During the time of the Sung dynasty (roughly, around the 12th century), rebels in North China are fighting the Tartar invaders. A lady known as the Iron Mistress made a kind of Robin Hood career, from simply leading a bunch of thieves to become a local hero and a serious threat. But the Tartars attack during the night, while a celebration made the rebels careless, and the Iron Mistress and her followers are defeated and must flee. In the hour of need, the Iron Mistress remembers a man named Hsin whom she once turned down, thinking he could be of little help because he had no armed warriors. It turns out that he is a very clever man, though - and a good plan is desperately needed. Some followers of the Mistress do not trust Hsin and suspect him to be a traitor. Hsin himself suspects someone else. With little confidence in each other, they have to face the enemy again...
Powerful swordplay drama that can't hide the fact it's 40 years old, but it has all the ingredients the genre needs. As you could see from my summary, the story is complex and interesting. Recommended to historically minded wuxia fans.
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