Chinese / Taiwan
Jiang hu, hai you ren ma?
(Is there still anybody in these rivers and lakes?)
Lin, Yixian (Lin, Shain) (illus.)
Taibei: Yuan liu chu ban shi ye gu fen you xian gong si (Yuan-Liou Publishing), 2019. – 285 p.
(Series: Lü du yu = Read it!)
Martial arts | Friendship | Adventure | Coming of age | Fantasy fiction | Wuxia novel
White Ravens issue: 2020
Reading age: 10+
Wuxia novels about “martial heroes” are a distinct genre of Chinese fiction, set in a fantastical version of ancient China. The associated term “jianghu” (“rivers and lakes”) refers to a community of martial artists or outlaws who live by their own code of chivalry. This is the first martial arts novel of Chang Yeou-Yu, who has authored more than fourty highly acclaimed children’s novels, and illustrator Lin Shain. It won the 2020 Taipei International Book Fair Award. Niutou village, a seemingly peaceful place, hides a mystery about a disappeared martial artist community. One day, a group of menacing martial arts masters show up and cause a stir in the village. Is there still anybody left in the local “rivers and lakes” community to face them? Will it be one of the two thirteen-year-old friends, one of whom is fond of repairing shoes, while the other is aspiring to become a martial arts master? How fast do they have to grow up now? Will their dreams of heroism affect their friendship? Where will their personal “jianghu” be? [LO]