Sunday, January 16, 2011

Book Review ~ The Betrayal of Maggie Blair

The Betrayal of Maggie Blair
By Elizabeth Laird
Published By Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date 4/18/2011
Received via netGalley for review

Summary (netGalley):In 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. 

Originally published in the UK, this book has a powerful blend of heart-stopping action and thought-provoking themes.

Dislikes: This book wasn't what I was expecting after reading the description. I was thinking more along paranormal lines to lead to the accusation of witchcraft. Instead this book is more about the religious struggles in 17th century Scotland, Church vs. State. While this did not detract from the book, I did have to switch gears while reading. The main problem I had with this book, even though it is about religious persecution, it was over done and preachy at times. There were a lot of scriptures and psalms as part of the dialog and I felt there were times that the author could have just stated that they started singing a song instead of giving us three paragraphs of the psalm. I also felt Annie was a little over used in the story.  It would have been more enjoyable to me if there had been more than one person that seemed to be causing all the problems throughout the book.

Likes: Even without the paranormal, I still found it to be an interesting read. I always enjoy historicals set in Scotland and Ireland and this was no exception. Maggie was a great lead character. She had such a  naivety of the world around her and yet still had a strong sense of loyalty to those that she loved and what she felt was right. I also liked how even though there were times along her journey were there was a possibility of a romance, that could have solved all of her problems, the author chose not to go that route and instead let Maggie find herself throughout the book. 

Overall: Even though it won't be what a lot of people are expecting, it is still a well written, interesting read. Maggie's journey, from being forced to flee the only home she has ever know to trying to rescue the only family she has left, was a heartbreaking and yet uplifting story right up to the very end. 

Rating: 3.5


  1. ugh, I hate books with scripture all over the place. Did this get labelled christian fic?

    Sniffly Kitty
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  2. This is what it shows on netGalley:Action & Adventure (incl. Interactive Adventures): Action & Adventure
    FICTION - JUVENILE: Family & Everyday Life: Social Issues
    FICTION - JUVENILE: Gender-Specific: Girls & Women
    FICTION - JUVENILE: People & Places (incl. Royalty): People & Places
    FICTION - JUVENILE: Religious, Visionary & Metaphysical: Religious
    But if you just look at the book description it is easy to miss