3 out of 4 stars
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The Prince of Gomorrah, a selfish and spoiled young man, is determined to live forever. With his armies at his back, he goes to visit Wisdom to convince him to share the secret of everlasting life. He tries bribery and then threats, but all Wisdom will tell him is, “Immortality results from a life lived for others.” This advice does not sit well with the prince, who is convinced there must be a secret Wisdom is withholding. Driven off by Wisdom’s impenetrable line of soldiers, the prince leaves to seek the answers elsewhere. He discovers a mysterious hooded figure in the desert, who offers him what he seeks at a very high price. How far is the prince willing to go to achieve everlasting life?
The Prince Who Wanted to Live Forever by Phillip Leighton-Daly is a story with religious undertones that is geared toward older children and teens. The book serves as an allegory of God versus the Devil and virtue versus sin. The moral here is clear: leading a selfless life will earn you immortality, while indulging in depravity and materialistic pleasures will bring you pain and suffering in the end.
The book is 30 pages long, and it is written almost like a graphic novel. I loved the illustrations, which are beautiful and detailed. The book takes place in the 1600s in the Middle East. The illustrations combine historical depictions of lavish parties and decorated armies with the fearsome warriors and ghastly villains found in typical comic books. There are a couple of paragraphs of text accompanying a full-size picture on each page. The language is clear and should be easy for older kids and teens to understand. Due to the book’s brevity, the tale is told quickly and concisely.
This book is very moral-forward, with plot and character development taking a backseat to the message. I thought the story could have been improved with a bit more focus on the characters, especially the Prince of Gomorrah. He wasn’t given a backstory or any other insight into why he was so superficial or focused on living forever. I think adding that information would have made the story seem more like literature and less like a standard Bible story.
I enjoyed this book overall. The illustrations were remarkable, and the story will be enjoyable for graphic novel fans, particularly if they are religious. I could see this being used in a youth Bible study group. I noticed a few areas where quotation marks were missing, but the book was otherwise edited well. I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. I think if the character development was beefed up a bit, this story could be even better. Although there is no profanity or explicit content, drunkenness and debauchery are referred to generally, so keep the maturity level of the reader in mind when deciding whether to read this book.
The Prince Who Wanted To Live Forever
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