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To Build Jerusalem

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For other uses of the word Succubus, see Succubus (disambiguation).

To Build Jerusalem is a novel written by John Whitbourn, It is the second book in the Continuum series. This series revolves around an alternative history universe in which magic and fantasy beings are real and are part of the normal world that characters in this series exist in. This universe is based upon the following assumption: In 1562, Elizabeth I suffered from a near-fatal bout of smallpox. In our world, she recovered, but that did not occur in the world of A Dangerous Energy and its sequels. Instead, Elizabeth I died from that infection, and her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots succeeded to the English throne, leading to a second and permanent Catholic Counter Reformation in England and Scotland.
Popes and Phantoms and To Build Jerusalem are the other novels located in this wildly skewed version of history. A Dangerous Energy was reviewed as "the first Counter-Reformation science fiction novel" and To Build Jerusalem furthers the story of that particular alternate history. A third volume in this trilogy, The Two Confessions, is now complete.
In this novel, To Build Jerusalem, there is a evil dangerous Succubus that is central to the story, but is not a major character in it.

To Build Jerusalem Book Cover. Written by John Whitbourn.


  • Title: To Build Jerusalem
  • Author: John Whitbourn
  • Publisher: Victor Gollancz
  • Publishing Date: June 15, 2008
  • Format: Paperback
  • Length: 320 Pages
  • ISBN-10: 0575058714
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575058712
  • Released On: April 13, 1995

Plot Summary

One morning in 1995, Jonah Ransom, clothier, is going about his everyday business when he meets a beautiful demon in his storecupboard. At around the same time, the King of England with his entire court, vanishes abruptly before the astonished eyes of his public as he prepares to attend Mass. Even in an England where the Reformation failed, and magic has become a commonplace tool of the all-powerful Catholic Church, such events could be described as unusual.

Before long, it is apparent that something very different is abroad - magic ceases to work in its accustomed way, instability and political unrest threaten to disrupt a society used to order and rigid social obedience. Eventually the Pope is sufficiently perturbed to send one of his beloved (by him) and dreaded (by the public in general) Sicarii to investigate the disturbance. Arriving late on the scene, Adam (he has no other name), Sicarii extraordinaire, sometime spy, sometime security officer, sometime assassin, discovers a mystifying power at work, a power that can twist not only souls, but his entire world inside out.

Critical Reviews

'The following review is from the link in the External Links below:

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not "This England" ... but perhaps another England
  • Reviewed On: August 24, 1999
  • Reviewed By: A Customer

To Build Jerusalem tears apart the fabric of rural England. With matchlock, sword and magic spell it shatters the dream of the good old days with a violence that has to be read to be imagined. And yet, through the turmoil which forces each protagonist to walk through the fire of self discovery, there shines the author's love of England that was, England that is, and (Dv) England that will be. If you think you can find a better historical fantasy than this, I will meet you one misty dawn on the bridge by the golden ford and we will settle the issue...forever.

External Links