Cover image for By honor bound
By honor bound
Ballard, Patricia, 1956-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Unity, Me. : Five Star, 1999.
Physical Description:
300 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


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Raithe and Cynnara, though enemies, find themselves fighting an overwhelming attraction for each other amidst a battle for the survival of manking in the 60th century AD.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In her first novel, Ballard has created an intriguing world set 4,000 years in the future as humanity is striving to recover from centuries of barbarism caused by a mutated virus. The virus was engineered to increase fertility, but it also raises emotions and is deadly unless blood from an infected individual of the opposite gender is administered in a binding ceremony. Ballard's heroine is Cynnara Kyerrneth, a circus acrobat in twentieth-century America, and the daughter of an anthropologist and a man who has traveled back in time from the distant future. The story revolves around Cynnara being kidnapped and brought to her father's era by brawny Raithe, second in command of the House Serrodon, to wed his disabled brother and thus preserve his life. As vivid as Ballard's barbaric future world is, her characters never come to life and her plot is disjointed. But she is definitely a writer to watch, and forthcoming volumes in the series are in the works. --Diana Tixier Herald

Publisher's Weekly Review

Ballard's debut, the first in a futuristic romance trilogy, inaugurates a new Five Star romance series that will publish four novels each quarter. The year is A.D. 6032. Raithe Serrodon is the number-two man of House Serrodon. Raithe's half-brother, Jerstrom, the High Lord of Serrodon, is mentally ill and dying. Savage far-future customs dictate that Raithe assume command by killing the half-brother he loves. Instead, Raithe seeks to marry Jerstrom to Cynnara Kyerrneth of the powerful House Kyerrneth, which will ensure Jerstrom's safety. But Cynnara lives not in 6032 A.D. but in 1999, her father having fled his time for ours. Raithe visits our present, abducts Cynnara and brings her back to the future, where men are "more animal than human" and women are "forced to follow the dictates of some primitive male." A virus called the Blood LustÄgenetically engineered to create sexual attraction and reverse humanity's population declineÄhas made the people of the time tribal and aggressive. The Blood Lust draws Raithe, against his will, to Cynnara. While he struggles to weigh his lust for Cynnara against his fraternal love for Jerstrom, Cynnara takes matters into her own hands. Ballard introduces neat ideas, but skips or underplays crucial events and never quite gets her plot on the move, making all her intended surprises easy to anticipate. Raithe, Cynnara and the rest conduct, in flat, vague terms, familiar arguments about science, culture and biology: "Technology has benefits, but the price is so high." Fans of futuristic romance will compare Ballard's debut to category classics by Dana Joy, Ann Maxwell or Jayne CastleÄand the contrast won't make Ballard's work look good. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved