The best books about the war between angels and demons

Who am I?

I've always been fascinated by the idea of the war in Heaven. As a storyteller, the eternal struggle between angels and demons fighting for the fate of creation has been a source of perpetual inspiration for me. But finding stories about angels that aren't YA or paranormal romance can be challenging. So, channeling my love of historical fiction and action-packed adventure, I set out to craft a thrilling, realistic tale that puts the reader right on the front lines beside a peaceful angel forced into becoming a warrior fighting against his former brothers. This list reflects my favorite books that paved the way and inspired my own work.


I wrote...

The Sabrael Confession

By Stephen J. Smith,

Book cover of The Sabrael Confession

What is my book about?

Sent to Earth as part of a secret force to protect the newborn Christ from fallen angels eager to kill the would-be Savior, the angel Sabrael and six of his brothers soon discover the fallen are searching for a lost gateway that would allow them to bypass Heaven’s fortified walls and mount a direct attack on their former home. 

Deciding to stay until they locate and destroy the portal, the angels embark on a hunt that leads Sabrael around the world and through the ages on an action-packed journey from first-century Jerusalem to the present-day United States, battling fallen angels and masquerading as a human, culminating in a massive confrontation between Heaven and Hell's forces that will change his life—and the fate of mankind—forever.

The books I picked & why

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Memnoch the Devil

By Anne Rice,

Book cover of Memnoch the Devil

Why this book?

Anne Rice was one of my first favorite authors and a major inspiration in my wanting to become a writer. While not as well-known as other entries in her incredible Vampire Chronicles series, Memnoch is my personal favorite. Continuing her iconic style of sympathizing with the supernatural through first-person narrative, this is the first time Rice introduced a classic religious figure into her vampire mythos and gave us a brilliant, unique take on Heaven and Hell, angels, demons, and the eternal conflict between God and the devil. This book was truly foundational for me in creating my own voice and character dynamics for The Sabrael Confession.


This Present Darkness

By Frank E. Peretti,

Book cover of This Present Darkness

Why this book?

Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness is the book that's most often mentioned to me when I tell people what my novel's about. I didn't have the pleasure of reading it until after my book was done, and I'm glad, because it's so good it probably would've influenced me too much. The beautiful and sometimes terrifying story of angels fighting demons in Ashton shares a lot of DNA with The Sabrael Confession. A covert group of angels protecting from the shadows. Fallen angels manipulating human affairs. Thrilling battles between them. It's everything I wanted my own novel to be, and the success of this masterpiece showed me there was an audience for this type of story and gave me the courage to publish mine. 


Good Omens

By Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman,

Book cover of Good Omens

Why this book?

There’s no way my list would be complete without mentioning this classic. While it’s a comedy and has a totally different tone than The Sabrael Confession, I love the relationship between Aziraphale and Crowley (masterfully executed in the live-action series on Amazon) and wanted to bring some of that into Sabrael's relationship with Lucifer. The concept of both angels and demons falling in love with living among humans in plain sight and staying on Earth throughout the millennia had a big impact on the formation of my story, as well as the sense of adventure and the high stakes of the plot that's unfolding under the noses of the mostly unsuspecting human race. The lighter side of the impending apocalypse. 


A Dictionary of Angels

By Gustav Davidson,

Book cover of A Dictionary of Angels

Why this book?

One of the key references I used in writing The Sabrael Confession, this book is a comprehensive list of all the named angels throughout history, good or bad, complete with their rank in the angelic host and all mentions of them across the world's religions. My copy looks like it's been through a war with dog-eared pages, sticky notes protruding from the sides, and little scribbles in the margins. Whenever I needed a new angel in my book, I scoured this amazing resource to find the perfect fit. All my fallen angels are fallen angels found here. All my good angels are listed here. It's a truly fascinating read, and does well to point out inconsistencies where an angel has been listed as good by some, evil by others.


The War in Heaven: The Chronicle of Abaddon the Destroyer (Tears of Heaven)

By Kenneth Zeigler,

Book cover of The War in Heaven: The Chronicle of Abaddon the Destroyer (Tears of Heaven)

Why this book?

This is actually the second book of Zeigler's Tears of Heaven series, but I read this one first and it stands perfectly on its own. There's so much I love about it, from the concept of rebel dark angels working to overthrow Satan with the help and ingenuity of human scientists and soldiers they rescue from Hell's torments to Zeigler's masterful world-building based on scripture and classic depictions of Hell. He pulls no punches in vividly describing the agonies of damnation. But it's his clever use of scientific principles to explain Hell's supernatural rules as well as arm his protagonists that truly stands out for me. I strove to achieve that level of logic in my book, but Zeigler manages to weaponize it as only a trained scientist could.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in angels, demons, and satire?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about angels, demons, and satire.

Angels Explore 37 books about angels
Demons Explore 56 books about demons
Satire Explore 84 books about satire

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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