Books by Timothée de Fombelle

CAPTAIN ROSALIE by Timothée de Fombelle
Released: June 11, 2019

"A spare tale likely to engender deep, complex responses. (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
A young child undertakes a "secret mission" while her father is away at war. Read full book review >
THE BOOK OF PEARL by Timothée de Fombelle
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"A luminous, haunting, intriguingly intricate modern fairy tale. (Fantasy. 12-18)"
Exiled from the "land of fairy tales," a melancholy youth seeks to find his way back. Read full book review >
A PRINCE WITHOUT A KINGDOM by Timothée de Fombelle
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Mournful at times but also illuminated with moments of humanity and grace: a worthy sequel. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)"
Vango's search for the truth of his identity continues, leading him on dangerous escapades across World War II-era Europe and New York City. Read full book review >
VANGO by Timothée de Fombelle
Released: Oct. 1, 2014

"Beautiful writing, intricate plotting, and breathless reveals—plus several plucky female leads—make this a must-read. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)"
Minutes from joining the priesthood in 1934, Vango, who was found washed ashore on a tiny Italian island as a toddler, must suddenly avoid both arrest and a simultaneous assassination attempt. Read full book review >
TOBY AND THE SECRETS OF THE TREE by Timothée de Fombelle
Released: Aug. 1, 2010

A Lilliputian world yields sharp political satire in this adventure fable, sequel to Toby Alone (2009). Three years after Toby's daring escape, life has grown even harder for those left on the Tree. "Friendly Neighbor" Joe Mitch has tightened his tyrannical grip while furthering his ecological devastation. Meanwhile, Leo Blue's merciless campaign against the Grass People is only tempered by his obsession with Toby's beloved Elisha. The Tree is withering, discontent is everywhere and the slightest catalyst could spark an uprising; then a rumor crops up that Toby Lolness is back. While retaining all the cleverness, wit and suspense, this follow-up suffers from an excess of character and plot. A multitude of unique viewpoints, each with a separate narrative arc, shift from comedy to drama to intrigue to adventure at the expense of a unified story line or theme. Once all these people and threads intersect, the sheer quantity of coincidence and contrivance to tie them off neatly strains credulity to the breaking point. Nonetheless, the knit never quite ravels, displaying a brilliance and depth nothing short of dazzling. A mess, but a spectacular one. (Fantasy. 10 & up)Read full book review >
TOBY ALONE by Timothée de Fombelle
Released: March 1, 2009

An adventurous fable stars a miniscule hero facing massive ordeals. Toby may be not quite 13 years old and only one-and-a-half millimeters tall, but he has made a lot of enemies. When his scientist father declares that the Tree their people call "home" is not only alive but also endangered by their civilization, the whole family is exiled, then arrested, then sentenced to death. Now Toby is on the run from an entire world that sees him as a threat to their way of life. The obvious ecological allegory, while never heavy-handed, remains the thread weaving together lengthy flashbacks, asides and foreshadowing into a twining plot, featuring dozens of swiftly sketched, memorably idiosyncratic characters. The narrative voice dances on the razor's edge between fey and twee, gliding effortlessly from grotesque farce to sly satire to nail-biting suspense to thrilling escapes, shocking violence and heartbreaking betrayal, while Place's delicate pen-and-ink doodles offer marginal commentary. While abrupt, the conclusion provides both a satisfying culmination to Toby's character arc and an edge-of-the-seat cliffhanger for the promised sequel. Witty, original and devastatingly entertaining. (Fantasy. 10 & up)Read full book review >