In a storm-swept tavern in a village of yore, Cornelius, the secretive sorcerer’s apprentice, gives the unsuspecting Professor Gast a key – one with the power to unlock the doors of the magical Castle of Desires. Within its chambers are all that any man could wish for: wealth, leisure, servants, lovers – and, if he so desires, he may even summon up a military empire …
On the eve of Hallowe’en, 1937, Maximilian Richter arrives at the cartoon studios of Pineville, an isolated gated community in the sun-kissed Californian hills. As a bit-part actor in early talkies – as gangster, tough guy, hired muscle, hoodlum – every scene Max had been in had simmered with sin. And now, within the walls of Pineville, Max is free to cheat and sweet-talk his way into the affections of the unsuspecting community, stirring up a secret storm of seduction, vice and violence.
Neale Osborne’s allegorical novel, a story-mirrored-within-a story, is a unique period piece set on the edge of historical Hollywood … and deep in the chambers of a mythical fortress.
The tale can also be seen as a homage to the pioneering greats of film animation: Georges Méliès, Willis O’Brien, Ray Harryhausen & Ladislav Starewicz…and even features a recreation of the Carthay Circle Theatre premiere of Disney’s ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’
‘The Castle of Desires’ is out now in paperback, with four signed copies available in a Goodreads giveaway (for readers in the USA, Canada, and UK, until the 5th of April.)