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Review: A Feast of Panthers – Sean Eads

The Feast of Panthers - Sean Eads

Genre: Historical, Fantasy

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Oscar Wilde is pulled into a dark conspiracy led by followers of an ancient Egyptian deity seeking to reestablish her terrifying religion—and she wants Wilde to be her new high priest. But Wilde does not stand alone, and as the coming conflict reveals stunning secrets about those closest to him, he realizes his greatest ally happens to be his fiercest nemesis—the Marquess of Queensberry.

The Review

Qui patitur vincint – “He conquers who endures”

Oscar Wilde has become obsessed with “Stephen,” who he’s heard of from Alfred Wood, a renter that Wilde has often hired for services.

The search for Stephen takes Wilde to the Red Tiger pub. He meets Chyron, who seems to know of Wilde. Chyron makes mention of the Great Goddess, which Wilde assumes is opium.  That’s when he finds himself entering a hidden opium den that’s occupied by many young men, and goes on a mind bending trip. When it’s over, he doesn’t know what’s happened, but what he does know is that the young men turned into black cats.

When Oscar goes back to the Red Tiger he is confused – the pub’s name has been changed to the Black Panther.  

He tells the story to his lover, Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas, who talks Wilde into going back to the Black Tiger to try and find this “Stephen.”  When Oscar asks the barkeep if he could pass through the door, nothing is the same. 

Returning to Bosie, he finds another man at the table with his lover. The man’s name is Stephen but it’s not the man whom Wilde has been looking for. Upset with Bosie, Wilde leaves in a huff. Stephen follows him, and Wilde warns Stephen about the Marquess of Queensbury. Stephen doesn’t seem not to care – instead, he wants Wilde’s unique scarab ring. And thena multitude of cats crowd around them.

Wilde has some other strange occurrences in the midst of all the odd revelations. He receives an invitation from the Director of the British Museum, E.M. Thompson. As they walk through the museum together, Wilde notices the extreme changes from each room. There seem to be an enormous amount of Egyptian artifacts that are dominating the museum, which have come from a new patron – Lady Gwendoline.

Wilde is also approached by Samuel Mathers, an occultist of the Order of the Golden Dawn.  Mathers has a message from Constance, Wilde’s wife, who is gone on a vacation with their two sons. It’s a message sent in a dream. As the story unfolds, Wilde will learn of Constance’s position with the Golden Dawn and meet William Butler Yeats, Florence Farr and others.  

Wilde will gain strange allies, and with Robbie Ross, Charlie the boxer, and Bosie, he will have to join forces and remain hopeful that an end is brought to the evil of the Great Goddess.   

This melding of historical facts with the twist of paranormal fiction is just the type of story I really love! Oscar Wilde was a famous playwright and poet, and Eads has used the author’s poem “The Sphinx” as the inspiration for “A Feast of Panthers,” blending it witha touch of “The Picture Dorian Gray.”

The novel blends the paranormal withand futuristic ideas: altered reality, changelings, time portals, mind projection, mummification, religions, Egyptian mythology and hieroglyphics, magic, an eerie labyrinth, secret books, a scarab ring, and many felines at every turn. There’s also mention of Tuatha De Danann, a magical race, with supernatural powers, in ancient Ireland.

The story is interspersed with bits of what Oscar Wildes real life was like. There are intervals where Wilde is a prisoner at Wandsworth Prison, where he actually was imprisoned. His time there was brought upon by Marquess of Queensberry, because his son, Lord Alfred “Bosie” Dougla, was Wilde’s lover. 

There are so many famous names from history in this novel and each one has an interesting life story and some connection to Oscar Wilde.

Personally, I think Oscar Wilde got a bad rap in real life, as many of the people mentioned did not actually care for Wilde. I have read some other historical fact/fiction books that have mentioned him, and I have also read portions of his biography.  Although he was imprisoned for gross indecency, those who put him there were no better.

With “A Feast of Panthers” things do wind up a bit differently.

If you love history with a twist, I highly recommend “A Feast of Panthers,” an incredible story with paranormal aspects that are at times gruesome and frightening.  This was the first time I’ve read something from Eads and I was not disappointed.  I’m hoping he will continue to create more novels like this one!

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams. 

 

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