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The Books And The Sword(Louis_Cha)




The Book and the Sword is a wuxia novel by Jin Yong (Louis Cha). It was first serialised in Hong Kong between 8 February 1955 and 5 September 1956 in The New Evening Post.
Set in the Qing Dynasty during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor (r. 1735-1796), the novel details the quest of the Red Flower Society, a secret organisation that aims to overthrow the Qing government, and their entanglements with an Islamic tribe in northwestern China.

 

The "book" in the title refers to a Quran that was stolen from the tribe while the "sword" refers to a sword given to the protagonist Chen Jialuo by his first romantic interest Huoqingtong. Historical figures such as the Qianlong Emperor, Zhaohui , Heshen, Zheng Xie and Fuk'anggan also make appearances or are mentioned by name in the novel. One of the female protagonists, Princess Fragrance, is loosely based on the Qianlong Emperor's Fragrant Concubine.


This novel was Jin Yong's debut, and it quickly established him as one of the new masters of the wuxia genre.[citation needed] Alternate English titles of the novel are Book and Sword: Gratitude and Revenge and The Romance of the Book and Sword.


Plot

The Red Flower Society is a secret society that aims to overthrow the Manchu-led Qing Dynasty and restore Han Chinese rule in China. The society is led by a total of 15 leaders with Chen Jialuo as their chief. The fourth leader Wen Tailai is ambushed and arrested on the order of the Qianlong Emperor because he knows a secret about the emperor and the emperor wants to silence him.


The Qianlong Emperor is attracted to Kasili's beauty and tries to force her to become his concubine but she refuses. Chen Jialuo infiltrates the palace to meet Qianlong and remind him about their pact, whilst affirming that he will persuade Kasili to marry the emperor. Kasili later discovers that Qianlong has broken his promise and is secretly plotting to destroy the Red Flower Society, so she commits suicide to warn Chen. The society's members are angry with the emperor for renouncing his oath and they storm the palace. Qianlong is defeated and forced to come to a truce with the heroes. Chen Jialuo and his friends then return to the western regions after paying respects at Kasili's tomb.



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