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The Keep (Adversary Cycle, #1)
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The Keep (Adversary Cycle #1)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  11,319 ratings  ·  420 reviews
"Something is murdering my men."

Thus reads the message received from a Nazi commander stationed in a small castle high in the remote Transylvanian Alps. And when an elite SS extermination squad is dispatched to solve the problem, the men find a something that's both powerful and terrifying. Invisible and silent, the enemy selects one victim per night, leaving the bloodless
Paperback, 403 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Tor Books (first published 1981)
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Community Reviews

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David Sven
It's Castle Wolfenstein - Zombie Nazi edition! 'Donnerwetter!' did I hear you say? 'Not mitt ze Shweinhund Zombies again!'

Just kidding...almost. There are Nazis in a Castle - or rather a Keep, in Romania, in the Transylvanian Alps, and there is something undead inside, and our story is set in 1941.

The SS take over an abandoned haunted Keep. The SS unwittingly let something loose in the Keep. The SS start dying horrible deaths - and Nazi's being turned into chunky bits is always a good thing. I c
Wilson is a skilled story-teller who knows how to write a good plot and intertwine a story with healthy mix of terror romance and history.The story is about The Keep an intriguing fortress where one by one men are murdered by a mysterious being. The victims are german soldiers, I found myself backing the perpetrators blood thirst of ridding The Keep of the invaders of Romania, but there seems to be a more sinister purpose to what is taking place. Thoroughly enjoyed the story highly recommend it, ...more
This is one of the worst books I have ever read. A friend recommended it to me, and against my better judgment, I took a copy with me on vacation. The writing style is very cliché - it feels like he has taken whole sentences from other horror writers and strung them together to create this work. The plot is forseeable, the characters are cheesy and annoying, the story seems to be rooted in pseudo-history...not quite accurate enough to seem like a real era, and not quite fantastical enough to tra ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"

Rating = 3.49 stars

This is a sort of Lovecraftian historical fiction, if you will. Or even if you won't.
Romania, 1941. The Nazis encounter an ancient entity almost as evil as themselves. Only a Jewish scholar and his daughter and a mysterious red-haired man can save them.

I liked this older work better than Wilson's Repairman Jack novels, which tend to be overlong and feel repetitive after you've read a few of them.
Uncle Randy
Read and re-read, a really good vampire story set in WW2. There was a sourcebook out that gave more backstory to this tale, also worth reading but nearly impossible to find. This is part of a series of books which didn't appear connectd at first, but were brought together nicely in the end with a fantastic 5th book. Worth noting all 5 books stand alone nicely for those who don't like to read a series. While Repairman Jack was introduced in these stories, it was only in the last few, and these ar ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ranked among the best horror novels of the twentieth century, and credited with shaping the landscape of that same genre through the 80s, it's hard not to be a little disappointed with what is on offer in The Keep. The set-up is quite good, with something unleashed from its hold in an abandoned keep stalking the German soldiers that have taken over said structure in the midst of WW2. For about a third of the novel, Wilson keeps the pace rattling along nicely, as the thing from the crypt murders ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
I was glad that I went into this book unaware of many of the plot elements. It made for a more exciting read. Despite this, I was still surprised as things turn out to be not as they seemed. I liked F. Paul Wilson's writing voice. It's erudite and sophisticated. He did his research about WW2 and what was going on in Europe at this time. The aspects of the Nazis' treatment of the Jews and the Gypsies made my heart hurt. I can't and never will understand such barbarity, cruelty, and inhumanity. Mr ...more
Ma tõesti tahtsin, et see raamat mulle rohkem meeldiks. Idee on ju lollikindel – natside sõjaväeüksus asub postile Transilvaania mägikindluses ning nendega hakkavad juhtuma üleloomulikud ebameeldivused. Sellest lihtsast ideest saaks luua niivõrd vinge loo, ent autor piirdus kahjuks vaid keskpärasega.

Stoori on nagu mõni Allo! Allo! stsenaarium: natsid kutsuvad end päästma mustlastega semmiva juudi soost professori ning tema kauni neitsiliku tütre. Süžee kulgeb muidu õuduslugude traditsioonilist r
Cheryl Landmark
Mr. Wilson did an admirable job of mixing history, horror and romance in a gripping, chilling tale of a monster haunting a mysterious keep in the mountains of Romania during World War II.

The cast of characters really made the story what it was. Underneath the German uniform, Captain Woermann was really not a bad man. He disagreed with the policies and actions of Hitler and the SS and tried to atone for his own failings. Major Kaempffer of the SS, on the other hand, was a truly sadistic and bruta
Dec 19, 2007 Mark rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: vampire fans wanting something new
Shelves: horror
This is the first book in "the adversary cycle" series of novels. It doesn't end on any kind of cliffhanger, though, so it can definitely be read on its own.

The Plot
There are basically 2 forces in the universe: Chaos and light. Both forces have their own agents. In "The Keep", we meet 2 of them.

It's 1941 in Europe. The Germans have invaded Poland and are extending into Romania. A German regular army company has been ordered to occupy a keep in a mountain pass in Romania because it has a good vie
Trev Twinem
This book was a disappointment to me. I was hoping that the idea of a no of SS troops billeted in the aptly named "Keep" would be the recipe for a great story. However this never developed and the usual battle of good v evil occurred mixed in with a rather odd love story, resulting in a somewhat boring and pedestrian tale...not recommended!
Mike (the Paladin)
I read this book some years ago (I seem to say that a lot). I ran across it on the "Best Heroic Fantasy" list. I wouldn't really rate it "Heroic Fantasy"...anyway.

Is the villain really the "proto-vampire"? Is the hero maybe as bad as the villain? These and other questions will be answered...but you need to get through it to the end. It's not a bad book but I've read a lot better.

Th two main characters are linked together,immortal since what we are told is the first age of the world. One evil the
Benjamin Thomas
I came to this novel a little differently than most people. I have read all 15 of the Repairman Jack novels over the last several years, (not counting short stories and the prequel histories), not realizing that the Adversary Cycle should really be read in parallel. So when I finished The Dark at the End I decided I needed to hold off on Nightworld until I had completed this other group of five or six novels. That way I will be ready for the final climactic novel at the end where both series cul ...more
To date, the best Wilson I've read. Pretty creepy story where the bad guys (the Nazis) meet a really bad guy -- or thing, in a castle located in the Balkans. The setting is damn near perfect. I think the story suffered a bit at the end when Wilson shifted gears to throw a bit of a curve ball at the readers expectations. I don't think that was needed, but overall a minor complaint.
3.5 Stars

Book blurb:

"Something is murdering my men."

Thus reads the message received from a Nazi commander stationed in a small castle high in the remote Transylvanian Alps. And when an elite SS extermination squad is dispatched to solve the problem, the men find a something that's both powerful and terrifying. Invisible and silent, the enemy selects one victim per night, leaving the bloodless and mutilated corpses behind to terrify its future victims.

My thoughts...

For those of us looking for a t
Nancy Oakes
first in a series called The Adversary Cycle

The Keep is a high kind of "mini-castle" set in the mountains of Romania. The story takes place before America's entry into WWII.

A detachment of German army soldiers is sent to the keep, which is situated so that anyone coming or going through a certain pass which leads to the invaluable Ploesti oil fields can be spotted. The first night there, there is a grisly and strange death. A few days later, an SS squad under the leadership of an overzealous com
My son encourages me to read Wilson's work. I tried, and cannot do, the Repairman Jack stuff--too violent & too vigilante (even if he is on the side of goodness and light). This did not go the same "abandoned" route. In fact, instead of hitting the dance studio last night I sat home reading! I'm torn between a 4 and a 5, in the horror genre, so I'm rounding up.

Interesting tale. Wilson gives us three levels of evil. There is the banal evil, in the form of the German military captain; he's ap
Christopher Hivner
The Keep has a cool premise. A garrison of German soldiers during WWII are sent to occupy a small, oddly constructed keep in Romania. The first night there, two of the soldiers, in an attempt to steal a gold cross, disturb the keep's only occupant. In the following days, they don't make it through the night without a soldier being killed. An SS regiment is sent to stop whatever is going on, but men continue to die. There is also great tension between the SS commander and the German army commande ...more
I think this book might have been a much more entertaining read if read when it was first released. Today, F. Paul Wilson's The Keep feels like a hundred different books I've read. Which isn't to say that this is a bad book. I gave it two stars in accordance to what Goodreads define each star to mean. Two stars is "It was okay". And that's what's wrong with this book. It's just okay. There's nothing great or new here. The characters are all familiar. It is, however, an interesting take on vampir ...more
Reread in 2010. Nazis and evil entities duking it out in a 500 year old castle in the Romainian mountains...what more do you want from a quick-read thriller? This novel pre-dates the current spate of vampire/evil-entity novels by about 20 years, and is at least as good. But, if your looking for character depth, historical accuracy, sophisticated plot line, then your reading should take you elsewhere. Wilson is a kind of poor-mans King, or even Koontz.
-Aunque el pulp se vista de seda...-

Género. Narrativa Fantástica.

Lo que nos cuenta. En la Segunda Guerra Mundial, un destacamento de soldados alemanes destinados a un paso de montaña en los Cárpatos durante la primavera de 1941 está viendo morir de forma inquietante a sus hombres entre los muros de la antigua posición fortificada en la que se alojan. Tras la petición de ayuda del oficial al mando, se dirige al lugar un oficial de las SS con refuerzos, pero también irán allí un erudito hebreo que
After seeing a less than great film version, we decided to read the book. It had some interesting persona and ideas about good/evil in Romania during Nazi time. The book was well worth the effort and hopefully will someday be remade into a good film version. It's suspenseful, very well written, with an original setting and intriguing characters.
OMG this book! It started strong and then just went off the fucking rails. I really hate romance and horror combining it's completely asinine. And in this novel it was taken to new and utterly absurd heights. I would recommend this book if you feel strongly like throwing a book at someone's head in a strop.
It’s hard not to pick up a book that basically advertises itself as a vampire killing Nazis and the only ones who can stop the vampires are a Jewish professor and his daughter. I mean, really, what an idea! Most of the book executes this idea with intrigue and finesse, although the end leaves a bit to be desired.

The characterization of the Germans is handled well. They are a good mix of morally ethical people who are caught up in a regime following orders and see no way out (the army men) and ev
Ignacio Senao f
Usted espera algo como Alien: un grupo de personas encerradas en un sitio y algo que les ataca y mata uno por uno… NO, esto no es. Aquí lo que leemos es paja tras paja.
No solo la falta de acción y terror hace que uno pierda el interés por esta novelucha. Es que encima se inventa una trama y un monstruo de lo más común y pastiche del universo. Con su clásico enamoramiento estilo crepúsculo…
Que la lea quien tenga mucho tiempo libre, porque mira que hay por ahí novelas baratísimas, de autores patri
I read this book when it was first published in the late 80's, I think. The setting was a castle in Romania during WW II. A group of Nazi soldiers unknowingly releases a monster who was imprisoned in the castle. Said monster starts to slaughter the soldiers. That's their punishment for ignoring the warnings of the Romanian Jew and his daughter who are taking care of the castle for the owner they have never met.
The scene moves to a distant wilderness where a red-headed stranger was alerted to the
Chris King Elfland's 2nd Cousin
May 31, 2011 Chris King Elfland's 2nd Cousin rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Gothic Horror
NOTE: This review was originally published at The King of Elfland's 2nd Cousin on February 15, 2011. If you enjoy this review, please come by and read some more!

In The Keep (first in his Adversary Cycle), F. Paul Wilson does an excellent job subverting staid vampire tropes and reveling in the devices of Gothic horror. Wilson’s deft command of craft as shown in his management of setting, and the gradual reveal of his monster make this book a worthwhile purchase.

Set in 1941 in a remote mountain ke
Lindsey Goddard
F. Paul Wilson's “The Keep” is one of those classic novels that possesses all the right stuff: diverse characters, a subtle creepiness that holds your attention until the very last word, and just the right amount of complexity... enough to surprise but not confuse the reader.

It's the story of Magda Cuza, a kindhearted Jewish woman. She's spent her youth caring for an ill father. Now, having never loved a man or started a family of her own, she finds herself under the watchful eye of Nazi soldier
Dec 21, 2007 Julia rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who've exhausted Stephen King
OK horror fans, let's talk. I was heavily encouraged to read this book by a horror freak, and sheer enthusiasm will get me to read anything, so I tore through this puppy in three days. First I loved it. Then I hated it. Then I liked it medium-sized. What's going on with my vacillations?

The best part about this book is the grounding of a horror novel in what today's society considers the most horrifying piece of our collective history (the Holocaust). Fantastic idea-- but then we only see one kin
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Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect book cover 3 20 Mar 19, 2015 07:11PM  
Was anyone else rather disappointed by the genre shift near the end? 9 90 Jan 22, 2015 10:48AM  
Night of the Livi...: April 2013 Selection: The Keep 1 4 Jan 04, 2014 12:48PM  
the keep 3 51 Jan 02, 2013 12:40AM  
Other Books by F. Paul Wilson 8 64 Jun 04, 2012 05:56AM  
  • The Wolf's Hour
  • Children of the Night
  • Vampire$
  • The Traveling Vampire Show
  • Live Girls
  • The Light at the End
  • Ghosts
  • Vampyrrhic
  • The Wolfen
  • All Heads Turn When the Hunt Goes By
  • Books of Blood : Volume Three (Books of Blood #3)
  • Moon Dance
  • The Ceremonies
  • Dark Forces: New Stories of Suspense and Supernatural Horror
Francis Paul Wilson is an author, born in Jersey City, New Jersey. He writes novels and short stories primarily in the science fiction and horror genres. His debut novel was Healer (1976). Wilson is also a part-time practicing family physician. He made his first sales in 1970 to Analog and continued to write science fiction throughout the seventies. In 1981 he ventured into the horror genre with t ...more
More about F. Paul Wilson...

Other Books in the Series

Adversary Cycle (6 books)
  • The Tomb (Adversary Cycle, #2) (Repairman Jack, #1)
  • The Touch (Adversary Cycle, #3)
  • Reborn (Adversary Cycle, #4)
  • Reprisal (Adversary Cycle, #5)
  • Nightworld (Adversary Cycle, #6)
The Tomb (Adversary Cycle, #2) (Repairman Jack, #1) Legacies  (Repairman Jack, #2) Conspiracies (Repairman Jack, #3) All the Rage (Repairman Jack, #4) Hosts (Repairman Jack, #5)

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