Fibrous monolithic ceramics are an example of a laminate in which a controlled, three-dimensional structure has been introduced on a submillimeter scale. This unique structure allows this all-ceramic material to fail in a nonbrittle manner. Materials have been fabricated and tested with a variety of architectures. The influence on mechanical properties at room temperature and at high temperature of the structure of the constituent phases and the architecture in which they are arranged are discussed. The elastic properties of these materials can be effectively predicted using existing models. These models also can be extended to predict the strength of fibrous monoliths with an arbitrary orientation and architecture. However, the mechanisms that govern the energy absorption capacity of fibrous monoliths are unique, and experimental results do not follow existing models. Energy dissipation occurs through two dominant mechanisms—delamination of the weak interphases and then frictional sliding after cracking occurs. The properties of the constituent phases that maximize energy absorption are discussed.