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Jirel of Joiry

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  710 Ratings  ·  47 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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Werner
Feb 26, 2015 Werner rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Swords-and-sorcery fans
Note, Feb. 26, 2015: While skimming over the stories again, as part of adapting and expanding this review for another site, and with the benefit of a number of years of further reflection, I decided that this collection fully merits an additional star, raising it to five!

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 Jir
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Steve
Mar 14, 2012 Steve rated it it was ok
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
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
Adam
Jul 11, 2016 Adam marked it as abandoned
Shelves: fantasy, ebook
Famous as a woman's answer to the overwhelming and unquestioned masculinity fantasy of Howard's Conan, I was surprised to see that Jirel of Joiry was published within two years of the first Conan story. My experiences with Sword and Sorcery have been pretty dismal so far. Conan was inept and loathsome; Fafhrd was competent but loathsome; Imaro was briefly interesting in its cultural setting and racial politics but derivative of Conan's failures in the execution. Joanna Russ' Adventures of Alyx i ...more
Martin
Mar 20, 2016 Martin rated it it was ok
Block God's Kiss and Hellsgarde are pretty interesting stories. The other three are just really bad. There's not much worth calling plot in any of the stories, if there's anything at all; and Jirel doesn't do anything at all except to switch her emotional state between defiant and angry. Whatever made Moore famous, these stories certain weren't it.
Charles
Jul 23, 2008 Charles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
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.
Tim
Jul 25, 2016 Tim rated it liked it
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
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Ross Lockhart
Jul 25, 2007 Ross Lockhart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jerry M
C. L. Moore wrote at a time when Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft were writing and it shows. Her writing is a grand mixture of both of these writers; think Conan meets the nameless horrors. You can also see a precursor to Elric in Moore's writing. This work is a bunch of short stories about Jirel and how she would remain independent and the only complaint is that there had to be an ending to them eventually. For lovers of pulp writing, this is the cream of the crop.
Bernardo Marrello
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James Latimer
Nov 01, 2016 James Latimer rated it really liked it
Shelves: standalones
Somewhere between Howard, Leiber and Moorcock in style, with a feisty heroine who is nobody's damsel in distress. The stories are more sorcery than sword, with a fair dose of horror. I preferred the later stories to the more famous first two, but each one showcases a remarkable character who shattered the glass ceiling in fantasy long before anyone seems to remember.
Mike
Oct 05, 2016 Mike rated it really liked it
C.L. Moore is a favourite of mine, an early classic writer in the fantasy field, who was able to bring emotions other than fear and bloodlust to pulp writing in the days when that was rare. Jirel of Joiry is the original kickass female protagonist, a warrior woman from the nobility who fights alongside her men and is feared by her foes. And yet she isn't just a man with breasts; she's very much a woman as well as a warrior. Her spiritual descendants include Buffy the Vampire Slayer and just abou ...more
Francesco Manno
Jan 17, 2015 Francesco Manno rated it it was amazing
http://panopticonitalia.blogspot.it/2...

In this anthology of short stories (written in the thirties of the last century and published in Weird Tales), Catherine Lucille Moore poses as a woman protagonist, which has never happened before that time in fantasy.
Jirel thus becomes the archetype of the female heroine, used later by many other authors of sword and sorcery. Our warrior has nothing to envy to a man as a force, indeed can boast a much greater courage than all the other warriors that accom
...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
Aldo Ojeda
Aug 07, 2014 Aldo Ojeda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ghoule
Feb 01, 2016 Ghoule rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sheryl Tribble
Jun 10, 2014 Sheryl Tribble rated it it was ok
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
Myke
Dec 14, 2015 Myke rated it liked it
Granted, this was written many years ago, so the whole "show, don't tell" thing wasn't necessarily en vogue, along with many other rules of writing that (as a writer myself) I have ingrained into me and how I read. That said, the stories themselves were interesting, but still not perfect.
Much of the bulk of these tales consisted of Jirel going from point A to point B, with long-winded descriptions of these weird and foreign places. She went to go get something, usually a weapon, and then found i
...more
Derek
Oct 17, 2011 Derek rated it really liked it
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
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
Juan del Desierto
Jul 28, 2013 Juan del Desierto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Hokomoko
Jan 01, 2015 Hokomoko rated it really liked it
I found every story in this collection fresh and interesting. The main attributes: the sword and sorcery feel (brutal, cynical and simple contexts in which to play out moral dramas without subtlety between super human and supernatural forces in a roughly medieval setting) and the strong female protagonist. Fine, but these served only as instruments to plunge the hero into one nasty crossworld horror universe after another. Each story had a quite inventive and unique object and set of rules. The ...more
Aelvana
Oct 27, 2014 Aelvana rated it really liked it
Taken together, the stories could almost read like a novel, since there is a small amount of sequential order to them, but they are separate stories. All of them follow the various exploits of Jirel, the ruling lady of Joiry. She was a very strong and distinct character, which I enjoyed, but in many respects she is the only character. Her adventures take her to a number of otherworldly places which were great fun to read about, but I thought the second story was far too similar to the first. Cer ...more
reverend dak
Dec 16, 2011 reverend dak rated it really liked it
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
Osie
Nov 30, 2013 Osie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-fiction
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
Clifton Toliver
Sep 27, 2012 Clifton Toliver rated it really liked it
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
Gabriel
Jul 05, 2015 Gabriel rated it liked it
Shelves: collections
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.
Richard Gorton
Feb 26, 2014 Richard Gorton rated it liked it
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)
Eric Orchard
Mar 10, 2010 Eric Orchard rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Girls who dig Conan.
Shelves: pulp, fantasy
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.
Amanda
Aug 06, 2008 Amanda rated it really liked it
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.
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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
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