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I'm enjoying a lot this wuxia novel (the second one I read after 《流星,蝴蝶,剑》), so I thought it would be a good idea to create its own thread in case anybody wants to read it too.

First of all, this novel is a good choice to start reading wuxia: the language is fairly simple, like 古龙's, and there's an abridged version in traditional characters, which would be suitable even for intermediate level students. 



《宝剑金钗》is the second volume of the Crane-Iron pentalogy. In general, I like reading book series in order, but I trusted the language learner's guide to wuxia novels (a must-read) and jumped right into it. 


First of all, this is such an influential novel that being familiar with it helps one appreciate later wuxia novels, just as reading Asimov and Heinlein helps one appreciate later science fiction novels.

Second, this was originally published in a newspaper, and Wang Dulu wrote it so that new readers could jump into the story without reading the first few chapters. (...) This is excellent for Chinese learners. If there is something the reader didn’t quite understand, and it’s important, it will get mentioned in a recap.



While reading a novel, if different cities / villages are mentioned, I like to look at a map to see where characters are going. If you're like me, this map can be helpful:http://www.elycn.com/images/hebeilx.gif

Most important places mentioned:

直隶: ancient Chinese province formed by nowadays Beijing, Tianjing, Hebei, Henan and part of Shandong.

巨鹿,南宫:cities in  邢台 county, 河北

望都 county in 保定,  河北

宣化府 in 張家口,河北



I've only read the first three chapters, but there is already a long list of characters. I'll write here some of their names, and I'll add the pinyin for the tricky ones.

俞雄远, aka 铁翅雕, 俞老镖头: an old man with a complicated past.

俞秀莲: his teenage daughter, both beautiful and skilled at martial arts.

广杰 ( ): martial arts teacher.

梁文锦,席仲孝,李慕白: some of 纪广杰's disciples, in their twenties.

何飞龙: a man murdered by 俞老镖头, his family seeks vengeance: 何三虎、何七虎(sons)、何剑娥(女魔王,daughter)、张玉瑾(nephew).

孟思昭: the boy with whom 俞秀莲 is engaged. 孟永祥: his father. 


Titles of chapters.

When I read the title of the first chapter, my first impression was that it was a bunch of characters thrown in no particular order. However, it's just that they're written in classical Chinese, so don't get scared.


Short excerpt.



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This sounds great. I think I'll put it on my list to read after I finish 圈子圈套. Thanks for sharing your character list. I'm sure that'll help me once I start reading it.

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Finished! :mrgreen: It has taken me a looong time to finish this novel, summer holidays broke my routine, I became lazy, my free time seemed to vanish... I also read another book in Chinese in between, 《掟上今日子的備忘錄》, a Japanese light novel which was quite easy to read but poorly written from a logical point of view (it was a 推理小说, but the way mysteries were solved was disappointing).

In any case, after three and a half months, I have to admit that 宝剑金钗 was harder than 流星蝴蝶剑, I lost interest at times, but in the end it gets very interesting again and I found the ending really good. I will definitely read the next stories in the pentalogy, I need to keep in touch with 李慕白 and 俞秀莲!

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