The second book in the trilogy really isn’t about the original “condor heroes”, so if you’re expecting more adventures from Guo Jing and Huang Rong, you might be disappointed.
The secret lies in the actual Chinese title, which is more accurately translated as “Divine Eagle and Gallant Knight”. The story centres around the son Yang Kang and Mu Nianci left behind: Yang Guo.
The boy has been orphaned and has been accustomed to roaming wild and cheating his way to survive. When Guo Jing finds him, he decides to take care of the boy and betroth his own daughter Guo Fu to him. Huang Rong, however, has other ideas.
She didn’t trust the father and so she didn’t trust the son. This tiny detail sparked nearly a lifetime of mishaps, mistakes, and misunderstandings, not to mention lost limbs.
It’s a much darker novel than the first; it’s not just your usual good versus evil anymore. There’s no question where Guo Jing stands but Yang Guo was always on the brink of turning into a bitter madman who would kill at whim.
But of course, he manages to thwart evil, pursue love, and prove everyone wrong. It’s a coming of age story, so to speak, though with a lot more dead
bodies and mangled people than your run of the mill John Green novel.
What’s most striking, actually, is that Jin Yong went all out with the romance in this one. You might as well be wallowing in teenage hormones and angst while reading the novel. Girls are throwing themselves on Yang Guo
left and right, but obviously he has eyes only for the beautiful Xiao Long Nu.
The novel ends on a cliffhanger, which brings us to…