This delightful, adventurous story shows even royal princes feel self-doubt sometimes.
The second in a juvenile fiction series by author Aldo Fynn and illustrator Richie Vicencio, Prince Iggy and the Tower of Decisions follows the young protagonist and his band of eccentric cohorts as they literally travel out past the moon and sun. Like the first installment, Prince Iggy and the Kingdom of Naysayer, the titular character finds himself in a fantastical world of magic and adventure, yet he is plagued by the same troubles of other kids his age. Whereas the first book tackles issues of bullying and perseverance, Fynn uses this volume to address adolescent anxiety and self-doubt.
Iggy and his royal subjects fly to outer space to see what ails a flickering Rose Star. The star admits he is bored up in the sky and convinces Iggy to trade places with him. While the star is in human form, he excels at everything he tries, making Iggy feel that much more insecure about his own faults and inadequacies.
Miss Blackfeather, one of Iggy’s royal subjects, reminds him that there will always be someone who is a little bit better at something: “All I have to worry about is being the best witch I can be, and not worry about what other people think.” Likewise, O’Henry reassures Iggy that “We all have a tiny voice that makes us question ourselves. Annoying isn’t it?”
Fynn’s borderline didactic writing becomes much more playful when O’Henry, Miss Blackfeather, and a handful of other goofy characters provide emotional support for Iggy. The narrative also remains light through the many personifications used by Fynn—the moon, the Rose Star, a helpful crow, and a confused dragon all get a voice and human-like characteristics.
Some aspects of Prince Iggy and the Tower of the Decisions verge on being too morbid for young readers. When Iggy laments he is too young to die, the professor tells him, “I’m afraid death doesn’t have an age requirement.” Then, in a final scene inside the Tower of Decisions, Iggy spends days crying over the dead bodies of two of his loved ones.
A few other scenes prove that Fynn is more than adept at lightening the mood with a heavy dose of absurdity, like when the Queen tries to torture Iggy by having a marching band play the same song over and over all night long.
As the novel ends with a cliffhanger, readers of all ages will be anxious to see what adventures are next for the Rose prince.
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