A Magical Imperative by Edith Pawlicki

“Despite being a creature out of myth, Aurelie Dubois utterly disregarded nonsense like magic, the supernatural, and gods. No, that was misleading. Her faith in science and science alone was because she was a creature of myth.” 

A Magical Imperative by Edith Pawlicki

Having read Minerva by Edith Pawlicki recently, I was really excited to pick up her newest novel, A Magical Imperative. This book was so lovely and cute but also had some really sad, tough to read moments. It was a really good balance of emotions! 

Aurelie is a professor living in Japan, teaching history. She is part of the species called the Unseen, a supernatural creature that she believes is slowly dying out from the world. At thirty-six, she has long given up on the hopes of finding love or having children. And she’s starting out in a new country, hoping to put some of her past behind her. 

When Aurelie meets Kazuki, sparks fly immediately. Kazuki is an Unseen too, and the pair become bonded. While Kazuki finds the bond beautiful and exciting, Aurelie is scared by it, not wanting to be trapped in a relationship without the freedom to leave. 

She hopes to just let their chance encounter remain behind her, but Kazuki ends up being one of her students, and they become thrown together in more ways than one. As Aurelie learns more about Kazuki and his family, she realizes the Unseen may not be as close to dying out as she first expected. And Kazuki learns that to be in a healthy relationship, you must let go of what you think is expected and instead trust your partner and their wants. 

I really loved this book! The setting was wonderful. I felt as I had stepped into Japan. It was beautiful! I also loved the photos accompanying the start of each chapter, which Edith took herself when she traveled to Japan. It was such a nice detail.

I also loved the friendships that developed in this book. As much as I loved watching Aurelie and Kazuki’s relationship unfold, I loved watching her bond with other people, like Emiko and Kazuki’s grandmother. I loved the exploration Edith took in showing that the bond between the Unseen could be more than romantic, but one of friendship as well. Emiko definitely had a lot to work through in this book on her own, but she showed how wonderful of a friend she could be, and I loved her so much for it!

This book also touched on something I don’t come across often, but do enjoy when it’s done correctly- an age gap romance! There’s a big gap between Aurelie and Kazuki, but the two both respect each other and all the struggles that their age gap might bring really well. I think Aurelie gives a strength and maturity to Kazuki, and I think Kazuki helps Aurelie relax and trust others more easily. I can’t wait to see where the second book might take them next!

As I mentioned earlier though, there are some heavy topics touched upon in this book, especially with regard to Aurelie’s past. I think they were handled really well despite how sad and hard it was to read.

I really enjoyed this book. Edith’s writing style is really unique and beautiful. I highly recommend checking out her books! I am really excited to read her Immortal Beings series next.

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