The Keep (Wilson novel)

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The Keep
FPWs The Keep 1st Edition.jpg
Trade Hardcover 1st Edition
Author F. Paul Wilson
Country United States
Language English
Series The Adversary Cycle
Genre Fiction
Publisher William Morrow
Publication date
August 1981
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages 347 (Trade Hardcover 1st Edition)
ISBN ISBN 978-0-688-00626-6 (Trade Hardcover 1st Edition)
OCLC 7279273
Dewey Decimal 813/.54 19
LC Class PS3573.I45695 K4
Followed by The Tomb

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[edit]

German soldiers and SS Einsatzkommandos are being slowly killed off in a mysterious castle (the "keep" of the title) high in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania in April 1941. Theodore Cuza, a Jewish history professor living in Bucharest, and his daughter Magda are brought to the keep by SS Sturmbannfuhrer Eric Kaempffer in a desperate attempt to determine what is murdering his men. Cuza is later tasked with defeating the unknown evil that is wreaking havoc. The professor translates a mysterious message written in blood on a wall that uses a forgotten dialect of Old Romanian or Old Slavonic.

The entity responsible for the deaths calls itself "Molasar", and it finds Professor Cuza useful. Molasar procures his services through deception and false promises. Molasar is later revealed to be Rasalom, an ancient sorcerer from the "First Age" of humans.

An immortal man calling himself "Glenn", whose real name is Glaeken, is a reluctant champion of the ancient Forces of Light. He becomes aware of Rasalom's activity from across the world and travels to the keep. 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 growing mystical powers are vastly greater than Glenn's own.

Magda and Glenn meet and develop a romantic relationship. Professor Cuza manipulates the Germans into arresting Glenn and bringing him into the keep, where he will be vulnerable to Rasalom. Inside the keep, the German soldiers riddle Glenn's body with bullets. Magda brings Glenn his mystical sword, the source of his power, which enables him to heal his mortal wounds. Rasalom instructs Professor Cuza to remove the talisman that imprisons him and bury it outside the keep.

Magda leaves Glenn to recuperate, and tries to convince her misguided father not to cross the perimeter of the fortress. Glenn arrives and joins the talisman to his sword, enabling him to drive Rasalom back into the depths of the keep. Rasalom then uses his telekinetic abilities to launch an overwhelming assault against Glenn. Rasalom rashly launches himself bodily at his age-old enemy and is reduced to ashes by a single stroke from Glenn's sword. Glenn plummets onto the craggy rocks below. He awakens to discover that he is now mortal, having vanquished his long-time foe, and he and Magda reunite.

Adaptations[edit]

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. More recently it has also been adapted into comic form by Wilson himself.

Publication history[edit]