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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Circulus de Potentia is a magical children’s fantasy adventure written by Jim West, and it forms book two of the Magicae Mathematica series. In a world where magic is derived from the archaic patterns and symbols of Latin and Mathematics, our young hero Alex has already been through plenty of adventures with the great Archimedes (see book one, Libellus de Numeros). Now, a terrifying new challenge awaits as Alex witnesses the Circulus de Potentia in use, an incredible golden band which gives its wearer unbeatable powers. Amid a fantasy world filled with labyrinths, deadly creatures and dark woods, Alex must meet a brand new wizard – the inimitable Pythagoras – in order to solve the riddle and put a stop to the chaos all around her.
Author Jim West has taken an incredibly brave risk to base a story for children on the complex principles of ancient Greek mathematics, but it really pays off in Circulus de Potentia. The vivid depiction of philosophers and forward thinkers as real characters in a visceral fantasy world makes all the difference as readers watch their incredible minds figuring out the problems that lie ahead. Alex tips this balance perfectly as a quirky youngster who is keen to learn the answers and put them to practical use, realising that their principles are what stops the whole world falling apart. Overall, this short novel packs a huge wallop of content with brilliant description, stellar character development and a highly unique and educational plot line for readers of all ages.