As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

April 7, 2011

THE BETRAYAL OF MAGGIE BLAIR by Elizabeth Laird, 2011

The Betrayal of Maggie BlairIn seventeenth-century Scotland, saying the wrong thing can lead to banishment—or worse. Accused of being a witch, sixteen-year-old Maggie Blair is sentenced to be hanged. She escapes, but instead of finding shelter with her principled, patriotic uncle, she brings disaster to his door. Betrayed by one of her own accusers, Maggie must try to save her uncle and his family from the king’s men, even if she has to risk her own life in the process. (Amazon)

Reviewed by Emily, book fiend

I wasn't too sure about this book when I requested the ARC from NetGalley, to be honest. I thought it would be just another paranormal witch book. Clearly, I didn't do my homework very well, because it wasn't just another witch book.

Maggie is unfairly accused of being a witch in her 17th century Scottish village. The horrors she must endure are enough to break one's heart. Seriously. At first, it all seems too unbelievable and too much. But then go and read some historical accounts of what accused witches went through during that time period, and you realize that perhaps Maggie got off easy.

Maggie was definitely my favorite character and her strength quickly endeared her to me. It's a hard-fought battle though, as she's something of a weakling to begin with. I love that we're able to watch her grow and come into her own.

I love the realism in this book. I'd fully expected some sort of paranormal romance, but it isn't at all. It's just plain good historical fiction. LOVE.

I love that Elizabeth Laird doesn't get bogged down in descriptions, like can happen sometimes in HF. She gives us enough to 'see' what's happening and where, and then lets our imaginations take over.

I've been wracking my brain, trying to think of something that didn't really work for me. Um. Um. Um. Okay, nada. It all worked. I seriously thought this was a beautifully written book that captured my interest and fulfilled its unspoken promises of greatness.

I would recommend it to fans of historical fiction, fans of the period, and fans of true witch trial stories.

Market: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Language: Mild
Sensuality: (Mild-referenced only
Violence: Moderate
Mature Themes: witchcraft, wrongful accusation, separation, coming of age

Book formats:

To learn more about the author, visit: Elizabeth Laird


Linda B said...

I adore your blog design. I came from Love Stitched's blog. Can you tell I love books, too?

Maybe I'll add my reads to my blog.

Please visit if you get a chance,

Amoniel said...

I love Historical fiction!!! I hope that I shall come across this book soon, I don't generally like seeking out my books. (Especially when the library's closed for refurbishing or something like that.)

Amy Finnegan {} said...

I just ordered this! It sounds really great. Thanks for the awesome review, Emily!

Anonymous said...

I ordered it too! I love good historical fiction. This was a great review, Emily.