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The Prodigal Paperback – 25 Mar 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Fireship Press (25 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611792142
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611792140
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,566,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Sandoval on 9 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback
The Prodigal is an astounding tale of adventure and revenge at sea. I enjoyed the wonderfully crafted characters, who, to actualize a cliche, truly seem to leap off the page. The story unfolds chapter by chapter, and I was taken aback by how many powerful revelations were woven into what could have turned into a very basic revenge story. The first half of the novel takes great pains to establish a world and it's people, while the last half takes some pretty incredibly risks, which I believe pay off.

I rated this a 5 out of 5 because I believe it goes beyond the expectations of the adventure genre by not only delivering a solid story, but by taking chances that many authors do not have the courage to take. If you like well written adventure stories with strong characters and original plot surprises that feel organic, rather than forced, read this book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joolz on 5 April 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
With solid plot lines and multi-dimensional characterizations, S K Keogh's first novel is a definite winner. Set mostly afloat in the Caribbean during the 'age of sail' it weaves several threads into an engrossing story that will be satisfying to lovers of historic sail fiction without being unduly technical for a casual reader. The author has created a believable world inhabited by a fascinating, disparate bunch of lead characters who command the reader's sympathy despite their darker sides.

No real surprises plot-wise perhaps, but it is a good story well told. You can't have a pirate novel without at least some swash-buckling, but most of the plot is concerned with situation and character development leading to a climactic showdown with a sting in its tail! In my opinion, Keogh has the balance just right and I was so enthralled that I was unprepared for the end, but it has clearly been set up for a sequel. Can't wait!

As usual with Fireship Press, the transcription to Kindle is just about flawless.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Had to Get to the Ending 7 Aug. 2012
By Michelle4Laughs - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a story full of characters that really grew on me. They had great chemistry. I loved the accurate sea terms, and it reminded me in many ways of reading Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series with a modern writing style twist. Once into the closing chapters, I couldn't put this book down despite the lateness of the hour.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
An engaging nautical novel 15 July 2012
By lscollison - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"Don't be too hard on Jack Mallory. He's a better man than any you've run into on tortuga. You just don't know him."
"Nor do I want to"
Smith eyed her. "Yer not too far different, the two of you, I'm of a mind. You both want revenge for yer fathers, and rightly so. In fact, Miss Cordero, you and Jack best start leanin' towards yer similarities instead o' yer differences. If you don't, neither one o' you might find Logan and the grave you want to send him to." -- from The Prodigal, by S.K. Keough.

This first novel is a well-crafted, action-filled nautical tale. Set in the West Indies and South Carolina during the brutal age of Piracy, it is the story of a quest for rescue and revenge.

Jack begins the story as the boy "John" but emerges from Newgate Prison years later as "Jack", an angry young man bent on finding the pirate who shattered his life by murdering his father and taking his mother captive. In this story pirates are not glamorized, nor is the protagonist, yet it still has the feel of Pirates of the Caribbean, with a sincere but bitter Orlando Bloom and a spunky Keira Knightly in the starring roles. There is tension between the protagonist Jack and Miss Cordero, who are at odds with one another although they are both after the same pirate, Logan, who also murdered Maria Cordero's father. Both Jack and Maria have their side-kicks, which adds interest to the tale. But for me, the gutsy Maria Cordero steals the show.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Dead in the Water 14 April 2013
By Jim Duggins, Ph.D. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you've not read a swashbuckler recently, run don't walk, to get a copy of S. E. Keogh's novel, "The Prodigal". While it could be some time since you've read one, it will be a long time before you read another as good as "The Prodigal."

The story opens with two ships, a merchant ship and a pirate brigantine of Captain James Logan and his gang. It begins with the pirate's attack, the battle and seizure of the merchant ship which leads to the killing of the father of Maria (a bar owner in the port) and the sailing father of young John Mallory plus the kidnapping of John's mother. The beginning is a "bucket of blood" and we see up close the heartless work of the pirates, master and crew and their viciousness with the captives. Here the author treats us to the ruthless slaughter of the pirates' victims and the personalities of both the assailants and the innocents.

From that point on, author Keogh spells out the life stories of the tavern keeper, Maria, and her murdered father as well as John and his kidnapped mother. That cast occupies the book with their obsession with pirate Logan. The search and chase occupies the majority of the plot with back stories of the young couple over the years before the hunt can actually begin. The plot is tight, credibly woven and draws the reader into the heart of the action as the protagonists grow and move toward the clashes that must surely kill most of them in the blind rush for justice.

In addition to plot -- "The Prodigal" is indubitably character driven as the protagonists attempt to unwind their effort to correct injustice -- it is the clear depiction of characters that leads the book. Each of the half dozen primary protagonists are fully-developed, real, and appealing.

Author Keogh is also a brilliant story teller and wordsmith. I've chosen an example of author Keogh's skillful use of language as but one example of dozens throughout this book.

"Maria peered out across the gentle black swells from her lookout point on the forecastle, straining to search the night's curtain that blurred sky and water into one ebony entity. She could barely stay awake in the encompassing darkness. She frowned and rubbed her eyes. What time was it? Seven bells in the middle watch seemed ages ago. Cumulous clouds smothered the light of stars and moon. If a sail appeared, she would be hard-pressed to see it unless it was almost upon them. She did not want to make a mistake in her duties. After all, Jack had finally agreed to let her rejoin her watch now that she was stronger, but he forbade her from climbing the rigging yet, and she wondered if he would ever allow it again."

In addition one must comment on author Keogh's incredible knowledge of the construction and workings of early American sailing ships, their crews and details of their duties in daily calendars. It is furthermore a credit to author Keogh's ability that in the dozens of beautifully done passages such as this one quoted here, this author shows restraint when it might have been tempting to slip into overdone purple prose - which did not happen.

In addition to your own certain pleasure in this page turner, it's a book you'll tell all your friends about. Get it now.
For history buffs everywhere... 30 April 2014
By batmanbane - Published on
Format: Paperback
When I began reading "The Prodigal", I was struck by the obvious appeal it has for a wide audience. I thought of books I read in high school like "The Eagle of the Ninth" and "Moonfleet", and I wondered, where are those books now? Well, this is one of them. Great attention to detail. I especially love the description of the pirate, James Logan and the in-depth description of his garments and hat, as well as the dresses worn by his wife, Ella. And I wonder what painting or prints the author used for inspiration!
Fast-paced nautical with 3-D characters 25 Mar. 2015
By Tinney S. Heath - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This well-paced action story doesn't stint on character development, or, for that matter, on subtle and lyrical descriptions of place. Yet the taut story line keeps the reader turning the pages, as the characters - both the main characters and the secondary ones - reveal layer after layer of complexity. Skillfully written, and a very satisfying read!
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