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The Prodigal's Foole (The Arcana Chronicles #1)

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  101 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
"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 amids
Kindle Edition, 2 edition, 285 pages
Published April 14th 2012 by R. B. Wood (first published October 16th 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 757)
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J.D. Robinson
Oct 18, 2011 J.D. Robinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: to anyone looking for something fun and different from a new and upcoming author.
Shelves: favorites
Warning: This book is an action packed, page turner that keeps you guessing. You will probably lose track of time reading it. :P

While I don’t agree with Symon’s choice of bourbon *ahem*, I LOVE his sarcastic character. I really liked the take on magic and the different relationships between the team members.This book has got a little bit of everything: magic, explosions, demons – real and personal, my favorite! – zombie-type creatures, and just a few little twists on the whole religion thing to
Al Boudreau
Nov 01, 2011 Al Boudreau rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Prodigal's Foole was the very first urban fantasy I've ever read. Now, if you had asked me the day before I started reading this work what the urban fantasy genre was all about, you would have been privy to a blank stare; I had no clue. And I've never been one to seek out works dealing with fantasy, magic, supernatural powers, or religion, the subject matter upon which this book is most definitely built. Therefore, once I sat down and gave this story a go, imagine my delight when I found mys ...more
Emmett Spain
Oct 23, 2011 Emmett Spain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From page one this book drops you into a magically-powered meat grinder and doesn’t let you go. Magic, murder, and even the occasional rocket launcher, The Prodigal’s Foole is a hard-boiled urban fantasy where conflict is the order of the day.

You see, our protagonist Symon Bryson has a problem with magic. He’s a little too good at it. Coming back to his old stomping grounds at the beckoning of an urgent letter from an old friend, Symon finds himself involved in one enormous mess that’s going to
Leah Petersen
The Prodigal's Foole is the sort of read I'm always looking for but can be so hard to find. Doesn't every girl want more action-movie-excitement-with-an-actual-smart-engaging-plot in her life? It's easy to find the smash-em-up, continuous-stunt-scene type of fiction, and not hard to find a smart, funny read. But it's really hard to find them together in one book.

R.B. Wood weaves together an imaginative, unique plot with a great feel for pace and real characters. The main character, Symon Bryson
Chance Maree
Nov 30, 2011 Chance Maree rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chance by: young adults
I sort of liked this novel, and no doubt many people loved it. Symon Bryson is Harry Dresden/Harry Potter character in a Dan Brownish world. The plot moves along with lots of action. Supporting characters are distinguishable from one another. The writing is clear, and edited. There are zombies and demons, with some gore but not overly done. Many people will enjoy this story, and I'm confident that R.B. Wood will develop the characters and world further in future novels, much like Jim Butcher fan ...more
Shay West
Nov 14, 2011 Shay West rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 t
Christopher Blanchard
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 fr
Luke Green
Dec 28, 2011 Luke Green rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The Prodigal's Foole strikes a chord with me as one who is a non-practicing Catholic and yet still a firm believer and a fan of science-fiction and fantasy. A trace of the disillusionment I felt as I learned more and more about the history of the church seems echoed here, but at the same time the people involved are, for the most part, generally of good morale fiber. It really does bring home the fact that Faith is not an easy matter of simply believing what you are told. It takes work, it requi
Jeffrey Pfaller
Nov 30, 2011 Jeffrey Pfaller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Prodigal's Foole is a blast to read, perfect for when you're looking for something indulgent that doesn't take itself too seriously. It's fun, plotted well and the wise-cracking Symon Bryson is a great protagonist, simply because he keeps things light and airy, which is hard to pull off in a book about summoned demons holding women and children captive. Take a look of you're a fan of books like The DaVinci Code, but traditional fantasy purists might not find this up their alley, as it places ...more
Mar 06, 2014 Ralph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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! From the opening sequence, of a dead lady talking to Symon on a plane, to the end of this novel, I was displaced from my settings and pulled into the story.

I enjoyed how the author was able to combine magic into the regular world, plus add the Good versus Evil fight of God and Lucifer. Some of the traits of the characters were a bit hard fo
M.C. Moore
Dec 18, 2011 M.C. Moore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book to read over the holidays and finished it before the holidays even started. It has an intensity that keeps you plugged in with every turn of the page. The mix of religion and magic gives the reader a lot to process so don't be surprised if you start reading and don't want to put it down. Fantastic book!
Kimberly Gould
Mar 27, 2012 Kimberly Gould rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely mix of intrigue and magic set in the present day. Are the natural disasters wracking our world really the result of fragmenting between earth and hell? Are demons the culprit? Why not? Join these practitioners in their quest to discover what went wrong 10 years ago and how they can fix it today.
Maria Haskins
May 03, 2016 Maria Haskins rated it it was amazing
The Prodigal's Foole follows the magically gifted Symon Bryson, who is thrown back into the world of magic, hell, and demons - which he left behind a decade ago -after his old mentor is abducted by a demon from hell. It's a terrific read: fast-paced, entertaining, with a whole lot of diabolical chills and a self-deprecating and often rather funny protagonist. It mixes the paranormal, horror, a bit of romance (but not too much!), and flat-out action through the entire story. It

The book switches
Karen Smith
Nov 08, 2011 Karen Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stop by my blog to read my review of RB Wood's new novel.
Eden Baylee
Jul 25, 2012 Eden Baylee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Prodigal's Foole revolves around Symon Bryson, a man who's been living in self-imposed exile in Ireland. He reluctantly returns to the States after being summoned for a secret assignment.

The story begins with Symon arriving in Boston where he was trained by the Catholic Church as a magician He's painfully aware that his magical skills were partially responsible for a failed mission ten years earlier, resulting in multiple fatalities. Reuniting with an eclectic mix of men and women who each h
Glenn Skinner
Mar 22, 2012 Glenn Skinner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting Urban Fantasy. Ten years ago an elite team of mages, trained by the Catholic Church to fight evil, engages in a mission gone horribly wrong. The aftermath of the event scatters the team members leaving both deep physical and emotional scars. Step forward to the present, we find Symon Bryson, the most promising member of the defunct team, flying back from Dublin after ten years at the request of his old Monsignor only to find out he has been abducted by demons. Bitter memor ...more
Feb 05, 2012 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways, wizards
When I saw this book up on Goodreads First Reads program I knew I had to enter the giveaway. I'm a big fan of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files and the small summary that accompanied the listing really peaked my interest. It was a longshot that I would win, but I got lucky! And I'm glad that I did.

Symon Bryson is a disillusioned wizard who, after a horrifying event that occurred ten years ago, turned away from magic completely. But a summons from his teacher reunited him with his fellow magic-wielding
Home. Love. Books.
To see this review and more like it please check out my site

I seem to be having more and more of these heaven vs. hell books land on my metaphorical doorstep for me to review. And don't get me wrong, I don't mind one bit at all. I like these books because these are the kinds of books that make a person think about things while they are reading them. Not only that but they also draw from a persons internal knowledge base about religion and their own beliefs while telling a stor
Dec 19, 2012 Larry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book as an award from GoodReads for a sweepstakes. The book deals with the classic good versus evil with a twist. The main character, Symon Bryson, is like the prodigal son. He was trained in the aspects of dealing with evil by a Catholic priest, but after a difficult first battle, he chose to turn his back on that and moved to Ireland to run a pub. Forward ten years and find Symon returning to the priest after a cryptic letter, only to find the priest kidnapped by a demon from H ...more
Victoria Guadagno
What a gripping story! Here, you can look forward to meeting rock-solid characters who evoke real emotions in the reader. Laugh-out-loud humor, moments of serious conflict and despair, and truly unexpected twists all draw you closer. This is a fascinating tale spread over an exquisite range of settings! Truly a page-turning read that is very satisfying and highly recommended. Sequel, please?
Aug 07, 2012 Karla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book started very slow for me. I put it down for awhile because I just wasn't into the story line, so I thought at the time. I did pick it back up and I am glad I did. The plot got very interesting to me and I absolutely loved the snarkiness of the main character.
Jim Brown
Feb 20, 2016 Jim Brown rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 2014
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.
Nuno Furtado
May 10, 2012 Nuno Furtado rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
R.B.Wood's characters are full of life and really grow on you.

This a great story for all the fantasy/magic lovers, I would love to buy the Marvel Graphic Novel based on this *hint* *hint*
Bj Barbosa
May 09, 2012 Bj Barbosa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the premise of this book. The main character is a smart-ass. But he is a lovable one! Reminded me a little of Harry Dresden - there was a lot of humor and quick page turning!
Robert Young
May 09, 2012 Robert Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good "Good vs Evil" book. Definitely worth the Money I spent. Oh wait, I borrowed it from Amazon Prime. It was still good. I'm going to look for the next one in the series.
Dec 27, 2011 Lakisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magic, romance
Very interesting premise, with lots of action and some moments of questioning one's beliefs.
Elana Van Zijl
Elana Van Zijl marked it as to-read
Jun 14, 2016
Teresa rated it liked it
Jun 08, 2016
Susana Olguin
Susana Olguin rated it really liked it
May 06, 2016
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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. Mr. Wood is also host of The Word Count podcast.

R. B. currently lives in Boston with his partner, Tina, his dog Jack, three cat
More about R.B. Wood...

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