Divide et Impera

Magicae Mathematica Book 3

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
336 Pages
Reviewed on 09/22/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Award Winning YA Fiction Author, Jim West, was born in Killeen, TX in 1977 and grew up mostly in central Louisiana. For over 18 years he has worked in the Cyber Security field and came up with the ideas and concept for the Magicae Mathematica series about a decade ago. His first book of the series, Libellus de Numeros, is one he hopes will resonate with its young readers. Jim is a father of two SMART and beautiful girls whom he loves dearly and served as the inspiration for Alex and the series.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

Divide et Impera by Jim West is a compelling entry in the Magicae Mathematica series, a Latin title reminiscent of the strategy used by most colonial powers to control their colonies. “Divide and Rule” seems to be the strategy through which Yrral wants to rule the City, but he is hardly aware of the challenges that could come by sharing responsibility. The council has its traitors, those who will do everything to sink the city. But things just get more complicated when an extremely powerful device falls into the wrong hands. Two wizards are poised to do the worst imaginable evil to the city and with this device, they have high prospects of succeeding. Who can stop them? And can they be stopped before they get access to a power that can destroy the whole of mankind?

There is a lot to be enjoyed in this great story, a novel with wonderful classic elements and compelling characters. In fact, I couldn’t help thinking about the film Prince of Persia while reading this riveting tale. The story has a great opening, with engaging dialogue between two brothers, Ethan, the older brother, who has been refused his rightful place as heir to the City, and Yrral, who becomes the king. The reader gets a general idea of the nature of the conflict that will be developed throughout the story, only the reader isn’t aware that there are great twists and turns still to come. The intense action and the overwhelming feeling that something awful could happen in the next moment makes the read intoxicating. Divide et Impera by Jim West is fast-paced, intelligently written, and utterly entertaining.

Sefina Hawke

Divide et Impera (Magicae Mathematica) by Mr. Jim West is a young adult science fiction fantasy and the third book in the Magicae Mathematica series. Divide et Impera will appeal most to an audience made up of young adult who enjoy science fiction and fantasy fiction, as well as those who have read and enjoyed the previous books in the Magicae Mathematica series. Divide et Impera begins where book two in the Magicae Mathematica left off. There are two master wizards who seek to destroy the council and their city, and now they have a device that can destroy the whole world in their hands. There are plans being put into place in an effort to secure the device before its full power becomes known to those that hold it.

Divide et Impera is a well written book with amazingly crafted dialogue, plots, and deception. However, it is not a book that should be read without having read books one and two in the Magicae Mathematica series as there is no prologue, time line, or character list to help a first time reader understand the book. That said, while it was confusing at first, as I continued to read the book, more and more things started to make sense to me. As I began to understand the characters and the plot, I came to truly enjoy reading Divide et Impera. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I plan to go back and read the previous books in the series!

Divine Zape

Book Three in the Magicae Mathematica series by Jim West, Divide et Impera is a brilliant entry, a story featuring compelling characters and an intrigue that will fascinate many readers. When the current king decides to share his power with members of the council, he believes it is to make it easy for the city to be ruled. He is wrong. He has only succeeded in giving his enemies the very thing they will use to destroy him. But there is more; a powerful device has ended up in the hands of two devious wizards, who will do everything to destroy the city. Now, someone must find this device and stop the wizards before they discover what they can do with it. The action is intense and the reader races along with the heroes as they fight to save their city from impending threats.

The author wastes no time in introducing readers to the royal atmosphere that permeates the entire story. The story begins with a meeting between Yrral and Etan and an uneasy conversation which piques the curiosity of the reader immediately. The plot is well paced and readers will find it hard to put the book down as they get love the characters and want to know what happens to them. Through a beautiful shift in scenes and a measured use of suspense, the author succeeds in keeping readers interested throughout the entire story. The writing is excellent and the dialogue never seems forced at any moment. I loved the way characters are developed. Divide et Impera is a fascinating read with rewarding moments of intense action.

Eduardo Aduna

A mesmerizing meld of mythology, history, philosophy and mathematics set in a fantasy world fairly reminiscent of our own, Jim West's Divide et Impera, the third installment of the Magicae Mathematica series, plunges readers into a political schism that complicates a quest to take a world-shattering device to safety. It was oddly refreshing to see historical and mythological mainstays thriving in a fantasy world. The presence of philosophical giants made the novel all that more intriguing to read. Perhaps no other character exemplified the author's ability to breathe life into characters of years past more than Daedalus. Cranky, stoic and consumed with his work, Jim West's portrayal of Daedalus could mesh well with the classic mythology of Icarus' flight and fall.

The myriad characters could take quite a while for readers to sort out, but this initial confusion is offset by the author's aptitude for making each scene not only advance the story, but also give each character ample opportunity to affect the story and highlight their values and abilities. Alex as a tabula rasa of sorts, trying to find her way in the world, may seem like a classic fantasy trope, but her naiveté, distrust and eventual growth paints a very well-rounded picture of a character that has been allowed to actually live and grow in a fantasy setting. Divide et Impera is a book that fans of Jim West's previous work should grab as soon as possible, yet it stands on its own enough to let casual readers take part in the action without any prior knowledge of the Magicae Mathematica series.

Romuald Dzemo

Divide et Impera is Book Three in the riveting Magicae Mathematica series by Jim West, a highly entertaining story that will keep readers turning the pages. After the death of his father, Yrral is crowned king of the city. The natural heir should have been Etan, his older brother. In order to rule the growing city, the king shares responsibility, dividing the city. Little does he know that by doing this he is imbuing his enemies with formidable power. Now a deadly device falls into the hands of two men who are bent on destroying the city council. Can they be stopped before they realize that the device can destroy humanity? The stakes are high and the conflict becomes monumental in no time.

Jim West writes with unusual simplicity, a style that makes the story very accessible to readers who will immediately be seduced by its clarity. The story starts with a powerful hook, a casual encounter between two brothers who discuss the crown and the impending responsibilities of the king. The reader immediately senses that the older brother is fiery and that the younger one, the king, is diplomatic. The reader is introduced to conflict early on in the story and undoubtedly would want to see the outcome. The characters are compelling and the drama is intense. At each point the reader expects something to happen. Jim West knows how to make readers care about his characters. Divide et Impera will surely grab the attention of any reader interested in intrigue and politics, and perhaps a sprinkling of magic. Great drama, great conflict, great characters.

Liz Konkel

Divide et Impera by Jim West is the third book in the Magicae Mathematica series. While following Archimedes' instructions, Alex barely escapes from Reyarteb, only to end up within the mountain where she encounters the wise men. Maya and Mada grieve for the death of their mother and struggle to figure out what comes next in their lives when they discover a Guardian is their brother. Nosaj uncovers the truth about how his father died, but when a tragedy strikes the city, he steps up as the leader he was always meant to be. Upon discovering Alex is missing in the mountains, Nosaj leads his friends and the Guardians to face the cold on a dangerous journey to the black castle, where Diades has the calculator and Pythagoras hostage. All the wizard is lacking is the missing variable: Alex.

Jim West explores various themes throughout the story, starting with family seen through the betrayal that took Nosaj's father and the death of Maya and Mada's mother. The siblings have to process their grief while also dealing with the shock of discovering they have a brother. They keep each other strong and moving forward. They're both so assured in who they are, flaws and all, which makes them instant favorites. Maya doesn't let anyone push her aside or apologize for needing to grieve. She willingly goes straight into danger to help a friend or find her brother without letting anyone hold her back. Mada gets a bold opportunity to be heroic and it's a powerful moment for him as a character. They also fit into the idea of purpose which West explores, finding their purpose reflected in each other and exploring their own individual call to bravery. They have a sweet friendship with Nosaj, who balances them out with his own struggles with the truth of his father's death and his rise to ruler. He slowly finds his purpose as a ruler, and does so with a great deal of compassion. He truly cares about the people and puts their safety and well-being first, which makes him a likable character and shows a lot about his personality.

Knowledge is the key component to the story that connects to every character, from gaining the knowledge of the past with Nosaj to the intellect of Alex and her almost protege role with the wise men. She's taken refuge with notable names from history and mythology such as Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, and Daedalus. They have their own unique personalities, their roles within history, and add an eccentric and endearing spark to the story. West weaves together action and intellect, turning mathematics into an intriguing and exciting adventure told from various perspectives. The danger is real and rooted in a mathematical perspective as Diades finds a calculator that can cause destruction while he's corrupted more and more. He's torturing Pythagoras and not caring who he has to sacrifice to get what he wants. Divide et Impera is a delightful and smart read which focuses on bravery and heroics, wisdom and purpose, family and loss.