The Legend of the Condor Heroes

Author: Jin Yong
Original Title : 射鵰英雄傳
Country: Hong Kong
Language: Chinese
Series: Condor Trilogy
Publisher: Hong Kong Commercial Daily
Publication Date: 1957

The novel took place in the Song Dynasty during the planning of the Jin invasion of Northern China. The story began with the friendship of two sworn brothers, Yang TieXin and Guo XiaoTian who lived in a village nearby the capital city. Their bonding was so strong that they pledged to each others that if their unborn children were the same sex, the children will either be sworn brothers or sisters. On the other hand, if the unborn children were opposite sexes, the children will be a couple. However, calamity befallen upon the family of Yang TieXin and GuoXiaoTian before their children were born. The story then focused on the trials and tribulations of both of their sons following the death of Guo XiaoTian and the disappearance of Yang TieXin. Guo XiaoTian’s son, Guo Jing, grew up in Mongolia under the care of Genghis Khan; meanwhile Yang TieXin’s son, Yang Kang, grew up in Jin as the foster son of Prince Wanyan HongLie.

The manners of the children were raised caused their behaviors to be total opposite of each others. Guo Jing was honest, loyal, righteous and somewhat obtuse. Yang Kang on the other hand was clever, cunning, and treacherous. Their path eventually crossed in addition with meeting their respective lovers. Huang Rong was the love of Guo Jing while Mu NianCi was the love of Yang Kang. The story main plot followed the adventures of Guo Jing and Huang Rong and their encounters with the Five Greats. Meanwhile, Yang Kang and his foster father planned to invade and conquer Song Dynasty. Yang Kang’s refusal to acknowledge his ethnicity was utterly desired for wealth, fame, and glory. Eventually, Yang Kang’s treachery was unveiled through encounters with Guo Jing and Huang Rong.

Yang Kang met his retributive end once all his deeds were uncovered. Weakened by the death of his foster son, Wanyan HongLie and the Jin were destroyed by the Mongolians who were assisted by Guo Jing. However, the Mongolians under Genghis Khan’s discretion had the ambition to conquer Song Dynasty as well. Unwilling to assist the Mongolians to invade his native homeland, Guo Jing left Mongolia and headed back to Song. He helped his countrymen in defending against the Mongolians.