Tuesday, November 09, 2010


By C.L. Moore

What’s a girl to do? No sooner does she meet a nice guy who’s ready for commitment, than it turns out he’s an extra-dimensional demon and he’s already married!

This volume collects the five tales CL Moore wrote about her sword-woman hero, Jirel of Joiry. Moore was a writer other writers admired. From these tales one can see why, they use fantastic menace and weird atmosphere to create a sense of character. Her monsters are gruesomely Lovecraftian yet convey horror on a human scale.

Jirel is a fiery redhead who swings a mean sword. But don’t expect a straight-off-the-assembly line valkyrie. For one, there is really no swordplay as such. Jirel defeats her foes with strength of will and spirit, not her two-edged sword. If you are looking for a female Conan, look elsewhere.

Jirel of Joiry was also released in a limited edition volume by DM Grant under the title Black God’s Shadow. The Grant edition includes six, full color illustrations by Alicia Austin. The style is in the intricate neo-Celtic manner of the ‘70s (think of Clannad album covers, so perhaps it's better not to think of it at all).
-Dave Hardy



Charles Gramlich said...

One of my favorite collections.

Dave Hardy said...

I wrote this review before I got a hold of the Black Gods and Scarlet Dreams collection. I think it's time to pull them out and re-read some NW Smith & Jirel adventures.