About (old)

Christelle Dabos

I was born in 1980 on the French Riviera and grew up in a home full of classical music and historical enigmas. More of the imaginative than of the cerebral type, I began scribbling my first texts in university. I set up in Belgian and intended to become a librarian when disease erupted. Writing then became an escape from the medical machinary, then a slow reconstruction and eventually a second nature. During this period, I benefited from emulation with Plume d’Argent (Silver Pen), an authors community on internet, as well as from the unwavering support of my Dear and Loving, and from our respective families. I decided to take up my first great literary challenge : entering the Gallimard Jeunesse Competition. Today, I am published and devote night and day to writing ! Well, rather day. When there are not too many animes on TV.

How the story starts

After the Tear that put an end to the ancient world, people have concentrated on a few territories: arches suspended in the air. Each of them, inhabited by families gifted with peculiar talents, is led by a remote ancestor, called « family spirit ». The young Ophelie is a Mirror-Crosser, a rare ability among the inhabitants of the Anima arch. Clumsy, solitary and reserved, she is also an particularly gifted reader: when seizing an object she can read its history and perceive the tracks of all those who touched it before her.

The day a forced marriage obliges Ophelie to leave her universe and family for the faraway arch of the Pole, her world is torn apart. Thorn, her fiancé, is a tough and enigmatic man. On his side, Ophelie discovers the Citacielle, a floating city made of spatial distorsions and visual illusions. The court, that comprises rival clans, gravitates around their common ancestor, Farouk, the allmighty and immortal family spirit. The clans fight against each other in a sad mix of plots, manoeuvres, trickeries and betrayals. And to make matters worst, Thorn is the intendant of the Pole, hated as such by everyone.

The Main Characters

by Laurent Gapaillard


«No, madame, I am really very clumsy. A mirror accident at the age of thirteen.»

Ophelie can travel from mirror to mirror, but above all, she can read the past of objects with her hands. She is not talkative, she is myopic as
a mole, she is clumsy, and not very resourceful. However, she could have a few surprises in store for her close entourage… to begin with, for her fiancé.

Her name : Ophélie is the name I was once giving to the spiders that were hiding in my wardrobe. I don’t know why, but this name sounded obvious very quickly when I imagined my secret and clumsy young miss.

Ophelie’s scarf is her golem. It is an old thing, dusty and whimsical, that spends its time sleeping on the shoulder of its mistress. It’s a bit
like a cat : of no use, but there would be a void if it was not there.


« I am rather annoyed. A bit more than that, actually. »

Thorn is the taciturn fiancé of Ophélie and the Intendant of the Citacielle. A misanthrope, misogynist and maniac, he is a man of the
cerebral type, above all very secret. It’s difficult to find out about his deepest thoughts. Ophelie won’t wait long before putting her own pitch of salt into his mechanics.

His name : Thorn is a reference to Thor, the god of thunder in the Nordic mythology. This is the say of an adult person. For true, it is mainly because, as a child, I was enamored with the wicked Igthorn in the Gummi cartoon. Yes, I know, but everyone has a past.


« Up there, there’s no set time for dancing, meditating and plotting. »

Archibald is the Ambassador of the Citacielle and the owner of the Moonlight embassy. His favorite pastime ? Cheating on his male guests
by seducing their wives. His sense of provocation is equalled only by his unshakeable frankness. Then… friend or foe ?

His name : « Archibald resonates to me with an old-fashioned charm, also very pleasing. I love the « archi » part that gives a notion of excess : I think it truly sticks with the Ambassador.»


« You can love upon one single look. By the way, you love each other really well only when you don’t really now each other well. »

Berenilde is the aunt of Thorn and a favorite of Farouk, not to say the queen of the favorites. She is as soft as her nephew is tough, but beware of what is hiding behind her wonderful smile.

Her name : « Berenilde is a Nordic version of the first name Bérénice which I had initially chosen for this character. I wanted for her something softer and more melodious. »


« Since she is my sister and since she is your Family Spirit, I suppose you are a kind of grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-niece ? »

Farouk is the Family Spirit of the Pole, an immortal creature, He is supposed to be gifted with extra-strong mental powers, but he is more inclined to the pleasures of the flesh. He is absolutely not interested in the fate of his descendants. His only concern is to deceive his worst enemy : boredom.


The Arches

by Laurent Gapaillard

Anima is the home arch of Ophélie. The large family of the Animists lives there, and Artemis is the Family Spirit of Anima : she almost never leaves her astronomical observatory. She is more interested in the stars than in her own descendants. The Animists all have a affinity with objects : they can breathe life into them and repair them at will. However, each Animist tends to specialize none field. For instance, Ophélie is particularly gifted for reading the past of the objects, which earned her to become a museum curator until her engagement.

The Pole is the arch of Thorn. It has a constantly freezing climate, and night reigns over half of the year. The nobility has its quarters in the upper floors of the Citacielle : a floating city in which all appearances are false, from the blooming gardens to the sumptuous ballrooms. Farouk is the Family Spirit of the Pole. Unlike his sister Artemis, he is a bit too close to his descendants. Especially to the female ones. Farouk’s family is divided between several branches, rivaling against each other: the Dragons, the Illusionists, the Web, etc… The power of those clans mainly rely upon their ental strength.