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

(Twelve Houses #3)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  4,935 ratings  ·  218 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, 435 pages
Published October 3rd 2006 by Ace
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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,935 ratings  ·  218 reviews

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Highly recommended to fans of the sword & sorcery / romantic fantasy genres.

Well, Sharon Shinn is the effing uncrowned Queen of Political Intrigue in the romantic fantasy genre, and no mistake.

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 ser
Oct 03, 2011 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
Apr 08, 2009 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
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: f, own, favorites, fantasy, rereads
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
Jan 17, 2008 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*
Apr 25, 2007 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.
Oct 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, 2012_4-stars
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
Oct 27, 2015 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
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
Aerin Proffitt
Nov 12, 2016 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
Nov 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, reread, 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 Myst
Dec 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
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 25, 2015 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
Mar 08, 2016 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.
Jun 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
Aug 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Justin is the shiznit.
Jeffe Kennedy
Jan 29, 2017 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.
Carolynn Markey
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Justin is my least favorite character, so I went into it already not thrilled. But I love Ellynor and I love learning more about the Lirrinlands.
Eliza Baum
Jan 31, 2014 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
K. O'Bibliophile
Apr 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, wishlist
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
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Welll, it might be because I've been reading all the Twelve Houses books in a row, but I think I finally hit on one that's a wee bit too saccharine for my liking. Still, I loved it. I love the characters, and I love the progression of Senneth & Tayse's relationship (and I totally went all girly at the public proposal scene and the wedding). Ellynor was obviously the 'weak' link, but Shinn displays a self awareness of Ellynor's character. Not every woman can be as perfect as Senneth and Kirra ...more
Kathy * Bookworm Nation
Apr 27, 2009 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 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, romance
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
MsMiz (Tina)
Dec 20, 2008 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
Avoid the audio books on these guys. I enjoyed them so much more when I was reading hard copy.
(Realistic rating: ...maaaaaybe 3.75? But close enough to 4, especially since the other books in this series are basically 5s across the board. If it weren't for those, this would be hands-down a 4 since I still love it so much.)

I!! love these books!! This is one of my favorite series of all time, possibly my favorite offering from one of my very favorite authors. I adore the story arc(s) and the world, I adore the characters, and even my least favorite Sharon Shinn love stories always fill me w
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Sadly, Jennifer Van Dyck, who narrated all the Elemental Blessings audiobooks and the first two books in this series, does not narrate this book. :( The new narrator is not bad, but cannot compare to Jennifer Van Dyck's wonderful performance. I know we switched to a male main character, but Ellynore and Senneth get almost as many POV chapters as Justin, so I don't see why the switch was necessary. His voices for the main characters, Justin and Ellynore, are alright, but he gives Kirra this reall ...more
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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)
“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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