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The Keep (F. Paul Wilson novel)

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Wikipedia article

'The Keep' is a horror novel by F. Paul Wilson. It is also the first volume in a series of six novels known as The Adversary Cycle. It appeared on the 'New York Times' Bestsellers List and has been adapted for film and as a limited-series of comics.

Plot summary

German soldiers and SS Einsatzkommandos alike are being slowly killed off in a mysterious castle (the "Keep" of the title) high in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania in April 1941. A Jewish History Professor living in Bucharest, Theodore Cuza, and his daughter Magda, are collected and delivered to the keep in a desperate effort by SS Sturmbannfuhrer Eric Kaempffer to find out what it is that is murdering the men and put a stop to it by any means necessary. The professor is useful in translating a mysterious message that has been written in blood on a wall of the keep in a forgotten dialect of Old Romanian or Old Slavonic. He is also tasked with finding a method of defeating the unknown evil that is wreaking havoc.

This evil entity, which calls itself "Molasar", sees a certain usefulness in Professor Cuza and procures his services through deception and false promises. Molasar is later revealed to be Rasalom, an ancient sorcerer from the "First Age" of humans. Shortly, a reluctant champion of the ancient Forces of Light appears; an immortal man calling himself "Glenn", but whose real name is Glaeken. He built the Keep as a prison for Rasalom out of the reluctance to kill him outright. The two beings are mystically linked in a way that binds their destinies together, even though Rasalom's supernatural abilities vastly outmatch Glenn's innate abilities.

Magda and Glenn meet and develop a relationship which quickly becomes romantic as Professor Cuza manipulates the German SS into arresting Glenn and bringing him into the Keep where he will be vulnerable to Rasalom's ever-increasing power. The scheme fails when Magda rescues Glenn from dying by bringing him his healing power-sword after he is riddled with bullets. Professor Cuza, meanwhile, is excitedly carrying Glenn's Talisman through the lower levels of Rasalom's 500-year-old prison and upwards toward the surface where the Professor plans to re-bury it according to Rasalom's instructions.

Magda leaves Glenn to recuperate while intervening with her misguided father to keep him from crossing the perimeter of the fortress area, giving Glenn just enough time to arrive on scene where, after joining the Talisman to his power-sword, he is able to drive Rasalom backwards into the depths of the keep. Rasalom then uses his telekinetic abilities to launch an overwhelming assault against Glenn. Finally, Glenn prevails as Rasalom rashly launches himself bodily at his age-old enemy and is reduced to ashes by a single stroke from Glenn's sword. Glenn himself plummets onto the craggy rocks below as Rasalom's body decays into nothingness. However he reawakens to discover that he is now mortal, having vanquished his long-time foe, and he and Magda are reunited.

Characters in "The Keep"

* Major Kaempffer

* Captain Woermann

* Dr. Theodore Cuza

* Magda Cuza

* Glenn / Glaeken

* Molasar / Rasalom

* Alexandru

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

The book was adapted into a film by Michael Mann for Paramount in 1983. The film was a critical and financial disaster but retains a cult following, partly due to Tangerine Dream's work on the soundtrack. Most recently it has also been adapted into comic form by Wilson himself.

Publication history

* 1981, USA, William Morrow and Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-688-00626-6, Pub date August 1981, Hardback

* 2000, USA, Tor ISBN 978-0-7653-5705-2, Pub date May 2000, Paperback (First Tor Edition)

* 2006, USA, Tor ISBN 978-0-7653-5705-2, Pub date August 2006, Paperback (Second Tor Edition)

Category:1981 novels

Category:American horror novels

Category:World War II novels

Category:Novels set in Romania

Category:1941 in fiction

Category:American novels adapted into films

es:The Keep (novela)


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