Infinity Ring Book 2: Divide and Conquer
Pub 11-2012, Scholastic
Divide and Conquer is the second novel in the Infinity Ring series by Carrie Ryan (also the author of the series The Forest of Hands and Teeth). When I began reading, I felt that instead of starting with the second book I should have started with the first book in this series. But I don’t think I will read another one: I would have to read the first one and I am not as interested in this series as in Ranger’s Apprentice, for example, because there is way more action, but it is not all about war.
Divide and Conquer is a fictional story about saving the past. It takes place in the Middle Ages. There are wars going on in France. The Vikings kill a lot of Parisians, but Riq, Sera and Dak make sure they do not get to other parts of France. They can time travel by using an infinity ring and a metal square that has a flashing light to help the infinity ring. Sera puts the date, the code, and the time into the box so that they can get back to the year they want. They go back from 1885 to the year 885, and try to save the past to prevent war in the future. But when Dak gets captured by the Vikings, he has to figure out a plan to get back to Sera and Riq.
This book is boring at the beginning but gets better and better along the way. In the beginning, there is a lot of talking, not enough action, and you don’t know what’s going on. It took me five or six chapters to figure out what was happening. Suddenly the characters find that Vikings are attacking, but I was confused, I didn’t know where they came from. When Dak is captured by the Vikings, it starts to get exciting and interesting. While Dak is doing jobs, Riq and Sera have to figure out difficult clues so that they can travel back to their own period.
I would recommend this book if you like reading a story with lots of fighting and ancient weapons. But some characters talk a lot, like Bill. He’s a historian who helps the three kids. And Rollo, a good Viking who helps them escape, talks a lot, too. Bill also makes some useless suggestions, like going back to their own period and leaving Dak in the year 885. Sera basically only worked on repairing the infinity ring. I would have liked her to work together with the others. Gorm, a really bad guy from the Vikings, and Siegfried, the leader of the Vikings, do most of the fighting against Rollo and Dak. Those parts are interesting and fun. The Vikings fight in ways that are very different from ours. They use drugs that make them get out of control and can turn them into powerful beasts.
You also learn that kids can be very smart. Riq can speak 16 languages. Dak reads a lot in books about history and sort of knows what’s going to happen. And Sera knows a lot about numbers.
There are huge wolf-beasts in the book. They kill the humans and eat them for their dinner. There’s one that Dak likes and they’re friends. Her name is Vigi. She attacks only if the people she knows order her to. She helps against the bad Vikings. But she’s the only good wolf-beast. The others can be very aggressive. I think the wolf-beasts are interesting because Vigi and Dak add some love to the story.
This book has some interesting insights. I learned that in the Middle Ages people wore different clothes, like a tunic with one strap that goes around the shoulders. I also learned that lying will get you into trouble. But the main lesson is to make peace and not war. In the end I recommend this book to all kids interested in time travel: You get to see the old Paris when is was just being built, but I prefer to travel into the future.
- Lucas B., 9