- List of The Book and the Sword characters
- Chen Jialuo (陳家洛) – the protagonist of the novel and chief of the Red Flower Society
- Huo Qingtong (霍青桐) – Mu Zhuolun's older daughter. She falls in love with Chen Jialuo when he helps her tribe recover the Qur'an that was stolen from them. She is an expert in martial arts as well as a resourceful military tactician.
- Kasili (喀絲麗), also known as Princess Fragrance (香香公主) - Huo Qingtong's younger sister. She meets Chen Jialuo and falls in love with him. She is captured by Qianlong, who forces her to be his concubine. She agrees but when she discovers that he is going back on his word, she commits suicide to warn Chen.
- Qianlong Emperor (乾隆皇帝) – the ruler of the Qing Dynasty. He is actually the older brother of Chen Jialuo. He was replaced at birth with the Yongzheng Emperor's daughter and raised as a Manchu prince before succeeding to the throne.
Red Flower Society (紅花會)
- Taoist Wuchen (無塵道長) – nicknamed "Soul-chasing, Life-taking Sword" (追魂奪命劍). He is the most powerful in terms of martial arts of all the leaders.
- Zhao Banshan (趙半山) – nicknamed "Thousand Arms Buddha" (千臂如來)
- Wen Tailai (文泰來) – nicknamed "Thunderbolt Hand" (奔雷手). He is captured by Qing forces at the start of the novel because he knows the truth behind Qianlong's birth. His fellows try to save him several times and succeed after several failed attempts.
- Chang brothers - a pair of twins
- Chang Hezhi (常赫志) - nicknamed "Black Wuchang" (黑無常)
- Chang Bozhi (常伯志) - nicknamed "White Wuchang" (白無常)
- Xu Tianhong (徐天宏) – nicknamed "Military Zhuge" (武諸葛). He is the mastermind behind all the society's plans and activities. He is originally at odds with Zhou Qi and often argues with her. However, after going through danger with her, he falls in love with her and marries her eventually.
- Yang Chengxie (楊成協) – nicknamed "Iron Pagoda" (鐵塔)
- Wei Chunhua (衛春華) – nicknamed "Nine Lives Colourful Leopard" (九命錦豹子)
- Zhang Jin (章進) – nicknamed "Rock Daring" (石敢當). He is a hunchback. He is killed in the battle at the end of the novel.
- Luo Bing (駱冰) – Wen Tailai's wife. She is nicknamed "Mandarin Ducks Saber" (鴛鴦刀).
- Shi Shuangying (石雙英) – nicknamed "Devils' Wrath" (鬼見愁)
- Jiang Sigen (蔣四根) – nicknamed "Copper-Headed Crocodile" (銅頭鱷魚)
- Yu Yutong (余魚同) – nicknamed "Golden Flute Scholar" (金笛秀才). He has a crush on Luo Bing but at the same time, Li Yuanzhi is also in love with him. He feels ashamed of having such immoral thoughts on his brother's wife and feels sorry for having treated Li Yuanzhi coldly, that he decides to become a monk. He returns to his secular life later and reunites with Li Yuanzhi. They are married eventually.
- Xinyan (心硯) – Chen Jialuo's page. He becomes one of the leaders of the society.
- Yu Wanting (于萬亭) - Chen Jialuo's godfather and predecessor. He does not make any appearances as he is already dead at the start of the story.
Wudang Sect (武當派)
- Zhang Zhaozhong (張昭重) – nicknamed "Fiery Hand Judge" (火手判官). He collaborates with the Qing government to persecute the Red Flower Society. He is defeated by Chen Jialuo and knocked into an arena of ravenous wolves and meets his end.
- Ma Zhen (馬真) – the leader of the Wudang Sect. Although he is senior to Lu Feiqing and Zhang Zhaozhong, he is less powerful in terms of martial arts than his two juniors. He is murdered by Zhang Zhaozhong.
- Lu Feiqing (陸菲青) – Ma Zhen's junior. He disguises himself as a scholar to evade from his enemies and hides in Li Kexiu's residence, becoming a private tutor to Li Yuanzhi. Once, Li Yuanzhi discovers his expertise in dart throwing and learns that he is actually a powerful swordsman. Lu Feiqing decides to teach her some martial arts after she keeps pestering him.
Shaolin Sect (少林派)
- Tianhong (天虹) - the abbot of Shaolin and senior of Tianjing. He is Chen Jialuo's fifth and last opponent at Shaolin. He is later killed when Qing soldiers burn down Shaolin Monastery.
- Tianjing (天镜) - Tianhong's junior. He is Chen Jialuo's fourth opponent at Shaolin.
- Dachi (大痴) - Chen Jialuo's third opponent at Shaolin. They compete projectile skills.
- Dadian (大癲) - Chen Jialuo's second opponent at Shaolin
- Daku (大苦) - Chen Jialuo's first opponent at Shaolin
- Fu Kang'an (福康安) – the illegitimate son of Qianlong. He bears a similar appearance to Chen Jialuo. Qianlong appoints him as the head of the security forces in the capital city. He is taken hostage by the Red Flower Society, who use him to force Qianlong to come to a truce with them.
- Bai Zhen (白振) - a pugilist from the Songyang Sect who is nicknamed "Golden Claw Iron Hook" (金爪鐵鉤). He serves as Qianlong's chief bodyguard and the leader of the secret police.
- Li Kexiu (李可秀) - Li Yuanzhi's father. He is appointed as Captain General of the military in Zhejiang and moves there with his family.
- Zhaohui (兆惠) - the commander of the Qing army stationed in the northwest. He is very experienced in warfare and military strategy. He is calculative, cruel and ruthless and maintains firm discipline in his army.
- Heshen (和珅) - a high ranking official who is one of Qianlong's close aides
- Ji Yun (紀昀)
- Zheng Xie (鄭燮)
Scholars, poets and artists
- Yuan Mei (袁枚)
- Shen Deqian (沈德潛)
- Zhao Yi (趙翼)
- Jiang Shiquan (蔣士銓)
- Li E (厲鶚)
Allies and associates of the Red Flower Society
Iron Courage Manor (鐵膽莊)
- Zhou Zhongying (周仲英) – a reputable pugilist in the jianghu and master of the manor. He kills his son in anger and regrets after that. He tries to hide his remorse to contain his pride. He joins the heroes on their noble quest and becomes one of their allies.
- Zhou Qi (周綺) – Zhou Zhongying's daughter. She is originally at odds with Xu Tianhong and often bickers and argues with him. However, both of them manage to escape death together and forge a close bond. They are married eventually.
- Zhou Yingjie (周英傑) - Zhou Zhongying's 10-year-old son. The Qing soldiers taunt him when he refuses to reveal Wen Tailai's hiding place. The indignant boy responds to the taunts and unsuspectingly spills the secret. His father kills him in anger when he learns that his son had disgraced him.
Pugilists from Mount Heaven
- Yuan Shixiao (袁士宵) – nicknamed "Heavenly Pool Eccentric Hero" (天池怪俠). He tutors Chen Jialuo in martial arts and imparts his famous "Hundred Flowers Fist" (百花錯拳) to Chen. He loves Guan Mingmei but Guan married Chen Zhengde. He has never given up his love for her and often bickers with Chen Zhengde.
- "Twin Eagles of Mount Heaven" (天山雙鷹)
- Chen Zhengde (陳正德) - the "Bald Vulture" (禿鷲). He dislikes Yuan Shixiao for his flirtatious attitude towards his wife and often bickers with him.
- Guan Mingmei (關明梅) - the "Snow Condor" (雪鵰). She is the wife of Chen Zhengde and Huo Qingtong's teacher. She is the subject of a love rivalry between her husband and Yuan Shixiao.
- Li Yuanzhi (李沅芷) – the daughter of Li Kexiu. She is in love with Yu Yutong but he always gives her the cold shoulder. Towards the end of the novel, Yu Yutong finally realises that she truly loves him and they are married.
- Mu Zhuolun (木卓倫) - the chief of the Islamic tribe
- Nasreddin (阿凡提)
- "Four Tigers of Hulun" (忽倫四虎)
- "Six Devils of Guandong" (關東六魔) - a group of six pugilists from Guandong. They are hired by Bai Zhen to carry out the emperor's secret orders to eliminate the Red Flower Society.
- Teng Yilei (滕一雷) - the most fearsome of the six. He is determined to slay any enemy at the expense of his own life.
- Gu Jinbiao (顧金標) - a former bandit. His movements cannot be traced and he appears unpredictably.
- Jiao Wenqi (焦文期) - killed by Lu Feiqing. The Red Flower Society is thought to be responsible for his death.
- Hahetai (哈合台) - a shepherd from Mongolia
- Yan Shizhang (閻世章) - killed by Huo Qingtong
- Yan Shikui (閻世魁) - the brother of Yan Shizhang. He is killed during the fight for the Qur'an.
- Luo Yuantong (駱元通) - Luo Bing's father. He is nicknamed "Holy Saber" (神刀).
- Bei Renlong (貝人龍) - a pugilist nicknamed "Jade Judge" (玉判官).
- Wang Weiyang (王維揚) - the leader of the Zhenyuan Escort Agency. He is nicknamed "Rocks the Riverbank" (威震河朔).
- Han Wenchong (韓文沖) - owns a swift steed. The horse is stolen by Luo Bing when he stops to take a break.
- Yang Pengju (楊鵬舉) - the leader of the Wuhui Escort Agency. He is nicknamed "Golden Wings Brushing Against the Clouds" (摩雲金翅).
- Sixth Master Tang (唐六爺) - a pugilist nicknamed "Candy with Frosted Arsenic" (糖裡砒霜).
- Chu Yuan (褚圓) - nicknamed "A Reed Crossing the River" (一葦渡江).
- Luo Xin (羅信) - nicknamed "Iron Armed Arhat" (鐵臂羅漢).
- Wu Guodong (吳國棟) - a constable from Beijing
- Yu Ruyi (玉如意) - a courtesan from Hangzhou. The Red Flower Society enlists her help to capture Qianlong. She performs during the meeting between Chen Jialuo and Qianlong. Qianlong is captivated by her beauty and falls in love with her. She lures him into a trap later.
CharactersList of characters Film adaptationsThe Book and the Sword (1960) • Emperor and His Brother (1981) • The Romance of Book and Sword (1987) • Princess Fragrance (1987) Television adaptationsThe Legend of the Book and the Sword (1976) • Book and Sword Chronicles (1984) • The Legend of the Book and the Sword (1987) • The Book and the Sword (1992) • The Book and the Sword (1994) • Book and Sword, Gratitude and Revenge (2002) • The Book and the Sword (2008)
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