Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Prodigal's Foole by RB Wood

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 requires active effort and it can be tiring. I have said to people before that I have felt that at least my path to Faith was through skepticism, that you have to actively test and question your beliefs constantly in order to make sure they're real beliefs and not just repeated propaganda. The main character seems to be taking that same route, though it seems that initially he chose simply to forget the whole idea for some time.

Granted this is all just my impression as a Catholic who tends to believe that God's probably behind a lot of the world's religions and practices.

Skipping aside that heavy talk for a moment, the book is a ripping good action tale. The story starts off at a trot and soon breaks into a run. I am almost certain that the author probably has notes for his own use on what magic can and cannot do, because the consistency of use, limitations and descriptions of magic in the book are exceptional. The villains are reprehensible and the heroes are down to Earth and realistic. It sometimes slips off into philosophizing, but, for the most part it focuses on what is happening and what needs to be done to fix the problem. From the beginning you feel like you are reading one part of a continuing story with mentions of Plum Island thrown in as if it's from a previously written book.

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