The witching hour by Elizabeth Laird

Publishers’ blurb

Everyone knows the devil is real.

Everyone knows that witches exist.

Everyone knows that saying the wrong thing can get you hanged . . .

When fourteen-year-old Maggie’s grandmother is accused of witchcraft, Maggie has to run for her life. But Scotland is in the grip of terror and Maggie runs straight into danger, falling into the hands of the English. Defying the king can be deadly, but falling in line is unthinkable.

Maggie must learn to stand up for herself if she is to survive . . .

Further information

Elizabeth Laird’s website

Elizabeth Laird at Scottish Booktrust

Elizabeth Laird page at Lovereading4kids


7 comments on “The witching hour by Elizabeth Laird

  1. A slightly compelling, progressively thrilling book about witchcraft in 17th Century Scotland. Elizabeth Laird has clearly done lots of research and it is a good read however, for me, not a page-turning one. I liked the character of Maggie and how instantly likable she is and how instantly we become connected with her. “The Witching Hour” did, however, take me some time to work through, as I could never really get into it, but I enjoyed it overall and would feel indifferently if it were on the shortlist.


  2. Another historical novel from the longlist, this time with a theme of witchcraft and prejudice. I thought it was quite an exciting read following Maggie’s trials in escaping her pursuers, who would hang her as a witch and then atttempting to foil the English dragoons who would capture and imprison the Covenanters she finds refuge with on the mainland.

  3. An intriguing novel for teens looking at 17th century Scotland, a time in which a group of Presbyterians “Covenanters” resisted the supremacy of King Charles II of England. Themes of religious divide, betrayal and survival charge through the novel, which is a delicious page turner.

    The young protagonist, Maggie, is written with such depth of character that it makes you genuinely concerned for her fate. As she escapes from persecution for witchcraft, followng the execution of her grandmother for the same “crime”, she is then forced to evade the English soldiers who are now closing in on the Covenanters for their disloyalty to the King.

    Elizabeth Laird is a delightful story teller and her books are well researched. She brings history to teenagers by crafting sympathetic characters, which shows tremendous skill considering the setting of the novel.

  4. I’m reading The Witching Hour by Elizabeth Laird. It’s a really intersesting book, i’m already at page 208(chapter 15). I really enjoy the way the author describes scenes and people. The book is about a young girl, Maggie and her old grandmother. Her grandmother is the spite of their fellow islanders on the Isle of Bute. They islanders accuse the two of being witches, and in 17th century Scotland that could be fatal. Im really looking forward to progressing through the rest of the book and seeing how things turn out for the pair.

  5. I’m finding it hard to get into the book but I am intrigued about the witchcraft and the character of Maggie’s Gran. Although this is not the type of book i would usually choose I want to read on to find out what happens 😀

  6. So far I feel the book is really good. It is involving a little bit of history with fiction which creates an amazing vibe off the story. I like the whole witches story line which is continued throughout the book through the main characters even if they aren’t involved in the main subject but in someway are related through maybe other characters or objects.

    The book has an accurate historical sense to it which also makes it have a very authentic feeling. I hope that I carry on enjoying the theme because it is a subject which I am very interested in.

  7. In my opinion i dont feel ‘The Witching Hour’ by Elizabeth Laird met my expectations. It took me a while to get into the book and the beginning was rather boring but it got better as i read on. The book is not the type of book i would usally read so i think that is why i didnt enjoy it.
    I expected it to be really imaginative all about spells and curses and all the stereotypical things about witches but it felt like it was more about fact and what would happen a long time ago if you were a witch.
    I feel like the story lines were not thought through enough and bits were rushed so didn’t make much sense. After a while of reading this book i got bored of it and wanted to finish it as fast as i could so i didnt pay much attention to part of it.

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