A Snake Lies Waiting''Italic text

   A Snake Lies Waiting is the third book in a series of four translations of Legends of the Condor Heroes by Jin Yong into English. It came out recently and is translated by Anna Holmwood and Gigi Chang. The translators hope to translate one book per year and continue on to Return of the Condor Heroes and The Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber. Each book will be divided into four so there will be a total of twelve books. 
   A Snake Lies Waiting starts from when Guo Jing, Zhou Botong and Hong Qigong are finding out the problem with Huang Yaoshi’s boat and ends with Guo Jing and Huang Rong escaping Iron Palm Mountain on their condors. 
   My only complaint with these books is that some of the characters' names were translated and some of them make no sense. For example, Hou Tonghai becomes Browbeater Hou and Sha Tongtian becomes Hector Sha. I feel like these books would have been better if the character names were not translated. The names of the stances were also changed, but I don’t see any other way the translators could have described the stances. Although it cannot be helped, some of the stances do not sound as smooth as the original name in Mandarin. For example, “Nine Ying Skeleton Claw'” does not sound as terrifying as “jiu ying bai gu zhang”.
   However, this book has many good things about it as well. At the beginning, there is a list of characters to help the readers remember who everyone is, for many characters disappear for a long time and may be forgotten. At the end, there is also a five-page-long appendix which explains many of the phrases or legendary characters of Eastern mythology a Western reader may not understand, such as the Jade King and Zhong Kui. There are also about eight beautiful illustrations that can help readers picture the characters and the setting. The book arrived on time and in great condition.
   Overall, this book is well translated, although I noticed a few areas had been shortened when I listened to the Mandarin audiobook of the original (I can read/speak Mandarin decently), such as the part when Qu Lingfeng is talking about the “Jing Kang” incident (this was their first translated book). This may be hard for many Western readers to understand, but an easy solution would be to include it in the appendix and explain it. This is okay because these details do not affect the story that much, but they would still be nice to have to stay true to the original. This is a good step in bringing Eastern literature and cultures to Western readers including myself.