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Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers' Favorite
Holy War: The Battle For Souls opens with a glimpse of the experience of dying. Damian, son of JC and Maria, grandson of God, has been murdered by his twin, Samantha, the Antichrist. He is welcomed into heaven by God who intends to wage a Holy War against the immortal Beelzebub, who has escaped from Hades and seeks domination of humanity. On Earth, JC and Maria rally their forces. This is a global battle, culminating in the city where it began with the crucifixion: Jerusalem. Author Grant Leishman presents the story as fantasy, but it is based on an elemental truth: the eternal conflict between the forces of good and evil.
Holy War is irreverent, but written inoffensively tongue-in-cheek, and brilliant: nothing less than I expected from the author of The Second Coming and Rise of the Antichrist. In Holy War, JC’s wife, Maria, based on the biblical Mary Magdalene, comes into her own. As JC paraphrases it: Hell hath no fury like a woman wronged. Good and evil are both shown, leaving the reader in no doubt why they act as they do. God with His angels, and His disciples on Earth, and Beelzebub with his cohorts, from Druids who worship Forest Gods, to Islam and Muhammad, the false prophet. Holy War is the third book of a trilogy, but well-grounded to stand alone. Grant Leishman achieves fantasy based on truth so well that, whilst you’re reading it, it becomes reality: the sign of a very talented author.