Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Review of The Betrayal of Maggie Blair by Elizabeth Laird

Book:  The Betrayal of Maggie Blair
Author:  Elizabeth Laird
Published by:  Houghton Mifflin Books
Pages:  435
Available:  April 18th, 2011

From GoodreadsIn 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.

Maggie is a young girl who lives with her old, haggard grandmother who is quite outspoken and set in her ways.  When Maggie's grandmother upsets some of the villagers she gets accused of being a witch and unwillingly drags Maggie into the horror of it all.  Maggie escapes with the help of an old friend that gets her safely to her uncles house.  Once again tragedy upsets Maggie's life and she feels the need to set things right.

When I first heard about this novel I assumed it would concentrate on Maggie being accused of being of a witch.  I thought I'd be reading about charms and natural remedies that people often mistook for witchcraft.  Instead, most of this novel revolves around the religious battles that occurred in 17th century Scotland.

This was a wonderfully written depiction of the struggles between church and state.  It's historical accuracy is one of my favorite features.  I loved that fact that I was reading about true events and the lives of the author's ancestors.  This fact made the characters come to life for me and appreciate their stances that much more.

This action-packed, page flipping novel had a new conflict around every corner.  Once one conflict was resolved another popped into place.  Full of deceit, cunning strategy and religious zeal this is a novel is a must read.

I give this novel ★★★★

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this novel from the publishers and NetGalley with no compensation.  This did not affect my opinion or review of the novel in any way.  


  1. Thanks for the review Lisa !! I definitely want to read this one now !!

  2. Great Review! I agree, I was expecting witches and stuff, but still a very enjoyable read!

  3. Historical accuracy is important to me too. That this story is tied to the author's ancestors is pretty amazing. Who wouldn't want to read a story like that.

    You have definitely made me more than excited to try this one Lisa. It seems to be full of suspense.

  4. I love when a historical fiction novel has some base in accuracy. Great!


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