A Hero Born - Anna Holmwood, Jin Yong

Despite what you read on the covers (e.g. “It’s like Lord of the Rings”) ignore all of that. It’s nothing like it. There is no epic adventure to fight evil (at least not yet - this is the first book in the series). So before you get all disappointed in what the outside quotes say, completely disregard them. 


Translation will always be an issue with these kinds of books. It’s hard to keep it true and coherent. Sometimes you get a good one that is completely comprehensible and makes the reading a journey well worth it. Then you get one like A Hero Born and it’s not the greatest translation. The writing style is dry and hard to get into. Sometimes it gets too descriptive, but other times it’s not descriptive enough. It can be a little long winded at times and it drags - I’m not too sure if that’s because of the run on writing style or the plot itself. Either way by the last third of the book it was getting to be tiresome.


Speaking of the plot, it was good! There’s plenty of action, a bit of intrigue here and there. If you don’t mind something akin to Chinese historical fiction movies with classic martial arts fighting then perhaps this is for you. There are small elements of political intrigue which keeps the story interesting, however keep in mind there are a lot of characters to keep track of, but luckily there is a cast of characters in the beginning of the novel so that should not be a problem. This isn’t a book to put down and turn back to later, this needs to be consistently read you will easily lose your place. 


There’s also several plot arcs that happen throughout the novel so it’s best to keep track of them carefully. They are all intertwined at some point. It’s a great plot and if it wasn’t for the horrible writing/translation.


I don’t know if I could recommend this one to anyone. I would under normal circumstances but the writing just do the plot justice. It’s too bad, it would have been such a great series.