Medallion Press, Nov 2003, 6.99, 469 pp.
In 1760, when her mother, a low level servant, dies, Honneure is dispatched to live with the Monsart family at the Chateau D'Ambois owned by kindhearted Madame Dupin. The Monsarts (all servants) raise Honneure over the years as a beloved daughter. Honneure is contented except for the unwanted advances of the steward and her crush on her foster brother.
When her foster-brother Philippe Monsart accepts a job as groom to Princess Marie Antoinette, he also arranges for Honneure to find work in the Princess' entourage. The two foster siblings are shocked with the goings on at Versailles and quickly find themselves as outcasts amidst a palace of intrigue, treachery, and dishonor as France marches closer to the sharp edge. Though caught between their love for one another, their loyalty to their gentle employee Marie Antoinette and the clever machinations of many power hungry aristocrats, honor still prevails with the two Monsarts. When Marie becomes queen, life darkens as the years pass with unrest growing.
BY HONOR BOUND is a superb look at the decades just before and at the point that Madame Guillotine beheaded Marie Antoinette. The key to this three decade historical romance is that the cast, real persona or fictional character, seem so genuine that the audience can taste the intrigue and indulgence that increases dramatically as the years goes by. The descriptions of the aristocracy's life style are scrumptious, but especially depicted is the doomed Marie and her luxurious lifestyle. Fans will take great delight with this wonderful tale starring two terrific protagonists and a fantastic look at France on the cutting brink of revolution.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner