A Magical Imperative
This is, at it’s core, a romance novel built around the fated mates trope. However, I don’t recall having read any such books in the past, so I can’t say if it’s putting a twist on the trope or not. What I can say is that I really quite enjoyed it.
It’s a quick read. It’s got its funny moments, and there are plenty of warm fuzzy feels, but there’s also a darkness hiding in the shadows. Our main character, Aurelie, a thirty-six year old history professor, has not had an easy life, and that has quite an impact on how the story unfolds. The book does not go deep into the traumatic parts, and it doesn’t dwell overly long in the darkness, but it’s still perfectly clear what happened, even if the exact details are left to the reader’s imagination.
All that said, I still feel like the warm fuzzy feels outweigh the darkness, and I’d call this a cute little romance (although it does get a touch steamy eventually). It’s refreshing, personal, and down to earth. The fantastical elements are there, and they matter, but it’s the characters (Aurelie and Kazuki) and their relationship that form the core of the story.
What I’ll whine about
I really would have liked to know more about the unseen and their magic. Almost everything told of them in the story is implied or insinuated, and I would have liked to have learned more of them.
What I’ll gush about
The warm fuzzy feels. The romance part of the story is really cute, and I nearly got a little jealous – especially the Karaoke scene.
Culture. The book takes place in Nara in Japan, and while I can’t speak for the authenticity, I feel like it did add a lot of depth and character to the story.
A cute Fated Mates romance with a few dark undertones and lot of warmth.