The Caves of Buda
by Leah R. Cutter
Category: Fiction / Horror
320 pages; ISBN: 0451459725
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
The Caves of Buda
Leah R. Cutter
Roc, April 2004, $6.50, 320 pp.
In Hungary during the Nazi occupation, Laci and his friend Janos stumbled across a cave near Buda. Being scouts they were eager to explore but Jews were using a part of the isolated area to hide from the Nazis. The two boys became separated and Laci who had “the sight” saw the demon Belusz bound to his stone throne. After a magical alteration, the demon ripped away Laci’s magical sight.
Laci is old now, living in Arizona, but though he becomes forgetful he still vividly remembers the cave and the demon as they are bound together so that if one dies so does the other. However Belusz has found a way to break the binding spell and kill Laci without harming himself. Laci goes home to kill the demon before he wrecks havoc on the world. His granddaughter Zita loves him very much, but thinks he’s senile and follows him to Hungary determined to bring him back to the States. In Hungary, Zitla discovers she has the sight as she “sees” the demon. She joins forces with the magician Ephraim Cohen and her grandfather to prepare for the biggest battle of their lives fought on the magical plane.
The demons in this novel are not biblical in any sense of the word but are evil entities that are a part of Hungarian mythology. Although Zita is initially a skeptic, when she believes she becomes a dynamo in action, determined to find a way to kill Belusz without getting Laci killed. Leah Cutter, (see PAPER MAGE), has written a horror novel that despite our rational belief system, feels very believable and though in Eastern Europe has no vampires.
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