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STARDUST: The Ruby Castle Stories by Nina Allan
Cover Artist: Ben Baldwin
Review by Mario Guslandi
PS Publishing Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781848636149
Date: 01 April 2013 List Price £11.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Publisher's Book Page / Show Article /

From official release/information:

Book Description: Michael Gomez is thirteen and he is a chess prodigy. He has no experience of losing until now, and as he struggles to come to terms with a major defeat, he finds himself drawn into a world he thought existed only in the movies.

The woman of his dreams is Ruby Castle, a charismatic beauty famous for her roles in horror films and then notorious for murdering her married lover in a jealous rage. Ruby’s glory days are long behind her, but for Michael she is the only escape he knows from the world of chess. Walking home across Blackheath Common he is apprehended by the Puppeteer, the evil genius of the film that made Castle famous. The man should not exist and yet somehow he does.

The stories collected in Stardust are themselves the story of Ruby Castle, told in snapshots and fleeting glimpses and secret histories, in tales repeated and reinvented by those who fall under her spell: her childhood sweetheart, an antiquarian bookseller with a passion for magical artefacts, the mistress of the poet who was once Castle's lover, a young girl in a future Russia who dreams of the stars. Worlds collide, and the boundaries between the real and the fantastic begin to break down. Is Ruby Castle a living person or a collective fantasy? By the time the final page of Stardust is turned, the world that Castle created through her films has become dangerously indistinguishable from our own.

(Source: PS Publishing)

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