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

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  4,368 Ratings  ·  188 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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Well, Sharon Shinn is the effing uncrowned Queen of Political Intrigue in the romantic fantasy genre, that’s for sure.

I am reading the paperback format & kind of missing Jennifer van Dyck’s excellent reading it aloud to me – but the audiobook series switched to a male narrator whom I did not particularly like after having been offered a sample.

I did not like the book as much as the first 2 installments of the series, but it was a very enjoyable read anyway & earns a solid four stars from
Oct 03, 2011 Chachic rated it liked it
Originally posted here.

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
Oct 30, 2012 jD rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012_4-stars, 2012
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
Apr 08, 2009 Michelle rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2009
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
Jan 17, 2008 Latharia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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*
I love this series! This is my third time reading it and I just sigh with happiness every-time I finish. This is the third book and Justin's story. Justin becomes more his own character as he is sent out on a lone mission. This is one of my favorite love stories it has so many great elements and everything comes together so well. This one is also a great one for the other characters who are growing and going threw there own changes. This book brings the band of 6 even closer together and sets up ...more
Apr 25, 2015 Kelcey rated it really liked it
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
Oct 27, 2015 Lorena rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Probably the weakest of the series so far - a 2.5. I don't feel like enough was done with Justin, either in terms of his character or his actions in the book. There really didn't seem to be much of an internally-logical reason (as far as the plots taking place WITHIN the book) to keep him alone in Neft for so long, other than to spin out the plot OF the book (basically, to pair him up with Ellynor). It's not like he really learned anything during this extended spying expedition that wasn't alrea ...more
Aerin Proffitt
Nov 12, 2016 Aerin Proffitt rated it it was amazing
This is the third book and I love this one because its about Justin. HE IS SO CUTE. AND HIS GIRLFRIEND IS SO CUTE TOO. Also, this one has a soft sex scene (just a heads up) Which I really liked actually.
The funnest part of The Twelve Houses series, is that it manages to explore a different magic in each book. This one is of the lesser known goddesses and I think she is super duper cool.
Justin is lowkey brilliant in this one, he was really well chosen for this mission. I like the part
Jun 03, 2008 Serene rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 22, 2011 Lizzy rated it it was amazing
Justin is the shiznit.
Jeffe Kennedy
Jan 29, 2017 Jeffe Kennedy rated it it was amazing
Loved this one, too! Really an excellent series that's gaining depth as events progress. Loved every bit of this book.
Eliza Baum
Jan 31, 2014 Eliza Baum rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Dec 09, 2007 Tina rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, sff-fantasy
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
Apr 11, 2016 Kayt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Dark Moon Defender, or, A Story in which More Members of that Odd Group Enter Inappropriate and/or Odd Relationships and Snark at Each Other.

Justin was never my favorite character from this series. Sunny Kirra, kickbutt Senneth, and adorkable Cammon are tops. But I have a soft spot for Justin, in part because his name is Justin. Aerith and Bob, anyone? Justin is not a fantasy name. Justin is not a warrior's name. Justin is the guy who shares his notes when you miss class.

The basic plot continue
Kathy * Bookworm Nation
Apr 27, 2009 Kathy * Bookworm Nation rated it really liked it
Shelves: high-fantasy
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
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
Nov 06, 2008 Donna rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, romance
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
MsMiz (Tina)
Dec 20, 2008 MsMiz (Tina) rated it liked it
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
Oct 23, 2007 Angie rated it really liked it
Shelves: belovedbookshelf
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
Nov 07, 2015 Lark rated it it was ok
Shelves: reread, fantasy, romance
The book focuses on Justin and his love interest.

The overarching plot thickens as we see Cordelia murdering mystics left and right. Justin is sent to obtain proof of such violence, and along the way he meets Ellynor.

It's very typical and not particularly exciting. I never got attached to Ellynor, to be honest. The plot suffered a bit, mostly due to the needed scenes of attraction between our two main leads.

Only read if you want to finish out the series. But to be honest, stopping at the Mysti
Mar 08, 2016 Jennifer rated it it was ok
I couldn't get behind this romance, and it didn't seem like there was all that much going on outside of it. Some Sharon Shinn romances totally work for me -- I'm looking at you, Archangel and Troubled Waters -- but this one held no suspense and very little chemistry. Way too much hand-wringing. Your mileage may vary. I just prefer heroines who give as good as they get.
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.
Apr 25, 2007 Phoebe rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasysci-fi
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.
Mar 13, 2017 Shannan rated it really liked it
I think this is my favorite in the series so far, mostly because I was looking forward to meeting the girl who could soften Justin. It helps, too, that I found Justin's character quite attractive. This story had something of a Romeo and Juliet vibe to it, in that people were likely to die if they ever got together. I don't know what it is about that kind of story that's so fun to read, but it is. Probably because it makes the ending more triumphant - like we really earned it. Although, I bet Jus ...more
D.F. Haley
Jan 24, 2017 D.F. Haley rated it liked it
So here I am trapped in a cycle of romantic fantasies, not a genre that really floats my boat. This one was a lot better than the last one. It works pretty well as a plain old love story. Warrior jock rescues innocent religious initiate from being violated on the mean streets. They continue to meet illicitly and one thing leads to another.

I'm less pleased with the broader story here, that is, in the context of the 4-book cycle of which this is the third book. In particular, I still don't get th
May 21, 2017 Critterbee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favs
Third in Sharon Shinn's Twelve Houses series, centering this time on Justin. So far, this was my favorite installment of a series which I have really enjoyed. Justin is one of the original six main characters, a surly and cynical Kings Rider with a harsh past. Asked to reconnoiter the city of Neft, nearby the convent of mystic hating, Pale Mother fanatics. He meets Ellynor, a novice sent to the convent by her family to watch her unruly, impulsive cousin.

Justin's protective instincts are activate
May 01, 2012 Kate rated it it was ok
Shelves: library, 2012, 2017
04/2012 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 yo ...more
Feb 22, 2017 Josie rated it it was amazing
I love Justin. That is all.
Roger Bailey
Dec 29, 2010 Roger Bailey rated it liked it
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
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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)

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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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