Jirel of Joiry
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Jirel of Joiry

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  426 ratings  ·  29 reviews
C. L. Moore created Jirel, ruler of Joiry, in reaction to the beefy total-testosterone blood-and-thunder tales of '30s pulp magazines, but Jirel is no anti-Conan. She's a good Catholic girl, stubbornly purposeful, relentless in pursuit of enemies or vengeance, hard-boiled and a little stupid, and cannot be distracted by mere physical attractiveness. Indeed, in Jirel's worl...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published 1982 by Ace (first published 1934)
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The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienMagician by Raymond E. FeistLegend by David Gemmell
Best Heroic Fantasy
63rd out of 417 books — 599 voters
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Complete Chronicles of Conan by Robert E. HowardThe Blade Itself by Joe AbercrombieElric of Melniboné by Michael Moorcock
Sword and Sorcery
35th out of 466 books — 196 voters


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Werner
May 19, 2008 Werner rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Swords-and-sorcery fans
Originally published in the pulp magazine Weird Tales in the late 1930s, Moore's five stories ("Black God's Kiss," "Black God's Shadow," "Jirel Meets Magic," "The Dark Land," and "Hellsgarde") featuring beautiful swordswoman Jirel, lady ruler of a feudal fiefdom in Dark Ages France, were as germinal in the development of sword-and-sorcery fantasy as the work of her contemporary, Robert E. Howard. Jirel is a strong and complex character, the first in prose fantasy's long and honorable list of but...more
Jake
I had never heard of C.L. Moore or her stories until a friend lent me this book, which is a bit sad, since she seems to have been quite a figure. Specifically, she was one of the earliest women writers to enter into the sword-and-sorcery genre, publishing stories in the same magazines as Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft.

Jirel of Joiry collects some of those stories, specifically the ones that deal with...Jirel of Joiry. Jirel, the ruler of a fictional kingdom located somewhere in medieval Fra...more
Steve
I may bump this up a star (because GR lacks half stars). The first story (a novella), "Black God's Kiss," is a classic that I highly recommend. It has a kind of weirdness that reminds me of Dante and Machen. The second story, "Black God's Shadow," is basically the first story rewritten, but not nearly as good. I increasingly lost interest as the collection went on. I kept feeling like I was reading the story, or parts of the same story, over and over. Moore is first rate when it comes to descrip...more
Sheryl Tribble
Although Jirel's a warrior, we barely see that side of her, since the stories are more about her battling magic or sorcery or powers of another world than physical combat. The stories have a Lovecraftian feel to me, with similar formless, nearly indestructible evils and an overall feeling of inevitability, however what is inevitable is entirely different (i.e., in Lovecraftian stories it never seems possible that the evil will lose; in these stories, it feels inevitable that Jirel will win).

Wher...more
Ross Lockhart
If Swords and Sorcery is the brand of fantasy you’re looking for, then C.L. Moore’s Jirel of Joiry is just the girl for you. Red-haired, armor-clad, and dealing out destruction with her massive two-handed sword, Jirel set the standard for tough warrior women decades before Xena, Warrior Princess or even Tolkien’s Arwen and Éowyn. Girl power, indeed.
David Hunter
You can also read this review on Heroines of Fantasy

I nearly gave this four stars.

This book interested me because it's classic pulp from the 30s and features an early version of a sword-wielding heroine. It's a collection of half a dozen short stories set in a (very) pseudo-historical France sometime after the fall of Rome. One story seems to identify the time as 1500AD but while that fits with some references (arbalests), it makes no sense with others. That hardly matters of course but it irk...more
Charles
Jirel is one of the very first, if not the first, swordswomen adventurer. This is heroic fantasy with Moore's deft touch on the imagery.
Jess
3.5
I found Jirel fascinating as a heroine of 1930s pulp fantasy. Throughout her adventures, Jirel's opponents constantly seek to victimize her, use her as bait, lure her in, or overpower her. Often she can't escape witnessing or even being part of horrific things, but she takes these impossible situations and confronts them on her own terms. I thought this was a nice alternative to always evading danger or using feminine wiles to get out of tight corners. Jirel is physically and emotionally capa...more
Aldo Ojeda
Ever since I found out about C.L. Moore, I wanted to read Jirel of Joiry; a female writer with a female protagonist in the pulp era? I'm in!

This book gathers all the stories from the titular character. The first three (Black God's Kiss, Black God's Shadow, Jirel Meets Magic) that present us Jirel, the indomitable, fierce warrior, are actually very weak. Moore adds obstacle after obstacle for the sake of it, but doesn't adds up well. I was starting to believe that maybe it was too much hype for J...more
Mathieu
Ce court recueil regroupe six nouvelles de fantasy, initialement parues dans des revues américaines dans les années 1930, et mettant en scène Jirel de Joiry, une femme-chevalier française.



Contemporaine de Lovecraft, Catherine L. Moore a publié pas mal de textes dans les pulps américains, écrivant aussi bien de la fantasy que de la SF (avec le héros Northwest Smith).



Les six récits que l’on a ici sont très disparates, car publiés à plusieurs années d’intervalles. Le style est malheureusement un pe...more
Richard Gorton
Interesting - C.L.Moore wrote these at the relative 'dawn' of science fiction/fantasy; the presentation is dark, but that may have been the style at the time - they were written in the mid 1930s. Of the 5 stories, I liked Hellsgarde the best - the ending + behavioral motive of some of the other characters was a truly unusual twist. Certainly worth a read just for a historical reasons (C.L.Moore is widely attributed as the first female writer of SF _AND_ Fantasy)
jack
A weird, fun cross between trashy narmy oldschool sword & sorcery (*how* many men want to tame the unconquerable Jirel already?) and HPL-ish weird fiction. I liked "Black God's Kiss" and "Hellsgarde" the most; "The Black Land" wasn't bad either; "Black God's Shadow" was a tad repetitive, and "Jirel Meets Magic" bizarre and meandering but kind of fun (and gay). Definitely read it for the imaginative imagery and weirdness, not depth of plot.
Derek
Moore's descriptions tend to the excessive, and this may not be to any particular reader's taste.

I was struck by the similarities of the stories: each seemed to represent a journey into an alien otherworld where the laws of physics and possibly the laws of morality are different. In particular, "Black God's Kiss" and "Black God's Shadow" take place in a plane or realm that makes very little sense to us, but it still abides by some strange rules. With these stories as well as "Jirel Meets Magic"...more
Janek del Desierto
El conjunto de relatos de "Jirel de Joiry" de C. L. Moore es una lectura muy recomendada para los que creen que la literatura fantástica ha sido juvenil hasta que G. R. R. Martin se ha atrevido a abordar una fantasía adulta y carente de clichés. Lejos del naturalismo y hundiéndose en los terrenos de lo onírico, los relatos de Jirel de Joiry son joyas llenas de ambientación y extrañeza y narran las aventuras bizarras de esta heroína que rompe moldes, la primera mujer en el terreno de la "Espada y...more
Osie
I had been looking forward to reading this book for some time before finally purchasing a copy. It was well worth the wait. It turned out to be a quick read, but only owing to the fact that I could barely put it down once I started it.

The influence of Robert E. Howard is very apparent, but Jirel is not simply a female Conan, Solomon Kane, or any of his other characters. Moore has created her own original universe, one that I’m sure REH would have loved to read about. If you’ve already finished...more
reverend dak
I found this at a used bookstore for cheap. I knew Moore was on the Appendix N list abd I thought I would give it a shot. I read this after reading Howard's Sword Woman and thought it would be the same kind of thing. Both originally published in wierd pulp & horror mags from the early 1900's, but they ended up totally different. Jirel was royalty and leadership from the start and her adventure was more surreal and strange. Moore's style was also a stark contrast from Howard's. While Howard i...more
Tim
An unusual fantasy -- early 20th century sword-and-sorcery stories by a woman, with a woman protagonist. I'm sorry to say she still sometimes came off as a caricature, but there is plenty of remarkably original material as well; her descent into what the medieval French-ish heroine assumes is "hell" but is clearly some very alien, very other, dimension; or her encounter with a more than a little unsettling ghost "hunters." (And no, I will not clarify that.)

All in all, I came away liking Howard's...more
Clifton Toliver
This book was a fun and enjoyable read. I think it is one of Moore's best efforts. The main character, Jirel, is a likeable if many times hot-headed character. To my mind she is a cross betweem Robert E. Howard's Red Sonya and Michael Moorcock's Elric Of Melnibone in terms of the plot situations she finds herself in. It is a nicely written piece of dark fantasy that has some interesting plot twists. If you like books with a strong yet slighty "flawed" heroic main female or male characters, I hig...more
Chris
Its a shame Moore didnt write more action as the brief times that she does are bold and flashy. She was good at surreal imagery as well, but formulaic (compared to each other) stories mar the overall series.
Amanda
Stories originally published in the 1930s in Wierd Tales. Jirel is not a shrinking violet content to let the boys have all the fun. The Lady of Joiry is tough and fights to defend all that belongs to her, and she's willing to to risk everything to bring her enemies down.

I love it that C.L. Moore was writing feminist fiction back when women's suffrage was still a new idea.
Eric Orchard
Mar 10, 2010 Eric Orchard rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Girls who dig Conan.
Shelves: fantasy, pulp
A pretty amazing sword & sorcery romp. I can't believe I've never read it before. Moore's writing is quite good, not overwrought like some pulp stuff. The book also feels pretty fresh and original. Not a lot female characters in the sub-genre have been quite like this.I was disappointed she only wrote this handful of Jirel stories.
Milena Benini
A must read for any fantasy fan, and particularly those who want strong female characters. Yes, I know that "strong female characters" are themselves a cliche, but Jirel of Joiry was there when the genre itself was being born, before there were any real cliches. Go read this. Now.
thegift
Proto-feminist sword and sorcery, very imagistic, sensual, emotional, epic archetypes, violent, not very intellectual. Difference from male authors? Woman is not prize or prey. Woman is Heroine.
Jonathan Stevens
Several of the Jirel of Joiry stories, from Weird Tales. C.L. Moore has great powers of description and a dark imagination. Parts seem similar to Stephen Donaldson.
Paul
Moore is not Howard. This is just a set of "weird tales". Nothing like the sword and sorcery genre I was expecting. Too high expectations.
February Four
Maybe it was cool back then, but this style of writing grates on me as a reader of 2010. Did not finish chapter 1.
Arlene Allen
Before Xena, there was Jirel. I actually wrote a college essay on this book.
Ido Reif
Not bad, but much less than I'd hoped for.
Keith Miller
Jirel of Joiry by C. L. Moore (1969)
Pierre Armel
Pierre Armel marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2014
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Excerpted from Wikipedia:
Catherine Lucille Moore was an American science fiction and fantasy writer, as C. L. Moore. She was one of the first women to write in the genre, and paved the way for many other female writers in speculative fiction.

Moore met Henry Kuttner, also a science fiction writer, in 1936 when he wrote her a fan letter (mistakenly thinking that "C. L. Moore" was a man), and they ma...more
More about C.L. Moore...
Black Gods and Scarlet Dreams Black God's Kiss The Best of C. L. Moore Northwest of Earth (Complete Northwest Smith) Shambleau

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