Dark Moon Defender
by Sharon Shinn
Genre: Fantasy / Romance
Ages: 15 and up
Sequel to Mystic and Rider and The Thirteenth House
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 brothers, thought it was an adventure until she became lost in town and was accosted by a drunk. She was rescued by a young man who worked in the stables and who gave his name as Justin.
And so began their secretive courtship, though he was falling in love, Justin could not jeopardize his mission and Ellynor had a secret of her own. She was from the Lirrenlands, and no Lirren woman was ever allowed to marry an outsider, her brother or father would fight any man who came courting her to the death. She dares not allow him to love her, or either he or her brother will die.
If The Thirteenth House was my least favorite in this series, Dark Moon Defender is easily its opposite. I love the sheer romance of this novel. The characters, their situations, the drama...it is perfect if you want a lovely, exciting, romantic story to curl up with.
The language is pretty mild, a couple of insulting terms are used but not as insults so I rate it a 3.10.
There are several instances of violence including fighting, references to torture, murder and an attempted rape that does not get very far at all. I give it a 6.10
There are some sexual references and innuendos as well as a few fade-away scenes which earn this novel a 5.10.