Monday, August 15, 2016

Sword Stained with Royal Blood - by Chin Yung

I watched 3 movie versions based on this book, 1980 version with Wang Yue, 1982 version with Kuo Chui, and the 1993 version with Yuen Biao. The 1982 version is closer to the book, the 1980 version has different twists, and the 1993 version makes me think whether it was based on the same book :-)

Chin Yung books are always interesting to read. Reading this one, I again was reminded why he had become the most successful wuxia writers all the time.

The book started with the story of Hau Tiau Cong, a scholar, and his servant, who were attacked by robbers. They were saved by farmers - or swordsmen in disguise - who were taking care of the only son of General Wang Cong Hoan. General Wang Cong Hoan had been very loyal to the country, but the emperor sentenced him to death because of a false accusation. Chased by the royal army, the general's son, Wan Sin Cie, was taken to a teacher from Hoa San Clan.

Years passed. Wan Sin Cie was now a young man and very skillful in martial arts. He found the legacy of the Golden Snake swordsman in a hidden cave in Hoa San. In his next journey, he met the Golden Snake swordsman's wife and daughter. He learned the tragic story of the Golden Snake swordsman. He also fell in love with the Golden Snake swordsman's daughter, who was -unfortunately - a very jealous girl. That time was a turmoil - it was the end of Ming dynasty - and Wan Sin Cie's girlfriend a couple of times ranaway, made him busy to find her back.

Wan Sin Cie also found a treasure map, another legacy from the Golden Snake swordsman. He used the money to help the rebels against the emperor. In his journey, Wan Sin Cie also met with the Princess -in disguise. This princess, who lost an arm when the dynasty fell, cut off by her own father, appeared again in other Chin Yung book: The Deer and The Cauldron.

The rebel story also did not end happily here. Wan Sin Cie's sworn brother, like his father, was convicted of treason and executed. On the grave of his sworn brother, Wan Sin Cie met again with Hau Tiau Cong, the scholar he met when he was a little boy. So the character Hau Tiau Cong was used for the opening and ending of this book. Disappointed with the way how the country was run, Wan Sin Cie brought his friends to the South Sea, to seclusion.

The Golden Knight - by Qing Hong

This book by Qing Hong / Chin Hung is one of the best I have read. I don't know its original title, but in Indonesia it was published with the title 'Raja Silat'. I remembered there was a Shaw Brothers movie 'The Golden Knight' (1970) based on this book.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was written with much humour and the plot was more complicated that the movie version.

The central character was a handsome 20-year-old swordsman named Ie Lip Tong. He was very smart and romantic-or at least he thought he was. His father had been killed by leaders of the 5 main clans under a false accusation, so he tried to clean his fathers's good name and re-build his clan.

The story began with a new security bureau, Boan Chio Security in Tiang An. This security bureau did not escort goods, but solved mysteries. In the martial arts world at that time, the good guys was led by Hong-lay-sian-ong. If there was a problem between or among different clans, they had to go to Hong-lay-sian-ong and he would be the judge. Under Hong-lay-siang-ong, there was 12 emissaries who wore yellow robes as their identity. These 12 chosen swordsmen were more skillful fighters and smarter than others.

There had been mysterious murderer who targeted people from the 5 clans. Since they couldn’t catch the murderer, the people from 5 clans accused Ie Lip Tong, whose father had been killed by the leaders of the 5 clans. They couldn’t think of other suspect than Ie Lip Tong. Only Ie Lip Tong had a grudge on them. The 12 emissaries from Lu San (Mountain Lu) – the headquarters of Hong-lay-sian-ong – couldn’t find Ie Lip Tong, so Emissary No.8 went to Boan Chio Security to ask them to find Ie Lip Tong.

With much ease, the owner of Boan Chio Security found Ie Lip Tong. Swordsman no.8 brought the young man to Lu San for trial, but the people from the 5 clans wouldn’t believe that Ie Lip Tong was not the murderer. They sentenced him to death.

But as Ie Lip Tong was our main character, surely he wasn’t dead. He went out and found the real murderer and found a gang who flayed people and used the skin for disguise. He cleaned his name, twice, and his father’s name. He also became Emissary No.13.