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The Prodigal's Foole (The Arcana Chronicles Book 1) by [Wood, R. B.]
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The Prodigal's Foole (The Arcana Chronicles Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Length: 267 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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)
  • Publication Date: April 14, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007UILD92
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #505,012 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Umstead on April 24, 2012
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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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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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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