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The Prodigal's Foole (The Arcana Chronicles Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

R. B. Wood
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"Demons and magic, shotguns and explosions - Great read!"
--Steve Umstead, author of The Evan Gabriel Trilogy  

A man can run from his past ... but not his future. 

Symon Bryson lives in self-imposed exile until Monsignor DuBarry goes missing and not even the most adept of the magic practitioners can determine the reason for the abduction. The clues lie buried in the past amidst epic battles and horrific losses but reliving that failed mission uncovers fresh challenges and fearsome threats that reunite his old team. Symon must deal with his own hidden demons and confront the menace that threatens the delicate balance of power. When the darkest of all evils lures Symon into springing a long-planned trap, an unsuspecting world will confront the unthinkable. 

When all that stands between Heaven and Hell is magic, more than faith will be tested.


"It started with the bang (the first line is absolutely gripping) and ended with fireworks!"
--Mercedes M. Yardley, Shock Totem Magazine

"The Prodigal's Foole is a ripping good action tale."
--Deviant Art Review

"R. B. Wood has filled every inch of his vast canvas with gripping reverses of fortune and a narrative that blends the most disparate elements with great skill and verve."
--Bill Kirton, author of the Jack Carston Series

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

I blame Neil Gaiman.
Well, not just Mr. Gaiman. There's Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, J. R. R. Tolkien, Jim Butcher, J. K. Rowling, Alan Moore, H. G. Wells, Jules Verne, James Morrow and many, many others.
Dreamers. Storytellers.
They all had a hand in this obsession of mine to write.

A fellow author and dear friend of mine, Sean Develin, recently said to me: "The beauty of middle age is that we now actually finish what we start." Both he and Chris Davis--old comrades for many years--started me down a writing path back in the eighties. We'd develop grand ideas, fantastic dialogs, and build whole worlds.

And then we'd drink some beer and the conversations would drift off to other topics.

Since then, Sean has become a writer and a consultant. Chris develops live shows for his stint as 'The Renaissance Man.' And I built a career in the technology world.

Fast forward to 2007, when my children, whom I always spun tales for when they were little, both said to me "Dad, you should write your stories down." My partner agreed. And thus, the Arcana Chronicles, and The Prodigal's Foole were born.
Writing in the 21st century is very different than when I dabbled with crafting stories when I was younger. Social media didn't exist back then. Neither did ebooks nor the number of Indie Publishers that have embraced the new mediums of publishing that exist today. It's a whole new world and the possibilities are exciting.

Which leads me to the surprising fact that it still took a lot of people to get my book published.
My "alpha" readers--family for the most part (my partner, mother and sister) all made comments for the very first draft of the book. My cousins did a read through of the second draft, joined by my beta readers (and WONDERFUL friends) Leah Petersen, Eden Baylee, Deb Moses, K. A. Storm, J. D. Robinson, Karen Smith, Matthew Munson, Tesse Conte, Kate Danley and Emmett Spain. Most are authors I "met" through Twitter.

There was the 50-page critique I won via an online auction done superbly (and encouragingly) by Amy Boggs, an agent for The Donald Maass Agency in New York. And editing by C. A Marshall.
But the most amazing set of editing and comments came from my brother, Charles Wood. They say you should never let family edit your manuscript. "They" never met my brother. Nor have "they" met his wicked-sharp red pen.

Of course there is also the creative director for Pfoxchase, Diane Nelson, whose eye for detail and ability to make me laugh while ripping a scene to shreds is unique in my experience.
I'm sure I've left out folks--but you know who you are and you know how absent minded I can be.

With that all said, I sincerely hope you enjoy what follows.
R. B. Wood
October 2011

About the Author

R.B. Wood is a technology consultant and a writer of Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction and quite frankly anything else that strikes his fancy. He is working on the follow up to The Prodigal’s Foole, as well as a Science Fiction trilogy and a collaborative comic book project. He is also host of The Word Count podcast. R.B. currently lives in Boston with his partner, Tina, his dog Jack, three cats and various other critters that visit from time to time. Feel free to contact him at: WEB: FACEBOOK: The Word Count Podcast:

Product Details

  • File Size: 860 KB
  • Print Length: 267 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1475186444
  • Publisher: R. B. Wood; 2 edition (April 14, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007UILD92
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #613,157 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Demons and magic, shotguns and explosions.

That's how I described The Prodigal's Foole by R.B. Wood to my 11 year old son who asked me what the book was about. His attention span is short (what 11 year old's isn't?) so I had to summarize, and there's so much more. Hence, a book review.

First of all, I have to say the opening of the book might very well be my favorite of any I've ever read:

"The old lady next to me in the window seat died somewhere over the Atlantic. I know because she told me."

How's that grab you? It certainly grabbed me, and never let me go.

This was my first real dip into urban fantasy, and I have to say I loved every minute of it. Wood weaves a complex story with excellent characters, believable magic (is that an oxymoron?), and humor into a hard-to-put-down novel. And when I found out that this was his first work, I was even more impressed. The writing style, the sentence structure, the plot consistency, the nice use of flashbacks, the editing, all are truly top notch.

Symon Bryson is a reluctant magic practitioner called back into action by old friends to combat a growing menace from Hell, and to help find a missing friend. He has to face not only this new danger, but his own dark past as well. The Catholic Church plays a large role in the story, and is not bashed (a la Dan Brown) nor praised (a la, uh, not sure...televangelists?), but portrayed in a modern, realistic way that fits well into the overall story.

The characters are fleshed out very nicely, and the team dynamic is excellent. And can I say Symon Bryson is one of my new favorite characters in any book? His wisecracking, inner emotions, and pop culture references kept me entertained throughout.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Prodigal's Foole April 20, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
The Prodigal's Foole is an action packed story that's equal parts X-Men, Harry Potter and Angel's and Demons.

It follows the story of Symon Bryson, returning to his home town of Boston to reconnect with his old mentor, a Catholic priest named Charles. Symon soon learns, however, that Charles has been kidnapped by demons, and set's of on a quest with his fellow former class mates to rescue Charles, defeat the demons, and confront Symon's past.

Oh, and did I mention that Symon, his mentor and his friends are all mages? Yup, that's right, magic. Used by the Church to fight against a very real evil. All in all, a very awesome set up, and a damn good story. The action is well paced and well written, and once it starts, it's almost non-stop. The characters are all well developed, and Symon goes through hell (both literally and metaphorically) before it all ends.

All in all, this was a fabulous book, and a fun read. I highly recommend it for anyone into fantasy or urban fantasy.

If I have one complaint about the book, it's that I feel the story ends before the book does. Don't get me wrong, the end of the book does a good job of tying up some loose ends and sets up book two well, but I feel that the story ended before this point, with the heroes sailing off into the sunset.

That's just my opinion, however, your mileage may vary.

I give this book four out of five stars, and suggest that if you are even a remote fan of urban fantasy, you pick this book up. You'll be happy that you did.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Urban Fantasy at its Finest!! April 19, 2012
RB Wood's novel, The Prodigal's Foole, will take you on a whirlwind ride, and leave you wanting more! From start to finish, Wood expertly weaves the threads of a tangled plot involving old friends, the church, and demonic forces vying for control of our little planet.

Symon Bryson is on his way back to a place he thought he'd managed to leave behind a decade ago. But a mysterious message brings him from Ireland to Boston and face-to-face with personal "demons" from his past. When he arrives at the St. Ignatius church, the place he called home from a young age, he finds it vandalized and befouled by a demonic presence what claims to have taken the Monsignor. In order to find him, Symon will need a little help from his friends, friends he'd turned his back on. The group attempts a daring rescue of the Monsignor, only to find that things are not as simple as they seem. In a race against time, Symon Bryson and his friends stop a pair of rouge demons from opening a portal that will allow demons a free pass to Earth from the fiery depths of Hell. Can Symon break down the walls of his guilt for mistakes made a decade ago, or will his personal "demons" leave the world vulnerable to the foul minions from below?

Wood creates believable and likeable characters and a plot line that leaves you guessing right up to the end. And as a lover and writer of science fiction/fantasy, I LOVED all of the references to Star Trek and Superman. Symon's internal monologue made me laugh out loud more than once. I am on the edge of my seat waiting for the sequel!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Potential but July 18, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
So this story is about Sy a man with great power who on his first mission against demons blew it and the aftermath of that left him thinking it was better to just get out of the fight. I really liked the premise you have not your typical chosen one instead you have a man who is the chosen one but in his first battle screwed up and decided that is was better to just leave it. The world is your classic demons versus angels thing with those with the gift for magic fighting on the side of the angels. No werewolves, vampires or faeries in the mix at least not in this one.

1. Magic system is never explained this just makes the action sequences seem off as you really have no idea what anyone can do or even how they are doing it.
2. In this book there is a lot of personal conflict which i think is great you have betrayal, lies, hard feelings all this should be great for dramatic tension but instead the Sy just kind of shrugs it all off. Ever person in the book lies to him or betrays him in some fashion and at most he makes a token attempt at being mad normally a sentence of his feeling then it is back to being best friends again. Some of the things are minor others are great mountains but it all just kind of lacks any real anger. The whole thing spoiled the book for me because in real life those things matter I could never really connect with the characters because they never acted like real people. All the pieces were there the author did a great job coming up with the material just the delivery was lacking, kind of like a joke told badly.

1 Good original premise for the story with a decent plot.
2. All the conflicts were in the story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow great book
This is the highest rating available. This book has been the best I have read in a while. The main character was just perfect. I could hardly put this down. Read you will enjoy it.
Published 10 months ago by Jim Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Arcana Chronicles - should be continued
I thought this book was great. I was looking forward to reading the second on and I can't seem to find it anywhere. It was a I can't put down story. Read more
Published 13 months ago by A. Santic
3.0 out of 5 stars Off to a decent start
I picked this one up from back when it was listed as free, and finally got the time to read it. From the start I had a hard time putting it down! Read more
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Bring on book two!
This novel is a fast-paced (but breaks the tension when it has to) urban fantasy adventure, and thoroughly engaging. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Melissa
2.0 out of 5 stars Wanted to like it
The concept is intriguing, seems like something I would enjoy. Execution isn't too bad--technically it's well written--but came up lacking. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Ken Zufall
5.0 out of 5 stars Create Read!
Grabbed me from the opening line(best I've read in a very long time) and held me until the end. Believable and likeable characters, the tone was perfect. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting Read!
This is an exciting story about good and evil. Magic and monsters are roaming the earth unbeknownst to the average human. The reluctant hero is is flawed yet lovable. Read more
Published on August 25, 2012 by Reeniehead
5.0 out of 5 stars Character Driven with a Unique Voice
The Prodigal's Foole is an entertaining read. Mr. Wood has created a protagonist that is genuinely unique and engaging. Read more
Published on July 14, 2012 by HannaH Jane
4.0 out of 5 stars A slow start, but a marathon finish
I grabbed this book off of Pixel of Ink several weeks ago and decided I'd give it a shot. I have to admit, it started off kind of slow. Read more
Published on June 9, 2012 by Jason Pedersen
5.0 out of 5 stars Eager for the sequel!
The book is a fast, engaging read. The characters pull you in and hold your interest! Symon has enough attitude for three people.
Published on June 6, 2012 by Felix
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More About the Author

R.B. Wood is a technology consultant and a writer of Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction and quite frankly anything else that strikes his fancy. He is working on the follow up to The Prodigal's Foole, as well as a Science Fiction trilogy and a collaborative comic book project. Is also host of The Word Count podcast.

R. B. currently lives in Boston with his partner, Tina, his dog Jack, three cats and various other critters that visit from time to time.

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