Sharon Shinn, Dark Moon Defender Reviews

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“Dark Moon Defender ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 21/08/2006

Dark Moon Defender
Sharon Shinn
Ace, October 2006, $23.95
ISBN: 0441014305

One of the fifty elite King's Rider, Justin heads to the remote town of Neft because some recent activity against King Baryn of Gillengaria seems to have initiated at the Daughters of the Pale Mother religious sect led by Coralinda Gisseltess located there. This Moon Goddess worship faction insists that other forms of mysticism are abominations and needs to be dealt with by death to the heretic. Thus, the two travelers are to infiltrate this fanatic's House to determine whether Coralinda fosters anti- monarchy fervor.

Justin goes undercover obtaining work at the stable where he soon meets novice Ellynor, a healer with stealth skills that she hides for fear her superiors will sacrifice her as a heretical mystic. He uncovers her magical secrets, even as they fall in love with one another. Her fears prove true when she is condemned to die at a fiery stake for being an unholy magical practitioner. Only Justin can save her, but by doing so, he would reveal his identity as an undercover King's Rider and ergo jeopardizing the mission.

The third Twelve House saga (see THE THIRTEENTH HOUSE and MYSTIC AND RIDER) is a superb romantic fantasy starring a dedicated hero struggling with saving the woman he loves, that would most likely devastate his mission. The action-packed storyline is driven by the relationship between Justin and Ellynor; ironically, if he saves her, his family and his peers still will not accept her as his spouse because she is a Lirren. Fans of terrific character driven tales will fully appreciate the wonderful DARK MOON DEFENDER that deftly blends deep characterizations inside a strong saga.

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