This is the third book in Sharon Shinn’s Twelve Houses series. I intentionally skipped book two, Thirteenth House, as I do not care for it. It’s not a bad book, but I find it morally objectionable. However, if you are going to read this series, it’s not a bad idea to read it as some things happen. But you really don’t need to.
Dark Moon Defender primarily follows Justin, a King’s Rider, and Ellynor, a novice of the Lumanen Convent and also from the Lirren Lands. There are also a few parts that follow Senneth.
Justin is undercover for the king in Neft, watching the Lumanen Convent, trying to determine if their Lestra, Coralinda Gisseltess, is a danger to the throne. Ellynor was sent to the convent with her cousin, Rosurie. Rosurie fell in love with a boy unsuitable to her family in the Lirrens (lots of family politics within Lirren families), so they figured that sending her to the Convent would be a go idea. Ellynor had always wanted to see what was beyond the Lirrens, so it was a good opportunity for her.
Justin saves Ellynor one days which starts a budding romance. However, Justin not being from the Lirren’s is even more forbidden than boy Rosurie fell in love with. There doesn’t seem to be much hope for this to work out in the end.
In the mean time, Senneth is on a mission for the king to try to recruit some Lirren men, help with a marriage arrangement, and help marladies find safe haven. She has Tayse and Cammon with her the whole time, with Kirra and Donnal coming along part of the way.
I don’t like this book as much as I like Mystic and Rider. There’s a lot of stubbornness going on at times that I find somewhat ridiculous. However, I love the people and there are some FABULOUS parts to this book that just make me SO happy when I read them! So I definitely recommend this book.