Sword Stained with Royal Blood

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Sword Stained with Royal Blood
Sword stained with royal blood earliest edition volume five 1950s.jpg
Volume 5 of one of the earliest editions of Sword Stained with Royal Blood.
Author Jin Yong
Original title 碧血劍
Country Hong Kong
Language Chinese
Genre Wuxia, historical fiction
Publisher Hong Kong Commercial Daily
Publication date
1 January 1956
Media type Print
ISBN 978-957-32-6038-7
Sword Stained with Royal Blood
Traditional Chinese 碧血劍
Simplified Chinese 碧血剑

Sword Stained with Royal Blood is a wuxia novel by Jin Yong (Louis Cha). It was first serialised in the Hong Kong newspaper Hong Kong Commercial Daily between 1 January 1956 and 31 December 1956.[1] Since its first publication, the novel has undergone two revisions, with the latest edition being the third. Some characters from the novel play minor roles or are simply mentioned by name in The Deer and the Cauldron, another of Jin Yong's novels.

Plot[edit]

The novel is set in the late Ming dynasty. The protagonist, Yuan Chengzhi, is the son of Yuan Chonghuan, a patriotic military general who was wrongly put to death by the Chongzhen Emperor. The orphaned Yuan was brought to the Mount Hua Sect, where he was tutored in martial arts by Mu Renqing. After he grows up to become a fine young martial artist, he leaves Mount Hua in search of adventure. Serendipitous incidents lead him to discover the Golden Serpent Sword and a martial arts manual, which once belonged to Xia Xueyi, a long dead enigmatic swordsman. Yuan inherits Xia's possessions and skills and becomes more powerful than before.

Yuan wanders around the land and meets Wen Qingqing, a young maiden from a family of brigands. Wen is actually Xia Xueyi's daughter and she follows Yuan after being expelled from her family. Yuan initially wanted to seek redress for his father, but eventually decides to join Li Zicheng's rebel army to overthrow the corrupt Ming government. He helps the rebels retrieve the gold robbed by the Wen family, sabotages a battery of cannons supplied to the Ming army by foreigners, and finances the rebellion with part of the treasure he discovered in Nanjing. Yuan also befriends several martial artists, who pledge allegiance to him out of respect for his heroism. He organises his followers to form a militia and they pledge to serve and defend the Han Chinese nation from internal and external threats.

While Yuan sees overthrowing the corrupt Ming government as one of his key priorities, he also recognises that the Manchus in northeastern China pose an even greater external threat to the Han Chinese nation. Eager to prove his loyalty to his fellow Han Chinese, Yuan infiltrates Mukden and attempts to assassinate the Manchu emperor, Huangtaiji, but fails and narrowly escapes. Later, despite holding a grudge against the Chongzhen Emperor for his father's wrongful execution, he saves the emperor from a coup launched by a treacherous noble, Prince Hui. Around the same time, he meets He Tieshou, one of Prince Hui's allies and the leader of the Five Poisons Cult. Yuan succeeds in reforming her and accepts her as his apprentice. He also develops romantic relationships with Wen Qingqing and another maiden, A'jiu, who is actually Princess Changping, a daughter of the Chongzhen Emperor.

Yuan ultimately regrets his decision to support Li Zicheng because after overthrowing the Ming government, Li not only fails to fulfil his promises to restore peace and stability, but also condones his followers' brutality towards the common people. Yuan is disappointed with Li and decides to leave. Wu Sangui, a former Ming general, defects to the Manchus and allows them to pass through Shanhai Pass. The Manchus eventually conquer the rest of China and establish the Qing dynasty. Yuan realises that he is unable to do anything to reverse the situation and decides to leave for good, so he sails to a distant land with his companions.

Characters[edit]

Adaptations[edit]

Films[edit]

Year Production Main cast Additional information
1958 / 1959 Emei Film Company
(Hong Kong)
Cho Tat-wah, Sheung-koon Kwan-wai, Chan Tsui-ping, Tsi Law-lin, Ng Cho-fan See Sword of Blood and Valour
1982 Shaw Brothers Studio (Hong Kong) Philip Kwok, Chiang Sheng, Wen Hsueh-erh, Lung Tien-hsiang See Sword Stained with Royal Blood (1982 film)
1993 Hong Kong Yuen Biao, Yip Chuen-chan, Sharla Cheung, Danny Lee, Anita Yuen See The Sword Stained with Royal Blood (film)

Television[edit]

Year Production Main cast Additional information
1977 CTV (Hong Kong) Chan Keung, Wen Hsueh-erh, Lee Tong-ming, Shek Tin, Wu Yan-yan, Yuen Chau See Sword Stained with Royal Blood (1977 TV series)
1985 TVB (Hong Kong) Felix Wong, Chong Ching-yee, Teresa Mo, Michael Miu, Regina Tsang, Rebecca Chan See Sword Stained with Royal Blood (1985 TV series)
2000 Gordon Lam, Sarah Au, Charmaine Sheh, Kwong Wa, Melissa Ng, Fiona Yuen See Crimson Sabre
2007 Mainland China Bobby Dou, Eva Huang, Sun Feifei, Hsiao Shu-shen, Vincent Chiao See Sword Stained with Royal Blood (2007 TV series)

References[edit]

  1. ^ The date conforms to the data published in Chen Zhenhui (陳鎮輝), Wuxia Xiaoshuo Xiaoyao Tan (武俠小說逍遙談), 2000, Huizhi Publishing Company (匯智出版有限公司), p. 56.