Blog Tour: The Poisoned Garden, Phil Featherstone

Book Review: The Poisoned Garden, Leopard’s Bane Book 1, Phil Featherstone

the poisoned garden

Book Review: The Poisoned Garden, Leopard’s Bane Book 1, Phil Featherstone

Blog Tour February 9, 2023

Phill Featherstone may not be a household name yet, but his writing and plotting are as enjoyable as almost anyone else doing the job. In this ambitious new project, The Leopard’s Bane series, Featherstone introduces us to a fascinating world of mystery and intrigue and adventure. 


The basic setup is well-traveled, but continues to remain fresh in the hands of a good writer. A young man, younger than the heir, grows up in the palace. Uninterested in the “manly” pursuits of fighting and f…umm, consorting, Peglar is studious, serious, and scholarly. He meets a fascinating girl from the slums, Yalka. As their friendship grows, Peglar is forced to examine the life he has led and the people he knows. 


The time comes when Peglar has to prove he is worthy to become a man and a citizen of the city. This is done through three tests of strength and endurance. Peglar does not have much of either quality. Moreover, instead of his older brother taking on the mantle of tutor and guide, Peglar’s brother actively tries to undermine him. 


Anyway, things happen, Peglar’s eyes are opened, and we are left waiting for the next book to come out. Phill Featherstone: you are good, but don’t go George R.R. Martin on us. We want this next book within our lifetimes, please.


I am not sure I could have come up with a more boring summary of The Poisoned Garden, but trust me. The fault is entirely mine and a desperate effort to not give away the entire plot. There’s fighting and feuding and intrigue and drama and naivete and understanding. Yalka is a delight and is truly a thoughtful and intelligent woman hiding behind a rough accent. (Comedian Fern Brady once said that as soon as people hear her accent they think she’s drunk. She isn’t drunk, but her accent always makes her sound like she is. Yalka reminded me a bit of that.) But the center of the story is Peglar. He is a guileless, innocent swimmer in a pool of sharks and piranhas. He learns quickly. Whether he learns quickly enough is the central part of the story.


It would not be hard to superimpose our own world with its greed and violence and venality over the world of The Poisoned Garden, but I would be a bit cautious. I have no doubt that Featherstone is informed and maybe even somewhat inspired by current events. But this is a rousing story that deserves to be read and enjoyed as just that: a story. If there are parallels to be found, that may reflect more upon the reader than the author. Sometimes a story is just a really good story. This is one.


Our thanks to Kelley Lacey of Love Books for our copy of The Poisoned Garden, given so we could participate in this blog tour. The opinions here are solely those of Scintilla. For other perspectives on this novel, check out the other bloggers on this tour.


the poisoned garden

Book Review: The Poisoned Garden, Leopard’s Bane Book 1, Phil Featherstone

One thought on “Blog Tour: The Poisoned Garden, Phil Featherstone

  1. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing The Poisoned Garden. I’m delighted you liked it. The next in the series – The Rhymer’s Daughter – will be out around Easter. Phill

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