Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Betrayal of Maggie Blair by Elizabeth Laird

The Betrayal of Maggie Blair by Elizabeth Laird
Release date: April 18, 2011
Published by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Received from: Netgalley
Reviewed by: Sis-in-law Sarah

Summary from

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.

It's been so long since I've read a historical fiction novel that I found this very refreshing in the paranormal dominant YA fiction world.  This book is very different from the usual fiction out there...and I LOVE that!

Here's a couple of things I really loved about this book:

-The story is set in Scotland in the 1600s. Oh. My. Gosh. Who doesn't wish that they could live in Scotland?!?! I felt like I not only journeyed back in time, I journeyed to gorgeous Scotland where the waters are crystal blue and the highlands make your spirit soar! I have to admit...seeing that it was set in Scotland is what made me WANT to read this book.

-This book should be called the Many Adventures of Maggie Blair.  Seriously, this girl does more in her 16th year than most people do in a lifetime.  The witch trials the above summary talks about...that's first 1/3 of the book.  Just a little sneak peak of other things she encounters (I don't think this will give anything too important away):  crazy close to death encounters, crazy religious persecution, and crazy thank-God-they-don't-have-these-where-I-live prisons.

-There's no love story. I know what you're thinking..."WHAT?!?!" How can this BE?!?!" I know...I kept waiting for whole book.  However, it was so refreshing to see a young heroine triumph over all these super-intense things WITHOUT the confusion of a boy in the mixture. Let's face it...being 16 is hard enough without throwing boys in the mixture. It was kinda fun to see Maggie succeed without one. And that's coming from a believe me...even without the romance, it's still REALLY good.

-Great seriously. Laird has an amazing way of sweeping you into the story in an easy-to-read yet still descriptive way.  Sometimes, I believed I could really hear Tam's bagpipes singing.  I really enjoyed her style.  There was zero cheesiness. Definitely a fan.

-Maggie's story is based on one from Laird's ancestors.  How cool is that?!?! The whole time I kept wondering if MY ancestors had some of these things happen to them...seeing as I have family from Scotland...all to find out at the end that that's what inspired Elizabeth Laird to write this story.  To me...that makes this book crazy cool.  Stuff like this actually happened!

So thanks, Elizabeth Laird, for this awesome book! I really enjoyed it!