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The Betrayal of Maggie Blair

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  • Posted May 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Surprising Historical Gem

    The Betrayal of Maggie Blair is nothing like what I would have expected it to be. It sounds like it's a paranormal book with witches and the like, but it's much more a historical take on a girl accused of being a witch and the lengths she goes to to save her own life, and later discover who she is.

    Maggie Blair starts off as being a shy, meager girl, but her growth is astounding. By the end of the book, she is far stronger and more independent than I ever would have imagined. Her journey to get there is full of ups and downs (mostly downs), yet she somehow perseveres through everything. Throughout the entire book, the religiosity of the times is ever-present. Maggie isn't a very religious person, in a very religious time. She's not sure if she even believes that God has any hand in what goes on in her life. Her beliefs are much baser, going off of her emotions and what she knows to be true.

    It's hard not to feel for Maggie, with all of her losses. Her worst times are backed by some stellar secondary characters though. Tam, a piper and an old friend of Maggie's family, turned out to be so much more than I thought he'd be. Maggie's Uncle Blair is also quite the striking man, as well. Then there's Annie, who made me want to reach back and give her a good, solid punch in the nose. If a character can incite that much feeling from me, then it's always a good thing.

    All that being sad, The Betrayal of Maggie Blair does start off very slow. The elegant language held me long enough though, and once things started happening with Maggie and her Granny, I couldn't turn away. The story lulls quite a bit in the middle as well, but Maggie's story is one to stick with.

    The Betrayal of Maggie Blair is based in part on the author's own seventeenth century Scottish family. Elizabeth Laird has been able to create the character of Maggie and give her this vivacious family that jumps off the pages. While I expected more paranormal, this almost fact-based tale of a girl making her way in a world that doesn't exactly accept her, surprised me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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  • Posted April 5, 2011

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    Great book!

    One thing I dislike, is the ignorance people have when it comes to the bible. People think that just because they think they know it, they know whats best for everyone. The Betrayal of Maggie Blair is just that. Religious people ignorant in what they read that they killed, hurt, accused innocent people, women mostly of being witches. And whats worse is those church going people who put everyone down using the bible are worse then everyone else.

    This story is very touching but also hurtful to read. As the reader follows Maggie, we see and feel every emotion that she goes through. Hurt, rage, sadness, fear. I wanted so badly to slap all those stupid people for being dumb. And whats ironic is that those people who accused Maggie weren't perfect either. They were hiding their sins thinking that they can hide from God using his words against him. And boy did the truth ever did come out.

    The plot is breath-taking. Every turn of the page lead me to more and more anger as I see the betrayal of Maggie grow and grow. Ms Laird wrote a fantastic book that showcased every little detail in the witch trials. I was literally holding my every waking breathe hoping for the best for Maggie. It just seems that nothing let up for her.

    Now, while most witches trials all lead to a guilty verdict, I was glad that there is that one and rare good ending for some girls who were accused. It wasn't the best ending. Maggie went through so much that nothing that those people say or do now could ever take back what they did to her. I am glad that Maggie had some kind of good outcome for her. Her strength amazed me. AMAZED ME! She held her head up high and did not stand for what those people did.

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Oh, Elizabeth, your justice would freeze beer!

    What a remarkable historical piece! The Betrayal Of Maggie Blair weaves an incredible story, rich in history and characters, sure to enchant you to turn the pages faster to find the hard truths of witchcraft and heresy. At first, I could not make head or tails of Maggie Blair. Did I like her? Did I find her too naive and easily swayed by charismatic preachers? Will she be hanged or burnt on the false accusations of witchcraft? As these questions churned in my head, I followed Maggie's plight and found myself slowly falling in love with this book! Elizabeth Laird really throws everything plus the kitchen sink into Maggie's story and gives us insights into what it might have been liked back then when religion played a big part in people's lives - and witchcraft and heresy were starting to cause panic. All the characters in The Betrayal Of Maggie Blair gave the story much flavor. The villains, the heroes, the romantics, the devout, the liars, the betrayed, the power-hungry - it was hard to let everyone go at the end. Each had a role to play in this drama, and they played it extremely well. No one was a cookie-cutter character, having both qualities to redeem and damn them. Even the villains tugged at my sympathies, although they certainly deserved their unfortunate end as time went on. If you enjoyed The Witch Of Blackbird Pond, The Crucible, or falling into the time period where they chased after witches, I trust you will find The Betrayal Of Maggie Blair just as magical!

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