Saturday, June 20, 2009

REVIEW: Dark Moon Defender by Sharon Shinn

Series: Twelve Houses series

Author's Website


Justin is sent on an assignment to spy on the Lumanen Convent. There, he meets and befriends Ellynor, a novice at the convent, and unexpectedly, love blossoms between them. Underlying this romance is the trouble that continues to brew in Gillengaria.


Sharon Shinn's male characters are fascinating and varied. We have dangerous and taciturn Tayse in the Mystic and Rider, flirty and silver-tongued Romar Brendyn (not the hero though) in The Thirteenth House, and here, we have Justin--inexperienced in the ways of romance and love, yet simple and charming in his emotions. And honest.

(Because sometimes, I find myself wondering at Romar Brendyn, whether he truly loved Kirra or was merely making lip service to his "love" because he was fascinated by her and wanted to possess her. Certainly, at times, I find him selfish in his actions.)

From the first page, reading this book was like visiting with old friends and looking forward to a new adventure with them. After the storm that was The Thirteenth House, reading this book was both comforting and exciting.

I was tickled thrilled by the way Justin and Ellynor strike up an easy friendship, then fell headlong into love. Their early scenes together count for some of my favorite passages in this book. Like Justin who looked forward to Ellynor's every appearance, as soon as I finished reading one of their scenes, I looked forward to reading the next. The delight these two characters find in each other was so palpable that they jumped off the page, and they were charming in a way that Tayse and Senneth were not.

Yet, Tayse's proposal of marriage was moving and romantic, easily one of my favorite scenes in this book. And we also see the tight bond of friendship among the original six characters: Senneth, Tayse, Kirra, Donnal, Justin and Cammon become even tighter, and how, through the things they have gone through together, they have become family to each other. Especially Senneth, who had the wisdom and the foresight to try and smooth things for Justin. We should all have a Senneth in our lives!

We also see here what happened between Kirra and Donnal after the end of The Thirteenth House. That is, we have Kirra's version of things, as she narrated to Justin, and's satisfactory, to a certain extent. I guess the class divide between them is really very hard to surmount.

And in the backdrop, we have the continuous machinations of Halchon Giseltess and his sister Coralinda to overthrow the current king and claim the throne for themselves.

I am looking forward to Cammon's story in Reader and Raelynx.

Book Rating: 4.0



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