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Dark Moon Defender (Twelve Houses, #3)
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Dark Moon Defender (Twelve Houses #3)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  3,617 ratings  ·  162 reviews
In this story of hidden magic and forbidden love, the King's Rider Justin befriends Ellynor, a young novice at a convent-only to discover that she is a mystic being manipulated by the fanatical Daughters of the Pale Moon into hunting down and killing other mystics.
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published October 3rd 2006 by Ace
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Dark Moon Defender is the third book in the Twelve Houses series by Sharon Shinn. Reading order: Mystic and Rider, The Thirteenth House, Dark Moon Defender, Reader and Raelynx, Fortune and Fate. Should the books be read in order? Yes. Also, don't read any of the synopses of the latter books if you haven't read the earlier ones. They contain spoilery bits. Even the summary for this book has some spoilers. Dark Moon Defender is all about Justin, Tayse's fellow Rider. He's pr
Some have said that of the Twelve Houses books thus far, this is Sharon Shinn's weakest effort ... well, I beg to differ. I loved it. I think I liked it better than the first two, probably because I had a chance to see such a tremendous change in Justin's character. Wow! I knew I always liked him for a reason. *grin*
Reading this book during Hurricane Sandy yesterday was the perfect distraction. I didn't have any idea what Ms. Shinn would do with Justin's story so I let her lead while I followed.

This one is more of a love story and didn't really move the series forward for me so I took a star off for that and the ending. I don't like the fill-in the details endings even if I can see it clearly.

This series has characters that hold me in a sweet thrall. Justin, like Tayse, is a man of honor and purpose. I wond
I seriously don't even know how this happened! I like and empathize with Justin; something went terribly wrong somewhere and I am just not sure where along the way that I was sucker-punched. To be honest, Justin is still nowhere near my favorite character but I understand him and his way of thinking a lot more and his about face from the beginning of the series is nice to see (view spoiler) I am sure that it helped that ...more
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I enjoyed this third book quite a bit. It was very interesting to see things from Justin and Ellynor’s perspective. The majority of the story takes place in Neft, where Justin is working undercover trying to determine what exactly Coralinda is up to. He comes to the rescue of young Ellynor on the streets of Neft and the two quickly become captivated with one another. Up until now, I had a certain image of Justin in my mind, so it was somewhat odd to see things from his perspective, because he no ...more
Book three in the Twelve Houses series turns its focus to Justin, the street urchin turned Kings Rider. He's stationed near the convent of the Pale Mother with orders to watch out for signs of rebellion under the power hungry Halchon and Coralinda Gisseltess. After saving a young novice from the convent, Ellynor, he begins to learn more about her while experiencing the true evil of Coralinda and her hatred of mystics firsthand.

To be honest this book fell a little flat for me. Let's first say I l
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
MsMiz (Tina)
The cover of this book said romantic fantasy. I was hoping then that Sharon Shinn had finally put some physical 'action' in this book, unlike the first two in the series! Well, I was a bit disappointed in that department, but the book was still very entertaining and kept a very good thread with our motley crew of 6. I am happy that all of the main characters from Mystic and Rider were present and also the continued theme of forbidden love. It was good to learn more about the Lirrenfolks. I also ...more
This is obviously Justin’s story. It’s now time to get into Justin’s head and find out what makes him tick and make his character a bit deeper. While he’s a strong and brutal fighter, he also has a heart of gold he rarely shows anyone. With the introduction of Ellynor into his life, we get to see that side of him more. The influence of Senneth also shines through when he realizes he can help someone he considers weaker than him because it’s the right thing to do, whether he gets anything out of ...more
Jack Murphy
My wife said that she didn't enjoy this third book as well as she did the first two. I disagree,I thoroughly enjoyed this third book.It was very interesting to see things from Justin and Ellynor’s perspective. The majority of the story takes place in Neft, where Justin is working undercover trying to determine what exactly Coralinda and the Convent Guards are up to. He comes to the rescue of a young Ellynor on the streets of Neft and the two quickly become captivated with one another. Up to this ...more
This is the 3rd in Shinn's Twelve Houses series. I love this series. The six companions are each so different and intriguing that it's a pleasure to watch them interact. They really are old friends by now. The first two books followed Senneth and Kirra respectively, the two females in the group. This one focuses on Justin the gutter boy turned King's Rider. Warning: the dude on the cover looks nothing like Justin. The 4th book is going to focus on Cammon and is, without a doubt, going to rock my ...more
I enjoyed this book. I found it in a thrift store so didn't realize until after I read it that it is part of a series. However it does stand alone. I would definitely read others in the series.

In this book, Justin, a King's Rider - one of 50 elite soldiers that defend the King - is sent undercover to see what he can learn about The Lestra, who is in charge of the Daughters of the Pale Mother. She is on a mission to find all mystics and rid the world of them. Ellynor has recently joined the order
Petula Darling
The first half of the book was enjoyable and similar to its predecessors, but the second half was so bogged down by drippy Ellynor and treacly romance that I barely made it through. I certainly hope this book is a novelty and the remaining ones don't go in a similar direction.
Dark Moon Defender felt far too familiar for Sharon Shinn, relying on the classic tropes of a fierce, strong man and a frail, dainty woman falling in love. For some reason, I wanted a far more complex love story for Justin than the simplistic tale Shinn provided, futilely attempting to spice up the story with the angle of forbidden romance. Nevertheless, despite the fact that I'd have preferred a different novel than the one given, I still enjoyed Ellynor and Justin's blooming love story, not to ...more
Starting off a little slow...

Didn't get much better. A slow middle-of-the-series book. The love story was particularly unattractive and the end a little too easy.
Jared Paddick
So far, this was my favorite book in the series. The plot was much more present and focused, and finally it feels right.

The writing was on, with the mechanics near perfect. The character development really raced along in this book.

But most important, this book had ACTION! I finally felt some tension from circumstances rather than forced from character relationships.

But it Justin, the primary character from this book, that really made this a great book.

Getting to know him so completely was a real
Eliza Baum
Mar 20, 2015 Eliza Baum rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes epic fantasy with a healthy dash of romance
This one is more like 4.5 stars instead of a solid 5, but I'm rounding up out of general love for the series and the characters. My biggest quasi-complaint is that out of the core 6 characters, only Justin gets any solid screen time. It was nice that Senneth and Tayse had some scenes of their own, but I would have liked to have the others around for a larger chunk of the book. I liked Ellynor well enough, but her POV was not nearly as enthralling as the rest of the gang, and that's my reason for ...more
J.H. Walker
Book three in the Twelve Houses series gives us a closer look at the cult that is dedicated to killing mystics. Justin, the hunky King's Rider, is sent to check out suspicious activity at the convent that houses the fanatical Daughters of the Pale Mother. Yes, the ones controlled by that horrid Corilinda Gisseltess. She's gathering an army to go against that mystic loving King. Stone him! (Do we sense any subtle messages about intolerance? Yes! And I love it!)

Anyway, Justin goes under cover, lan
Rebecca Curtis
I ended up liking this book far more than I thought I would, It may have something to do with the fact that I had a 3 week hiatus in the middle while I was on vacation.

This is the story that continues the main theme of the Twelve House series told from Justin's point of view. I did not like this as much as Kirras story but I did enjoy it.

While the rest of the group is about on various missions or assignments, Rider Justin has his own assignment. To hang around the tiny town in the land of Neft
This is the third book in the Twelve Houses series. This is a series best begun with the first book (Mystic and Rider), because while Shinn tries to summarize for those beginning here, there is so much backstory that one really should begin at the beginning (I also thought Mystic and Rider was a superior book). This is my least favorite book in the series so far. It centers around Justin, a King's Rider (an elite fighter), and Ellynor, a gentle girl from the mysterious Lirrenlands. If you've rea ...more
Best book in the series so far. I really really really loved it. Beautiful writing, great plot, lots of action, decent romance, and I especially loved how Shinn returned to Senneth and we got to see the story from her point of view again and learn a bit more about what happened with her and Tayse. It's what I've been wanting ever since I finished Mystic and Rider. I also loved reading from both Justin's and Ellynor's perspectives.

The only thing that would push this book from really really really
Justin, the prickly young Rider, has been sent on a solo mission to spy on the Lumanen Convent. Lumanen Convent is ruled by Coralinda Gisseltess, suspected traitor and a confirmed persecutor of Mystics. For Justin, an orphan whose friends are closer than family, this seems like exile. Until he meets Ellynor.
Ellynor is a novice at the Convent. She accompanied her cousin Rosurie when she was sent away to keep her from an unsuitable romance. Ellynor, who had never been away from her overprotective
Miss Clark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Roger Bailey
I was in a mood for a fantasy so I picked up this one. I chose it more or less at random and I suppose this is what I get for selecting my reading material that way. This is only secondarily a fantasy. First and foremost it is a romance. One of my criticisms of fantasy is that it tends to be a bit too formulaic, but romance is usually many times more formulaic than fantasy. If you believe the formulas of romance apply to your own life then you should be very happy when the object of your affecti ...more
I picked this book up hoping that it could stand alone even though it was a series book. It couldn't. It really has to be read as part of the series.

However, after reading this book I definitely will NOT be reading the series. First of all, there is nothing new or original about this story. It seemed to me like a melding of many other fantasy stories out there. It reminded me a lot of Raymond Feist and also had elements of Dungeon and Dragons. But, the worst thing about this book may surprise yo
Dark Moon Defender is the third of the Twelve Houses series by SHaron Shinn.

In the earlier two books we meet and get really involved with the adventures of Senneth, Tayse, Justin, Kirra, Donnal and Cammon as they traveled around the land of Gillengaria at the behest of their King. There is much unrest in the Kingdom. One powerful Lord is trying to foment rebellion and usurp the throne. The minor vassals of the Twelve ruling houses of the land are trying to use the unrest as a way to gain their o
Meredith Galman
Beautifully written though it is, this entry in Shinn's Twelve Houses series is the least satisfying of all her novels. The romance between King's Rider Justin and the Lirren mystic Ellynor is touching and well-drawn, but it is not enough to sustain the whole book. In a faster-paced, more action-packed book, I might have overlooked the tedious repetitiveness and numerous minor inconsistencies, but Dark Moon's sheer lack of drama and suspense made those small crimes more visible. But the biggest ...more
I think this series keeps on getting better. Home sick with a bad code and I read this in one day. I hadn't really liked Justin in the previous books, but after this I do. A page turner of a story, religious fanatics, the gang back together, a nice romance. Also nice to get some point of view from Senneth. The only thing starting to annoy me a little bit is that Cammon's powers seem to be a bit too convenient- being able to tell when any of his friends are in trouble, no matter where they are.
So far this has been the most exciting book in the series and yet it still felt anti-climactic somehow. The focus of Shinn's books is always on her characters but I still feel she could do better on her realism and her action plotting. Some things about this fantasy land just don't hold together in my mind. For example, why is the largest city in this island nation in the middle of it? Wouldn't it make more sense for it to be a port city on the ocean, maybe there's something about this in the fi ...more
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I’ve been writing stories and poems since I was eight years old. My first poem was about Halloween: "What is tonight? What is tonight?/Try to guess and you’ll guess right." Perhaps this inauspicious beginning explains why it took me till I was in my thirties to sell a novel. It occurred to me early on that it might take some time and a lot of tries before I was able to publish any of my creative w ...more
More about Sharon Shinn...

Other Books in the Series

Twelve Houses (5 books)
  • Mystic and Rider (Twelve Houses, #1)
  • The Thirteenth House (Twelve Houses, #2)
  • Reader and Raelynx (Twelve Houses, #4)
  • Fortune and Fate (Twelve Houses, #5)
Summers at Castle Auburn Archangel (Samaria, #1) Mystic and Rider (Twelve Houses, #1) Troubled Waters (Elemental Blessings, #1) Jovah's Angel (Samaria, #2)

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“Senneth looked at her. "But that doesn’t mean he loves you any less."

Kirra shook her head. "Or that I love him any less." She gave Senneth a small smile. "I think I own him, Senneth. I think there is nothing I could do to drive him away. That moves me and frightens me and makes me want to be very, very careful with his heart. So I will not put him on display in the drawing rooms of the Twelve Houses.”
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