Stronghold of the Enemy (Book Review)

Review by Teri Olsen

Title: Stronghold of the Enemy
Author: D. R. McFadden
Publication Date: August 13, 2020
Format: Kindle Edition

Download the ebook for FREE – CLICK HERE – limited time only!


“The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom. To depart from evil is understanding.” ~Job 28:28

Stronghold of the Enemy is a thoughtful work of fiction based on real-life research. From what I understand, this was the author’s first book; he wrote it over a several year period while at the same time pursuing a career in corporate finance. But it’s so well written, he may as well be a professional writer!

Is there such a thing as educational fiction? Because this book is a masterful blend of fiction and nonfiction that tells about the history of the public school system – citing the U.S. Constitution and actual court cases, along with quotes from Plato to Martin Luther King Jr. – while creatively developing an exciting story around the concept of education reform, all of which makes for an informative and enjoyable read.

The story is told from the viewpoint of a teenager named Andrew, and it’s a real page-turner. Once I started reading it, I was instantly hooked. Before I knew it, I was already on chapter six! But eventually I had to stop for the night. I went to bed wondering what would happen next and how it was all going to work out. The next morning I looked forward to getting back into the story. I read the entire 210-page book in two days.

Just to give you a little taste to whet your appetite, let me share the first paragraph. I love how it starts out so matter-of-factly right in the middle of the action:

Hmm… I can’t help but wonder, could this be what’s in store for conservative patriot families under a Biden administration??? Sorry, but I digress…

I instantly identified with the main character of this book when he said, “I knew there was something wrong with our education system, but I could never put my finger on it.” That’s exactly right! Plenty of kids feel oppressed in an institutional school setting but they don’t know what to do about it. The protagonist of this story was brave enough to give a report on the topic for his class, which of course caused an uproar at his school. But he didn’t stop there…


Andrew Hayes is a high school senior who comes to the conclusion that government schools and compulsory schooling in general crushes the dreams and imaginations of students so as to mold minds in a way suitable to the state. He sees how the system ultimately ruins their natural love of learning and condemns many of them to living a life far below their potential. Andrew has a gift for public speaking and making persuasive arguments, which he uses to his advantage. Finding Andrew too effective in his quest to slay the schooling beast, shadowy government operatives fight him and his message through kidnappings, threats, and violence in order to stop his mission from succeeding. Andrew soon discovers that human effort alone is insufficient to bring down this stronghold of the enemy. His loving Grandma guides him into the knowledge and relationships that he needs in order to fulfill his destiny. Will that be enough to bring down this evil empire? It’s a unique take on the classic David vs. Goliath story.


Stronghold of the Enemy is the perfect title for this book. A stronghold is a fortress with difficult access, or a place where a particular belief or ideology is firmly protected. A stronghold based on lies and deception is one of the primary weapons of the devil, because it causes us to think in ways which block us from God. This book focuses on Satan’s stronghold in the education system. We’re certainly seeing the results of that today since the Bible was removed from schools and replaced with the gods of state schooling. Leftists, Progressives, Socialists and Marxists have taken over every level of public school and college education.

The best defense against such indoctrination can be found in Deuteronomy 6:5-9: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Once the Word of God has a strong hold over your life, then you are on the path to total liberation and deliverance, and you will experience real freedom in Christ.


Stronghold of the Enemy has something for everyone: drama, action, suspense, romance – not to mention a nice grandma who bakes yummy cookies and gives good advice. 🙂 It’s written from a Christian point of view and delves into the idea of spiritual warfare. The book is quite timely – its accounts of government overreach, media propaganda, rigged investigations, and police violence are enough to send a chill down your spine when you consider all the similar things happening today. This includes the harassment and punishment of anyone who dares oppose the “official” narrative. Even the author admitted that at first “I thought the plot may seem over the top (although much of it was based on historical reality) – but not any more.” As in any war, “the closer you come to posing a real threat to the enemy, the intensity of opposition increases.” Still, like the “God Squad” in the book, we know the Lord is with His people, whatever may come our way, and there might just be a miracle waiting in the wings where we least expect it.


I love how the author relates the history of “factory model” education to human rights, and seamlessly weaves real events into the fictional story, such as the Leeper Texas Supreme Court Case that legalized homeschooling in that state back in 1994. It would have been nice if the author included footnotes for looking up the original sources, like the article by a psychology professor that found “admissions of school-age children to mental health clinics for psychiatric emergencies were lowest in the summer months and school breaks… [and] suicides were highest when school was in session.” But you can find most of the author’s actual research on his blog:

Stronghold of the Enemy addresses homeschooling and pretty much covers all the arguments against public school and in favor of school reform, as well as suggesting other alternatives “from online learning, to neighborhood learning centers, to apprenticeships. The possibilities are endless if you keep the heavy hand of the government out of it.” I, too, dream of the day when schools are turned into multi-purpose community centers and kids can learn in freedom without wasting their time on unnecessary busywork and rote classroom procedures. There will always be a place for teachers, but the motto here is simply “coercion removed from education.” One of the greatest things any parent or teacher can do for a child is to personalize the learning process to help the student cultivate their God-given talents, and that should be the goal of any education system.


D.R. McFadden’s journey to writing Stronghold of the Enemy was started by his interest in Christian apologetics and political philosophy, and based on his own experiences with his three children. They had tried public schooling, private schooling, homeschooling and unschooling. Yet he found none of those approaches were totally satisfactory due to omnipresent government regulations that limit what parents can do. He became curious as to why a country founded upon a strong foundation of liberty had so many people that were uninterested in freedom. He soon discovered the works of the late John Taylor Gatto (former New York State Teacher of the Year) and many others who saw the madness and destructive nature of what we call schooling. That led him to a critical examination of the education system with its bloated bureaucracy, wasted money, and conflicts of interest. The next logical step was trying to reach a broader and mostly younger audience who needed to hear the truth about the false god of government schooling. Eventually, he decided to write a fictional book based on the various issues relating to school (judicial, political, historical, etc.) – the purpose being “to weave my research (and conclusions) into an interesting narrative about a teen fighting the ‘evil empire.'”


Stronghold of the Enemy contains no sex or profanity, so the book is “safe” for all readers. However, due to the sometimes dark and intense subject matter it’s best for teens and adults. It may offend certain people due to some violence and criticism of various societal practices (police accountability, forced medication of students, CPS abuses, etc.). Another reason for possible offense is that the book is written from a Charismatic Christian perspective with supernatural events that cannot be explained in any other way. If you have studied the Bible, you will know where those ideas come from. While they help propel the plot, they don’t overwhelm the story and, in fact, the protagonist starts out as a hard core materialist and agnostic. So if you don’t hold strong anti-Christian or anti-Charismatic sentiments, you will find nothing objectionable as long as you can temporarily suspend your disbelief. On the other hand, if you are a Christian who enjoys novels about spiritual warfare like Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness, you will love D.R. McFadden’s Stronghold of the Enemy.

Download Stronghold of the Enemy, FREE for a limited time only!

Here is the link to a folder that has the book in three formats (epub, mobi, pdf):

The free download will be available from 3/3/2021-3/10/2021. Once that time has expired, the link will no longer work, so get your free copy now while you can!

P.S. If you miss out on the free copy, you can buy the book for only $2.99 at the Amazon Kindle Store. Another scary book of fiction on the topic of education is The Children’s Story, by James Clavell. I highly recommend reading them both!

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