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Dark Moon Defender by Sharon Shinn
Review by Sam Lubell
Ace Hardcover Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 0441014305
Date: 03 October, 2006 List Price $23.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /

From official release/information:

Sharon Shinn writes sf/fantasy with a strong romance flavor (or perhaps romances in a sf/fantasy setting). In her books, the magic is low key and the emphasis is on the characters and the romance, generally some form of the Romeo and Juliet-style two characters in love but kept apart due to who they are. The first book of the Twelve Houses series dealt with the growing relationship between a commoner and a noble as a combined force of magic-using mystics (think of them as medieval X-Men) and King's Riders canvassed the land to gauge the level of the King's support. The second book had an affair between a former heir to a noble house and a married man amid growing tension among the lesser nobility. In Dark Moon Defender, the third book, the barrier is political. Justin, a King's Rider, one of a band of expert swordsmen personally loyal to the King, gradually falls in love with Ellynor, a member of the Daughters of the Pale Mother, a religious order that is run by the sister of the noble trying to overthrow the king and that persecutes mystics, who include some of Justin's friends.

(Source: Ace Hardcover)

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