Cover art of a recent omnibus edition, by Arnold Tsang
Jirel of Joiry is the heroine of a series of Sword and Sorcery
short stories by CL Moore
, running from 1934 to 1939 in Weird Tales
. Notable for being the first female Fantasy
hero. The stories are:
- "Black God's Kiss"
- "Black God's Shadow"
- "Jirel Meets Magic"
- "The Dark Land"
- "Quest of the Starstone" - A Crossover story with her other famous character Northwest Smith, co-written with her husband Henry Kuttner.
Tropes found in these stories:
- Action Girl: Jirel. Badass enough to give Xena a run for her money.
- Badass Normal: Oh yes. No matter if it's demons, elder gods, beings from alternate dimensions, wizards from the future, or just plain foreign invaders, she'll fight tooth and nail to protect her people.
- Chainmail Bikini: Averted, no matter what the cover art of the Planet Stories edition would have you believe.
- Crossover: With Moore's SF character Northwest Smith. This is not as mad as it sounds - both characters often end up in strange realms facing powerful, mysterious creatures and the word "magic" even pops up a few times in the Northwest Smith stories.
- Dark Fantasy: You can say that again. As with the the Northwest Smith stories, a Lovecraft influence is obvious with the evocative Purple Prose, Alien Geometries, and strange and otherworldly forces man cannot comprehend.
- Dating Catwoman: Jirel hates Guillaume the Conqueror who conquered her castle and humiliated her, and is determined to kill him - which she succeeds to do after undergoing many dangers and perils. Only when seeing him dead does she realize she had been passionately in love with him.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Black God. Pav might also qualify.
- Eldritch Location: Moore loved this trope. Part of the fun of the stories is finding out what creatively weird and fantastical landscapes the author could come up with next.
- Feminist Fantasy
- Fiery Redhead: Jirel.
- Heroic Fantasy: Notable for introducing the first female protagonist in the genre.
- Narrative Profanity Filter
- No Ontological Inertia: Jarisme's tower returns to its original location after her death.
- Purple Prose: Like the better authors at the time writing for Weird Tales, Moore could actually pull off lush and haunting description especially pertaining to emotions and fantastic landscapes surprisingly well.
- Religion is Magic: Wearing a crucifix will protect one against the Black God's realm.
- Samus Is a Girl: Jirel's introduction.