Welcome to the Condor Trilogy aka the Chinese “Game of Thrones”

We can call China a legit superpower, because the country has its very own “Game of Thrones”, and it’s all sorts of lit. The fantasy trilogy series, Legends of the Condor Heroes, revolving around Wuxia warriors set against the Song dynasty is written by Jin Yong, who is often referred to as China’s JRR Tolkien.

The novel was first serialised between Jan 1, 1957 and May 19, 1959 in a Hong Kong Commercial Daily. The series, which also has a successful Chinese TV show based on it, has been picked up for translation by a British publication. And it could just be the next GoT. So brace yourself for the southern winds!!!

“These books are read by so many Chinese people when they are teenagers, and the work really stays in their heads. So, of course, I felt a great weight of responsibility in translating them – and even more as publication draws near,” says Anna Holmwood, the translator of the series. MacLehose Press, a Brit publishing house, plans a 12-volume series with Holmwood’s first translated volume, ‘A Hero is born’, which will be out in February.

Jin Yong is the pen name for Chinese journalist, Louis Cha Leung-yung, who penned the series. He is one of the biggest Asian kung-fu fantasy writers. ‘A Hero is Born’ is set in 1200 China and tells the story of “an empire close to collapse. Under attack from the Jurchen Jin dynasty, the future of the entire Chinese population rests in the hands of a few lone martial arts exponents.”

The most interesting arc in the series is the friendship between two heroes of the Song dynasty, who make a pact, which would set the course for the next few novels. The Condor Trilogy, has a full-blown cult fandom in China, and has inspired TV show, games and fan fiction. The series is being compared to GoT owing to its intense war-based content. The three novels of the ‘The Condor Trilogy’ will be made into a 12-volume series, and would be available in the international market.

“Xia, as I understand it, is about fighting in a historically tumultuous period when you don’t have justice and you can’t rely on the law and government to step in to make sure everything is in order and justice is served,” Holmwood told The Guardian.

“Xia is fighting for justice and good. In this genre, fictional world and historical context, violence has a righteousness. It’s about good as well as bad,” adds the writer. So, before the world goes crazy about Condor, you need to get in on it.

Saurodeep Basak

About Saurodeep Basak

A caffeine dependent life form. Full-time procrastinator. A man-child. I have this new theory that human adolescence doesn’t end until your early thirties. A man of mystery and power whose power is exceeded only by his mystery. The only thing stopping me from shining in life is my sheer lack of motivation.


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