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Richmond author’s new book carries on martial hero legacy

The Heavenly Sword is available online and in Richmond libraries

Steveston resident Alice Poon is very excited to see her new book The Heavenly Sword now available at Richmond’s libraries.

This is the third book written by Poon, a long-time Richmond resident and a passionate writer who started writing full-time after retiring from a career in real estate.

The Heavenly Sword is her first book about Wuxia – which means "martial heroes," a genre of Chinese fiction about the adventures of martial artists in ancient China.

“It’s a story of family love, fellowship, loyalty, sacrifice, loss, and Kung Fu rivalry set against the background of the Ming Dynasty civil war and rebellion, and woven with elements of Chinese mythology,” Poon told the Richmond News.

The main character in the book has a mission to fight the usurping tyrant Zhudi which requires her to acquire a special, deadly martial arts skill. However in order to achieve that, she must reject love, according to Poon.

“The story tells how this heroine goes about her quest for justice, and for love.”

Growing up in Hong Kong, Poon, like many others from Asia, was influenced by Jin Yong, one of the greatest Wuxia writers whose work was also widely adapted to TV dramas and movies.

“He passed away in 2018. Since then I have wanted to do my small part to continue the great legacy of Wuxia fiction left by this great icon,” Poon said, adding she felt there aren’t many Wuxia novels written in English.

The novel has two underlying themes that Poon hopes readers will find relatable in today’s world.

“One is the resiliency of blood ties and strong family bonds, and the other is the corruptive qualities of despotic power. It also tries to explore the Buddhist concept of karma – what goes around comes around,” she said.

Poon likes to write stories that are based on real historical events and characters – her two other books also have historic elements in them. She is now working on the second book in the series, set to be completed later this year.

“History is always a part of the present-day condition so that's why we need to learn from history.”

The Heavenly Sword is available on Amazon and at Richmond’s public libraries.

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