Siobian's Reviews > The Betrayal of Maggie Blair

The Betrayal of Maggie Blair by Elizabeth Laird
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's review
May 30, 11

bookshelves: review-copy, historical-fiction, kindle, read-in-2011, young-adult
Read from May 27 to 29, 2011

Sixteen-year-old Maggie Blair lives with her grandmother in seventeenth centry Scotland and is just trying to get by. They don't have much money and Maggie is actually pretty afraid of her Granny, Elspeth, but she isn't the only one. The townspeople already fear Elspeth and whisper that she is a witch because she and Maggie never attend church (an act that was considered a crime and punishable by law) and because Elspeth has been known to use herbs and chants to heal. When the Macbean family shuns Maggie and Elspeth, Elspeth's temper is unleashed and she announces that the newest Macbean baby will soon die. When the baby dies a few weeks later, Elspeth and Maggie are arrested for witchcraft and after a quick trial where numerous townspeople bring false evidence against them, they are sentenced to death by hanging. With the help of a family friend, Maggie escapes and locates her Uncle Blair and his family who are Covenanters who believe that the King of Scotland is trying to take over the church and they must defy his rule. Although she doesn't share their beliefs, Maggie takes her place within the family and begins to think that she can settle down and live a happy life. However, just as she is getting comfortable, one of her accusers appears and brings trouble with her.

First, I want to say how beautiful I think the cover of this book is! I am often swayed by a gorgeous cover and then disappointed if the book doesn't quite stand up to the expectations set by the cover art. Luckily, I wasn't disappointed with this story. Maggie is a very likable character and though she is a bit of a pushover at the start, she soon comes into her own and shows a lot of courage to face the obstacles thrown in her way. The villain, Annie, was despicable enough that I shuddered when she made her way to the Blair farm and I hoped she met a terrible fate at the end of the book. I was unfamiliar with the history with the Covenanters but this book provides a lot of history and detail surrounding them so I didn't feel lost because of my lack of knowledge. The story moved very smoothly and there were many times I refused to stop reading (although I really needed to) because I wanted to see what would happen to Maggie next. I thought this was a great, quick read.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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