Monday, April 18, 2011

Review: The Betrayal of Maggie Blair by Elizabeth Laird

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Publishing Date: April 18th, 2011
ISBN: 9780547341262
Pages: 435 pgs

Summary from GoodReads:

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.

My Review:
I have to say that the cover is the thing that caught my eye with this book. It's just so beautiful; who wouldn't want to read a book with a cover like this? Anyhow, I was happy to see that I was approved to read this book from NetGalley and I couldn't wait to get right into it. I have to admit that while I was super excited to read this book at first once I started reading I found that at times the story lagged. I really love the character of Maggie Blair. She was so strong but at the same time unsure of herself in this book. She was quite endearing and always had good intuition. She was loyal to family regardless of what might happen to her as well. I thought that this book might have played a bit more on witchcraft but it was nice that the book maintained historically true. Many people during these times were killed because they were thought to be witches. In reality, they were no more a witch than you or I. Religion played a huge role in the book and this is also fitting with the time. Religion was a big debate during this time and many people were sentenced to death for not prescribing to the right religion. This kind of thing really bothers me. I feel that as long as you are staying true to yourself and living morally then who is anyone else to say that what you believe in is wrong. Isn't the fundamental basis of religion love and understanding? If that's the case then why have so many people died over the years in the name of religion? It is something that really frustrates me and while reading this book I found myself cheering on Maggie who didn't know what she believed in and refused to conform to what someone else wanted her to. As I say, while at times I found the story lagged a bit in the end I was happy with the way everything played out. I would definitley recommend that you read but I do warn you that if you are looking for this book to be paranormal and about witches you will be disappointed.

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