One of the most celebrated and beloved literary epics in China, Jin Yong’s Legend of the Condor Heroes has been the country’s premier wuxia—a blending of history, martial arts action, and fantasy—for more than half a century. Now, St. Martin’s Press is proud to publish the first English-language translation of the classic saga for U.S. readers, starting with A Hero Born.
Created by Louis Cha Leung-yung—Jin Yong’s true name—the Legends stories were serialized in Hong Kong newspapers during the 1950s alongside Cha’s editorials; statements which were openly critical of Mao Zedong’s communist regime. Set in eleventh century, Song Dynasty China, the narrative of warriors defending their land and people from invading armies and oppressive governments reflected contemporary politics, igniting the country’s nostalgia for China’s glorious ancestry.
Adapted to television, film, comic books, and video games, Jin Yong’s Legend of the Condor Heroes is a Chinese pop culture genre phenomenon equivalent to Star Wars, Harry Potter, and The Lord of the Rings that is finally receiving its long overdue proper introduction to American readers.
The first novel, A Hero Born, arrives in the U.S. on September 17, 2019, from St. Martin’s Press.
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.
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 Genghis 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.
Jacket design by Ervin Serrano. Jacket photographs: man © Mike’s Spirits/Shutterstock.com; body © ArtOfPhotos/Shutterstock.com; hair © iStock/visualspace; hands © faestock/shutterstock.com; sword © Chanawat Phadwichit/Shutterstock.com; ink © iStock/stellalevi; splatter © iStock/RomanOkopny; background © iStock/rusm