cover image A Snake Lies Waiting

A Snake Lies Waiting

Jin Yong. Griffin, $17.99 trade paper (448p) ISBN 978-1-25025-012-4

The entertaining third volume of the Condor Heroes series showcases Yong’s characteristic blend of kung fu–based magic and timeless themes of love and betrayal. Picking up from A Bond Undone, hero Guo Jing and his teachers, Count Seven Hong and Zhou Botong, are stranded in shark-infested waters as their ship sinks. They are saved by Jing’s former rival, Gallant Ouyang, and his uncle, Viper. Once aboard Ouyang’s ship, Jing discovers the rescue was a trap and Gallant and Viper hope to uncover the details of the Nine Yin Manual, a document that exists only in the minds of Jing and Botong. Jing’s betrothed, Lotus Huang, rescues Jing, Hong, and Botong in the nick of time and leads the trio back to shore, but the fire of revenge and ambition burning in their many rivals follows them on land as well as sea. The story will feel slow for new readers, but fans of Yong’s previous Condor Heroes novels will appreciate the convergence of many separate subplots and the enthralling ending, which serves as a strong setup for the next in the series. This is a solid installment. (Sept.)