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Black Gods Kiss (Planet Stories Library) Paperback – 13 Nov 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Paizo Publishing, LLC. (13 Nov. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601250452
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601250452
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.3 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,190,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By RIJU GANGULY on 8 July 2011
Format: Paperback
At the very outset it needs to be stated that I don't agree with all those who had thought that they were doing C.L.Moore and her fantastic creation a service by mentally comparing her with Conan the Cimmerian. No, Jirel of Joiry is not a "Gal Conan", she is a lot more than that or any other Red Sonja types currently flooding the fantasy market. She is closer to Kull of Atlantis in sombriety and credibility. Her physical strength has limits, she knows fear and acknowledges its presence in the periphery of her landscape, but most importantly: she neither tries to hide her feminine identity, nor does she try to exploit it unnecessarily. She is haughty, vengeful, impulsive, but she is a human being who tries to be the sole determinant of her own destiny. These stories, written at least 70 years ago, are documentary evidence of the presence of such a realistic heroine in the pulps at a time when they were despised as little more than "boyish" fantasies.

Jirel is the ruler of the medieval French principality of Joiry at a time dominated by warlords and wizards. Six of her adventures (unfortunately that's all) are collected in this slim volume publoshed by Paizo Books in a nice format. These stories are:

1. "Black God's Kiss": After her kingdom is overran by a cruel antagonist, Jirel explores a land of evil & sorrow (accessible through a forbidden route under her castle) in search of a weapon that would avenge her humiliation at the hands of the antagonist.
2. "Black God's Shadow": Jirel's remorse for the extreme punishment effected upon the antagonist in the 1st tale forces her to return to her unique hell where she breaks an evil spell for ever.
3.
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By Manly Reading TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 20 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
C.L. Moore was perhaps the first female writer of "sword and sorcery", with her 1930's tales of heroine Jirel of Joiry. They are better classifed as "weird tales" - the name of the magazine in which they were published - full of evocative description rather than brutal action. This collection is the 6 Jirel tales, plus a crossover adventure in which Jirel meets Northwest Smith, Moore's other protagonist of 1930's weird tales, which was co-written with husband to be Henry Kuttner.

Jirel is a warrior woman, a redhead striking rather than beautiful, capable with a sword and strong willed. To an extent however, the adventures happen around Jirel rather than to her: Moore's lush prose swirls around the reader and drags one in, and it is the descriptions and locations rather than the characters that truly drive the story.

Like Northwest of Earth, this book is not best read in a single sitting, but instead simply reading one tale at a time. Take a week or a month to finish the book. Moore's writing is rich enough to require a little time to settle in for best effect. Some of the visuals here are unforgettable, and the prose - while purple - is superbly polished.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Always lovely to re-visit old favourites! A female hero in a world of chest-beating male heros - definitely challenged my thought processes as a teenager!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 16 reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Unputdownable! 27 July 2008
By RIJU GANGULY - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At the very outset it needs to be stated that I don't agree with all those reviewers who had thought that they were doing C.L.Moore and her fantastic creation a service by comparing her with Conan the Cimmerian. No, Jirel of Joiry is not a "Gal Conan", she is a lot more than that or any other Red Sonja types currently flooding the fantasy market. She is closer to Kull of Atlantis in sombriety and credibility. Her physical strength has limits, she knows fear and acknowledges its presence in the periphery of her landscape, but most importantly: she neither tries to hide her feminine identity, nor does she try to exploit it unnecessarily. She is haughty, vengeful, impulsive, but she is a human being who tries to be the sole determinant of her own destiny. These stories, written at least 70 years ago, are documentary evidence of the presence of such a realistic heroine in the pulps at a time when they were despised as little more than "boyish" fantasies.

Jirel is the ruler of the medieval French principality of Joiry at a time dominated by warlords and wizards. Six of her adventures (unfortunately that's all) are collected in this slim volume publoshed by Paizo Books in a nice format. These stories are:

1. "Black God's Kiss": After her kingdom is overran by a cruel antagonist, Jirel explores a land of evil & sorrow (accessible through a forbidden route under her castle) in search of a weapon that would avenge her humiliation at the hands of the antagonist.
2. "Black God's Shadow": Jirel's remorse for the extreme punishment effected upon the antagonist in the 1st tale forces her to return to her unique hell where she breaks an evil spell for ever.
3. "Jirel Meets Magic": After the dark and forebodingly Freudian descriptions in the first two stoies, this tale is simply Tolkienesque as Jirel crosses over to another state in search of a fugitive wizard and comes across a witch with ultimate powers.
4. "The Dark Land": This hauntingly beautiful and yet terrifying tale forces Jirel as well us to question ourselves about love.
5. "Hellsgarde": This straight-forward horror story (as well as Gothic romance) was a fun read after the oppressive first stories.
6. "Quest of the Starstone": This is obviously a product of popular choice as the author brings together two of her most famous creations in a simple plot leading to Jirel being relegated to the second-best position by North Wset Smith.

All-in-all, I heartly recommend this book to not only the readers of rip-roaring adventures, pulps, horror stories, etc. but also to those interested in the female heroines and their role-models.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
'Jirel of Joiry' plus one additional story 5 Dec. 2007
By Cynthia Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a reprint of all of the stories found in the collection "Jirel of Joiry" plus one story where the main character meets her male counterpart from many of the author's other short stories. If you already have the original collection be aware that you are paying almost entirely for that one story, which is definately worth reading, in a new jacket with different artwork.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Ahead of its time 5 Feb. 2008
By Logan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I just finished the book last night, and found it to be an enjoyable read.

The first thing that stood out to me is Ms. Moore's writing style. Despite being from an earlier era, it rarely felt dated, and made for a fast read.

Of the stories, "Hellsgarde" was definitely my favorite. "Jirel Meets Magic" and "Black God's Kiss" were great as well. "Quest for the Starstone" was fun, but it felt a bit disconnected from the rest.

Jirel is an interesting character...tough as most men of sword & sorcery, but with a definite female perspective which sets her apart from her contemporaries.

The atmosphere of these stories is fantastic! Well worth a read.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
the adventures of the first "gal conan" 14 Jan. 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Catherine Lucille Moore was probably the first great female writer of pulp fiction. Moore could muster as much blood and thunder as her male peers, and had both better prose style and superior hand with characterization than many. The stories reprinted here as part of Paizo's Planet Stories line are about one of the first female protagonists in Sword & Sorcery. Jirel of Joiry is a warrior woman in medieval France, who's every bit as tough as her male compatriots in the genre.

The collection also includes a "crossover" story where Jirel meets Moore's other series character--the Han Solo prototype, Northwest Smith. This 1937 story was a collaboration with her future husband, Henry Kuttner.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A lyrical artist 21 Dec. 2010
By James May - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
C. L. Moore had in common with Robert E. Howard not his hero Conan but that rare quality of somewhat more nuanced and lyrical poetry commingled with a genre that at times has been given over to hack idiocy; certainly sword and sorcery has that reputation among mainstream readers. But the wonderful thing that emerges from discovering jewels like Moore beyond ones own love of the genre which can pardon an awful lot of writers is the conviction that good stuff is where you find it and not just where reputation's direct you to. To find diamonds amidst the garbage clues one in to ones own ability to know good and bad rather than being biased with an attitude that absolutely nothing can have the quality or gravitas of Jane Austen in the realm of fantastic literature; but there is a difference between serious and sober.

For those of you who enjoyed Jirel's pursuit into a mad land, there is Jack Vance's own similar episode in Vol. 2 of his Lyonesse triolgy, "The Green Pearl". There a mad realm called Tanjecterly is where a hero of sorts goes in hopes of a rescue. Perhaps this was Vance's nod to Moore - I honestly don't know. Lyonesse is one of the great triumphs of fantasy for me and I highly recommend it.

C.L. Moore was a wonderfully whimsical writer at times and the short story "Vintage Season" she wrote with her husband Henry Kuttner under the alias of Lawrence O'Donnell is in the SF Hall of Fame series as one of the best SF stories ever and it is heavily lyrical and redolent in a way where one can sense the exotic scents and speech. C.L. Moore is not good for a woman she is just plain good and in her artistry devoted to a genre without credibility, a mirror image of another great female SF/fantasy author, Leigh Brackett.
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