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A Hero Born: The Definitive Edition

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  31 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Now in English for the first time!

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 b/>Set/>
Paperback, 416 pages
Expected publication: March 10th 2020 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Sherwood Smith

Review 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
Montzalee Wittmann
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
A Hero Born
The Definitive Edition
by Jin Yong
I requested this book from Netgalley and the review is voluntary. I really wanted to like this book. I was excited to start it but I found it frustrating and confusing. There are long stretches of boring chapters that I really wanted to give up. (Especially since I am having to read it on my phone since my tablet died.) There are way to many fight scenes. They all seem to be the same. The names of everyone except for the main characte
Create With Joy
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you love stories translated from foreign cultures - if you enjoy complex stories with weighty themes like war, betrayal, love and friendship - if you are always on the lookout for exquisite writing, classic stories and books that will alter how you view the world - than pick up A Hero Born by Jin Young!

Translated from Chinese, this book seems a little intimidating at first - there are pages and pages of characters and background information to look through before the story even be
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fantastic! It's a sweeping epic full of action and adventure, and so cinematic! I could vividly imagine every scene, though there were some characters whose names I struggled to keep straight. I can't wait for the other books in this series to be translated and published
Chad Kohalyk
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, fantasy
Loved it! Terrible I have to wait until March for the next volume, especially since this first book isn't an encapsulated story. This is a really accessible, modern translation. And in audio, the narration was quite easy to follow.
Penny Wright
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs, own, chinese
I'm so glad that the new English translations are being released, although it's frustrating having to wait for the next one!

A Hero Born is the first book in an epic Chinese martial arts story set during the time of Ghengis Khan. The author has been compared to J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin, and with good reason. The story is complex, whimsical, and beautiful with dark elements strewn throughout.

One of my favorite aspects of the novel were the fight scenes, which were so in-depth and well-w
Susan Graves
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance copy of this book and I was completely floored! This is not the type of book I usually will sink my teeth into but I absolutly loved it! From the minute I started reading I felt immersed in this alternate world and I was able to hone out and really turn off reality while I soaked into this goodness. It felt like a fairy tale story of sorts and I can see why it has captured years of dedicated fans. I have passed this book onto my teenager to sink her teeth into as she showed ...more
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Raised on the Mongolian steppes by his mother, both of whom were under the care of the future Genghis Khan, Guo Jing was unaware he was the son of a Song patriot who was brutally killed by the Song dynasty's enemy, the Jin. Only after he had been trained for several years by the Seven Heroes of the South was he told he was meant to travel into China to face an opponent trained by a master of kung fu, the son of his father's sworn brother. But Guo Jing travels with little understanding of who he ...more
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, netgalley
DNF @ 59%

Do you enjoy Chinese martial arts films?
Are you able to forgive weak, clunky prose?

If you answered yes to both questions, then this is the book for you.

First, the good: this is a charmingly classic story, especially if you're familiar with the Chinese wuxia genre. Oaths of brotherhood, endless talk of honour and loyalty, the never-ending balance of issuing challenges and trying to save face for oneself and one's opponent. Qiu Chuji's proposal of an 18 year
Jason S Wrench
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's always hard to review a book where you're needing to critique both the original material and the translation, which is the case here. The book is the first book in The Legend of the Condor Heroes series originally published in 1957. The new edition, published here, is the first American version of this now classic novel.

As someone who was not familiar with the original source material nor any of the movies and television series made from the source material, I did enjoy the fantasy world-b
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Translation are bound to be full of minefields and so it is with A Hero Born by Jin Yong. That was my first thought as I read this book. The cultural flavor is still intact. Also the story flows pretty well in this English version too. However, the description I read said it was a Chinese “Lord of the Rings”. That statement I can’t agree with after reading the book. It is something unique in itself.

The story is quite complex and intricate involving war, displacement, politics, brothe
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is the first English translation of a Chinese epic saga Legends of the Condor Heroes. 3 more volumes of the tale will follow.

I never heard of Jin Yong before, but I am now a total stan. Book 1 is the tale of sworn brothers, their wives, their sons, and the kung fu that binds them all. The two sons meet, and It Is On.

Book 2 is available in a Goodreads Giveaway at this time.

Recommended for fans of epic fiction set long a continent far, far away...
Oct 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Light on character development; heavy on martial arts action sequences. I love kung fu movies, so I appreciated these sequences, but I wanted more character work. Maybe I’ll get that from the sequels. A high 3-star. Entertaining, a page turner. I feel like it’s like Star Wars: A New Hope. Not a great movie, but necessary to set the stage for the depths of conflict and struggle that comes later.
Rose Rodriguez
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Received this book as an ARC. It was very interesting, not my usual genre. A Hero Born is book 1 of 4 and I think all 4 are just going to be awesome. I found this to be amazingly written and easier to read than I thought. I would definitely recommend this book. And I can't wait to pass this on to my son who loves this genre of books.
Jannah mohamed
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this story and looking forward to the next book in the series "A Bond Undone". While I enjoyed this story I felt it was a bit confusing to read, while keeping track of all the characters and their roles in the story.
William Lotten
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the greatest books I’ve ever read.
This was a bit long with any anecdotes and parables.
Mystic Kung Fu at its finest.
Good reader with a rambling story.
A good read / listen.
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Received for free through NetGalley

Couldn't get into it so I didn't finish. From what I read it seemed like it was written well but just wasn't my cup of tea.
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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