Sugar Moon is the engaging beginning to Sarah Diemer’s new Maja Trilogy, a thrilling mix of dark fantasy and romance. Diemer is an up-and-coming new independent author whose last work, The Dark Wife, was #2 on the Amazon LGBT Top Ten list. Her lush writing style and use of sensory imagery create an immersive sense of place. Within a few pages, the reader has a fairly good sense of the world, making it easy to be drawn into the story and commit to the characters.
The characters themselves are likeable and fun. My favourite so far is Bael, a Hedgewic who specialises in death magic. Sadly, she is introduced at the very end of this novella, but I hope to see more of her in future installments. The main character, Elise, is passionate and inspiring, but at times she seems a bit two-dimensional. Part of this is due to the pacing of a story, which is a little fast and could benefit from some “down time” to show aspects of the characters rather than simply tell the reader about them in passing. The other contributing factor is the romance side of the story, which I find also a little fast-paced and a bit heavy-handed. This is largely a matter of taste, except where it overwhelms the primary plot.
We get only a glimpse of that plot in this first book, but it promises to be a thrilling ride. All in all this is a quick, fun read by an author who is definitely one to follow!
Title: Sugar Moon, Book One of the Maja Trilogy
Author: Sarah Diemer
Genre: Dark Fantasy/Romance
Publication: 2011, Kindle Direct Publishing
Author’s Website: http://www.oceanid.org/