Born in France.
Home and office—France. E-mail—[email protected]
Les aventures de Pierre Pèlerin 1: Sinedeis, Livre de Poche (Paris, France), 1999.
Les aventures de Pierre Pèlerin 2: In media res, Livre de Poche (Paris, France), 2000.
Les aventures de Pierre Pèlerin 3: Erat fatum, Livre de Poche (Paris, France), 2002.
Le quadrille des assassins, Broché, 2002, translated by Anthea Bell as Dance of the Assassins, Eos (New York, NY), 2004.
Un tango du diable, Broché, 2003, translated by Anthea Bell as Devil's Tango, Eos (New York, NY), 2006.
Sabbat Samba, Broché, 2004.
Blanche; ou la triple contrainte de l'enfer, Broché, 2005.
Alexandre le grande, Broché, 2006.
Blanche et l'oeil du grand Khan, Broché, 2006.
Blanche et le vampire de Paris, Broché, 2007.
French writer Hervé Jubert is the author of several series of novels featuring heroines triumphing against supernatural horrors. In one story line, an upper-class young woman, Blanche, finds herself at odds with the vampires of Paris in the 1870s. In another, Roberta, who lives in a futuristic world where the past serves the present as a theme park, is pitted against demons and servants of the devil. Jubert is also the author of a novel about the life of Alexander the Great of Macedonia: Alexandre le grande.
The character of Blanche was developed when Jubert and his wife were living in Paris. He placed her in the 1870s setting, during the Siege of Paris by the Prussians. As a young bourgeois woman, Blanche is proper in every way, but as she begins to discover the hidden world around her, she realizes that everything is not as she believed. "The separation between shadow and light is not as frank we may think," Jubert explained on the ActuSF Web site. "Blanche is someone who finally learns." Blanche's adventures, which begin in Blanche; ou la triple contrainte de l'enfer, have not yet been published in English.
The Dance of the Assassins—first published in the original French as Le quadrille des assassins—introduces readers to Roberta, a witch who graduated from the College of Sorcery and who lives in a world purposely fixed in the nineteenth century. Though the world outside may have moved on due to the advance in technology, London, Paris, and Venice are now historical stages for tourism, and crime is tracked through tracers—which work until the supernatural becomes involved. Luckily, Roberta needs no such tools, and when a modern-day Jack the Ripper begins committing murder, she is paired up with a novice investigator named Clement Martineau to solve the crime. Jack is not just making appearances to murder traditional targets, however; he joins together with three other assassins in hopes of summoning the devil himself.
"Jubert offers charismatic characters, a fascinating plot, descriptive imagery, and a unique blend of modern and mystic methods, with an unexpected ending," wrote J.A. Kaszuba Locke in an online review of Dance of the Assassins for Book Loons. Although noting that the dark subject material might not be suitable for younger teens, Douglas R. Cobb wrote for the Curled up with a Good Kid's Book Web site that Jubert's novel is "packed with action, adventure, murder, and mayhem." A Kirkus Reviews contributor found Roberta to be "an appealingly offbeat adult protagonist," and Lesley Farmer wrote in Kliatt that readers of Dance of the Assassins "will certainly root for the investigator pair."
Roberta and Martineau return in Devil's Tango, where they again solve a rash of murders. But their job gets more complicated when a corrupt official begins persecuting gypsies in order to boost support for his upcoming election. Between the suspicion that their murderer is the legendary Baron of Mists and that the would-be-mayor may be up to something much darker, Roberta and Martineau have their hands full. "Juvert takes well-worn conventions … and spins them into something fresh and new," wrote Donna Scanlon in Kliatt. A Kirkus Reviews contributor called the novel "a metaphysically creative and fantastical tale for fans of the offbeat."
When asked what writers served as his inspiration by an interviewer for the ActuSF Web site, Jubert responded: "[The books of J.R.R.] Tolkien when I was ten years old, Tim Powers when I was twelve, [Dashiell] Hammet later." Although Jubert admitted that he does not intentionally write for a young-adult audience, he is pleased that his books seem to fit well with that niche.
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, October 1, 2006, Krista Hutley, review of Devil's Tango, p. 48.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September, 2005, Elizabeth Bush, review of Dance of the Assassins, p. 24; February, 2007, Elizabeth Bush, review of Devil's Tango, p. 256.
Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2005, review of Dance of the Assassins, p. 916; September 15, 2006, review of Devil's Tango, p. 957.
Kliatt, September, 2005, Lesley Farmer, review of Dance of the Assassins, p. 9; November, 2006, Donna Scanlon, review of Devil's Tango, p. 12.
Publishers Weekly, November 7, 2005, review of Dance of the Assassins, p. 76.
School Library Journal, December, 2005, Sharon Rawlins, review of Dance of the Assassins, p. 148; February, 2007, Anthony C. Doyle, review of Devil's Tango, p. 120.
Voice of Youth Advocates, October, 2005, review of Dance of the Assassins, p. 324; December, 2006, Ann Welton, review of Devil's Tango, p. 443.
ActuSF Web site,http://www.actusf.com/ (November 21, 2007), interview with Jubert.
Book Loons Web site,http://www.bookloons.com/ (November 21, 2007), review of Dance of the Assassins.
Curled up with a Good Kid's Book Web site,http://www.curledupkids.com/ (November 21, 2007), review of Dance of the Assassins.
Hervé Jubert Home Page,http://www.blanche-paichain.net (November 16, 2007).