Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday 13 #42: Dark Moon Defender; Sharon Shinn

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1.Dark Moon Rider is the third book in the Twelve Houses series written by Sharon Shinn. Available in both hardcover and mass market formats.

2. First title in the series is a Mystic and Rider. Second title in the series, The Thirteenth House.

3. While the first two volumes touch on the religious intolerance sweeping Gillengaria, this third novel delineates it much more clearly. Like our contemporary world, a combination of true belief, keeping up appearances, fear and apathy combine to spread a belief system which feeds our basest behaviors and turns us against each other in a time of need.

4. Into this cheery scenario toss two young ladies, sent off to the Daughters' Convent, far from their home and with no one to look out for them but each other. The language is different, the customs are different, and it appears that there may be odd events going on in the convent and nearby town. You can always depend on the blood ties of kinship to keep one safe though. Right?

5. King's Rider Justin has been sent to the little town to spy on the activities of the Daughters. Find a good cover, hunker down and keep his ears and eyes open. Stay out of trouble, don't cause trouble, send reports back to the capital city. Er..and keep away from the ladies. Especially THOSE ladies.

6. Question: if you don't really believe what they're trying to teach you, will the Goddess know and get her revenge? Or will your true Goddess protect and keep you? Even if you're far from her?

7. Is it possible for young soldiers to follow orders all the time? Even if they've no supervising sergeant/officer nearby?

8. Coralinda Gisseltess, sister to one Halchon Gisseltess, who happens to be one of those Marlords trying to overthrow the king, is the equivalent of the abbess at the convent. The fact that she actively advoctes racism greed and intolerance beneath honeyed words is distrubingly overlooked by many of those who ought to be paying attention.

9. Actually, the spread of the belief system in this book reminded me of Nazism in the 1930's and WW II. The Balkans. Sudan. Rwanda. Human beings the world over seem to think,"So long as those people (whoever they might be), aren't my neighbors or my family, who cares what happens to them?? I've bills to pay and a life to lead. Let someone else help them."

10. The thing that I noticed immediately, that is- when I read the short story in A Queen in Winter and it came up again in this book: why didn't Coralinda's enemies, like Justin or Senneth or Tayse or any number of others who watched her hunt for magic, realize that Coralinda herself was one of those she purportedly wanted to get rid of? What made her gift better or different than that of those she perecuted?

11. And another thing: it should have been obvious to a thinking character that Coralinda and her brother Halchon were working in tandem, with similar gifts and goals, to acheive a political end: putting one or both of them on the throne. It seems that this was doubted though. That the prevailing outlook was to hope that Coralinda and Halchon presented two separate problems. At the same time.

12. Love blooms in the most unlikely of situations.

13. Excellent book. Will stand alone, but would be best appreciated in the context of the series.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was wonderful having you here.
Hope you're doing fine. Je t'aime beaucoup. Ta Maman