The Chinese wuxia genre is a testament to the breadth of the fantasy genre, with stories that typically follow martial artists’ adventures while exploring the intersection between supernatural abilities, otherworldly creatures and China’s long history. One of the greatest, and most popular, wuxia works of the 20th century was Jin Yong’s Condor Trilogy, the first book of which is A Hero Born. First released in serial form in 1957, A Hero Born takes place during the 12th-century Jin-Song Wars, and follows the sons tof two dedicated allies forced to go their separate ways. One son is raised by Genghis Khan and the other by a Jurchen prince. The two, with their different personalities and martial arts styles, take radically different paths that place them on opposite ends of China’s history. Jin Yong’s Condor Trilogy, which has been called the Chinese Lord of the Rings, has spawned numerous TV and film adaptations. Since its original release, the Condor Trilogy has rarely been translated into English. That changed in 2018, when publisher MacLehose Press began releasing the works, newly translated by Anna Holmwood, into a series of 12 volumes. Four volumes have been released so far, bringing one of fantasy’s best stories to a new generation. —Peter Allen Clark

Buy Now: A Hero Born on Bookshop | Amazon

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at