Djoliba – La Vengeance aux masques d’ivoire / Djoliba, the Revenge of the Ivory Masks

An original YA medieval mystery novel set in Africa. In the same vein as Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, a fascinating journey in Ancient Mali


Mali, 1327. Tiamball , 14 years old, is a fisherman’s son and has limped since birth. Rejected by his father, Tiamball  dreams of becoming a tamer of the forces of the night, and teller of their legends. One night, he secretly attends a healing ritual, where he hopes to approach the healer. Which is where he meets Chenouda, a wise Egyptian man, who has brought his daughter Sirine, the victim of a mysterious illness, to the healer. Thanks to Chenouda, Tiamballé is accepted into this society of river genies and he takes part in a healing ritual. But the very next day, his life is turned upside down. The oldest master of the king’s words is found dead on the riverbank, with an ivory mask on his face. Chenouda is entrusted with the case by the king, the mansa, and Tiamballé, becomes his na ve Dr Watson, beginning to investigate, as the dead bodies pile up. Their investigation takes them from Timbuktu, to the salt mines of Taghazza, and much further still… to the frontiers of the invisible world. Caught between the rationality of Chenouda and the traditional wisdoms he grew up in, Tiamballé will have to find his own path, with the help of intriguing Sirine. With this adventure, they will both leave childhood behind definitely.


A unique novel mixing investigation, adventure and fantastic

Je bouquine


Specialist of the African continent where he spent his childhood, Gaël Bordet takes his readers in an enthralling journey into the middle-age Mali traditions, all the while tying together a suspenseful police investigation.

La Croix

"La nuit est claire. Sous les étoiles minuscules, les eaux noires du fleuve scintillent, prises entre la plaine marécageuse et le désert.
Au loin s’élèvent toujours plus fort les rythmes des tambours rituels, et j’aperçois à présent la lueur du grand feu. La cérémonie a commencé.
Dans mon dos, la nuit efface les huttes de ma famille, dressées sur une dune morte, en lisière du désert. Voici une semaine que mon père, maître des eaux de notre clan, y a établi notre campement saisonnier – préférant renoncer pour la première fois au lac Débo. Après avoir guetté la décrue qui assèche lentement les champs inondés, il a aujourd’hui jugé qu’il était temps de lancer les pêches. Dans la foulée, notre ancien a remis à mon jeune frère sa korti, une amulette de force. Tout était dit : du haut de ses douze ans, mon cadet venait de rejoindre la grande corporation des pêcheurs bozos [...]"