different aspects of it to me, though he's never read this particular text in its original form.

But even as a non-Chinese myself, I could tell things were lost in translation. Names were inconsistently translated literally or romanized; I actually found the translated names (like Skyfury and Ironheart) more
G.R. Matthews
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Different in style than a western style fantasy you can picture the various Kung-Fu battles and fights from the evocative name of each move!

(review on soon!)
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I won this book in a goodreads drawing.

A great novel about the Martial World, and umpteen kinds of kung fu. The Shaw Brothers made a number of movies based on these stories, but the source material is even better. For one thing, no bad dubbing.

Everything makes sense and moves along quickly. Nothing seems lost in translation. Highly recommended.
Traveling Cloak
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Set in ancient China, in a world where kung fu is magic, kingdoms vie for power and the battle to become the ultimate kung fu master unfolds, an unlikely hero is born… in the first book in the epic Legends of the Condor Heroes series by the critically acclaimed master of the genre, Jin Yong.

After his father—a devoted Song patriot—is murdered by the Jin empire, Guo Jing and his mother flee to the plains of Ghengis Khan and his people for refuge. For one day he must face his mortal enemy i
Jin Yong’s epic Legends of the Condor series begins with this book. It is was originally written in Chinese in serial form and has been incredibly popular there for decades. Set in 13th Century China in a world of martial arts, it is a story of heroes and legends and warriors. Personally I found it to be a difficult choppy read, perhaps because of the translation. Nevertheless, because of its importance in Asian fantasy, it is worth another try down the road.
Caroline Mersey
Jun 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: review-copies
Sometimes you read a book and you realise that you don't have the right frame of reference to appreciate it fully. Jin Yong's A Hero Born (review copy from Quercus) is just such a book. This is the first time that this classic of Wuxia fiction has been translated into English. Anna Holmwood has done a fantastic job of translating the text, but I suspect there are whole layers of meaning and allegory that are invisible to a Western reader without further explanation.

A Hero Born is the first in th
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I watched the Legends of the Condor Heroes 1994 when I was a kid on cable TV. Having learned that the series was based on great Chinese novels, I was intrigued to find the English translation at the bookstore, I picked it up on the spot. The translation is great, I could feel every punch and kick, the elements of the settings, the emotions of the characters and the flow of the story really touched the kung-fu fighting loving kid in me.

I highly recommend the book and can't wait to read the next
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My first Chinese fantasy tale and it’s so refreshing and often progressive in terms of action and the role of women. But most of al so my FUN

Full review at ‪
keikii Eats Books
To read more reviews like this, check out my blog at keikii Eats Books!

56 points, 3 stars

"I don't care about getting revenge," she stuttered between sobs. "Even a hero like my husband was unable to defeat him. I'm just a wretched woman - how can I wait for him to be brought to justice? Just let me join my husband."

I have to say, it was quite a trip figuring out the ins and outs of this particular book. This originally came out in China in 1957, but this is the first time it ha
Jennifer (bunnyreads)

Desperate to fulfil a promise to protect and train the children of the sworn brothers Ironheart Yang and Skyfury Guo, Qui Chuji, issues a challenge to The Seven Freaks of the South, to meet up again at their eighteenth birthday and prove which martial family taught the children best.

With a few detours and with war sweeping across the plains, we embark on a journey to train and get the kids to the meeting point on time… but before they can do any of that they will have to find them first.

This gen
Mel (Epic Reading)
Mar 15, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: arc-netgalley
eARC Approved!! Very interested in this famous series being published in English. Here’s hoping it’s unique and great!
Note: I will post review much closer to publication date.
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4.5/5

Review: Don’t be dismayed by the prologue of this novel, what with the characters defined in exhaustive fashion. Not to worry, you will be able to keep up as the novel progresses even with the impaired translation.

This was a really good novel, and I can understand why over a ka-zillion copies have been sold world wide. In short, it is an epic fantasy grounded in historical fact. The martial arts, if put to the screen, would arouse such visuals as “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and
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Louis Cha, GBM, OBE (born 6 February 1924), better known by his pen name Jin Yong ( 金庸, sometimes read and/or written as "Chin Yung"), is a modern Chinese-language novelist. Having co-founded the Hong Kong daily Ming Pao in 1959, he was the paper's first editor-in-chief.

Cha's fiction, which is of the wuxia ("martial arts and chivalry") genre, has a widespread following in Chinese-speaking areas, i

Other books in the series

The Legend of the Condor Heroes (6 books)
  • A Bond Undone (Legends of the Condor Heroes, #2)
  • A Snake Lies Waiting (Legends of the Condor Heroes #3)
  • 射鵰英雄傳(四)
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