• Black God's Kiss

  • By: C. L. Moore
  • Narrated by: Gabrielle de Cuir
  • Length: 9 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (53 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

First published in the pages of Weird Tales in 1934, C. L. Moore's Jirel of Joiry is the first significant female sword-and-sorcery protagonist and one of the most exciting and evocative characters the genre has ever known. Published alongside seminal works by H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, the five classic fantasy tales included in this volume easily stand the test of time and often overshadow the storytelling power and emotional impact of stories by Moore's more famous contemporaries. A seminal work from one of fantasy's most important authors, Black God's Kiss is an essential addition to any fantasy library.

©1934, 1966 Weird Tales, Inc. © 2007 by Carol Ann Rodriguez (P)2015 Skyboat Media, Inc.

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What listeners say about Black God's Kiss

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Female sword & sorcery from the 1930's

C L Moore's Black God's Kiss is a series of sword and sorcery tales, newly recognized at the time as a distinct genre, but with a female protagonist written in the 1930's. The tales are located in France in a medieval setting, with Jorel as the leader of some vague group, with hostilities seemingly ongoing all the time. She always seems to find herself in some sort of pickle which involves supernatural locales and pits her against strong magic, although she possesses no magical abilities herself. The last story in this collection is a crossover tale with another Moore character, Northwest Smith.

Each tale is relatively short as was the style of this type of pulp fiction for its time. There's little if any background on how Jorel came by her swordsmanship ability, nor how she came to be the top dog (other than by her superior sword play). Interestingly, while she typically faces other females with magical abilities as her foes, she seems to have avoided enlisting any other females in her fighting militia.

The narration is well done with moderate character distinction. Pacing is a bit on the slow side.

Note: there are two entries for Black God's Kiss. This one is the full collection of five Jorel tales, plus the crossover tale, while the shorter offering is simply, the short story entitled Black God's Kiss.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Boring and slow

Boring and slow. Listened to the 1st 5 chapters but kept fast forwarding. Descriptions were to wordy as if the Author just wanted to fill up space.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

MUCH better chapter order at end of my review

Real quick note here: 1934 sci-fi with a female protagonist who's a leader, warrior, and solos most of her content. These stories, written preWW2, is mind blowing and I'm willing to overlook the outdated female tropes because of the time they were written in.

I agree with the professional critics that these stories' subject matter have strong links to H.P. Lovecraft with demons, aliens, and shady magicians. The difference is that when I read Lovecraft, I feel like I'm watching a black and white murder mystery. As opposed to Moore, it feels more like watching Heavy Metal (1981 movie).

=== Better chapter order
My only complaint is that, according to character development, the current chapter order makes the protagonist seem indecisive and stupid. I highly recommend instead going chapters: 10, 9, 1-6, 7, then 8. Also, mentally alter the ending to chapter 8 so she accepts the dark god's offer.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not horrible but not my preference

Old fantasy and use of rhetoric. Last short story was the best. Found it to be bland

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I didn’t like the book, but somehow I really did like it.

When I first started the book I didn’t like it but I kept listening anyway. I thought the book was quite racist. The way they emphasized the whiteness of the heroin. Also the villains were black or thru some foul blackness. Near the end of the book, I decided my review would be: The Happy Hooker, played by Zena the warrior princess, does Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, and Captain Kirk on Star Trek...... Then I heard the written date, and copyright dates. I was blown away. That info should be put up front. For that time period this book was way ahead of it’s time. The Harlequin descriptions, I’m sure, were to attract female readers to Sci-Fi. The racist innuendos were appropriate for the time. After hearing the details of the time period, I decided this was a very good book. It kept me listening even tho I didn’t like it, but somehow I really did like it.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Lovely surprise

I thought I was getting a romance novel so I was at first thinking this was not living up to expectations. But, I kept finding myself smiling, literally and frequently, at the clever word choices of the writer.

When I realized it was not a romance, at least not like I was thinking, I began to wonder what it was, genre-wise, and I’m still not quite sure. Kind of a fantasy-historical fiction-biography-memoir.

The narrator had a wide range of voices and emotional expression. Well done.

The main character is the strongest, yet realistic, female lead I’ve seen in a long time. A character with single mindedness, skill and flaws.

There are twists in the stories that I appreciated. Yes, I said “stories”. If you don’t realize that this is like different chapters in someone’s life versus one plot line with a single crisis and resolution, you too may be lost like I was and miss the elegance at first. But the ending was perfect.

This is the first review I’ve written (that I remember) and I just felt like this book deserved my time. I would have given it 4 1/2 stars, but I don’t know how. 4 is not enough. I didn’t do 5, because it took me awhile to catch on, but that might just be me.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

storyline is awesome!!

the narration was choppy and hard to follow sometimes.. almost made it hard to finish at one point. then the curiosity of the storyline took over more towards the end.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

boring....

it seemed like something that I would have found interesting but honestly... it was boring... I only got an hour or so into it... maybe a little more... the writer put too much detail into the wrong places which felt like to me, caused the story to stall out.