Book Review and Giveaway: To Rescue a Witch by Lisa A. Traugott

Lisa A. Traugott
Historical Fiction / Action & Adventure / Witch Trials
Page Count: 398 pages
Publication Date: March 1, 2024
It’s 1739. An abused girl accused of witchcraft must be defended by a man married to an actual witch.
William MacLeod, a fierce Scottish lawyer with a kind heart, takes on a daunting task—rescue young Annaliese from the clutches of her tormentors in the untamed wilds of Virginia colony and deliver her safely to her aristocratic father in London. But lurking in the shadows are enemies eager to expose MacLeod’s own wife, Fiona, as a witch with a dark secret.
Their perilous journey takes an unexpected turn when their ship wrecks, and Annaliese’s haunting nightmares and unexplained Devil Marks trigger suspicion among the crew. Tension peaks when MacLeod must become Annaliese’s unwavering protector in a witch trial, where Fiona’s clairvoyance and a murder are unveiled.
To Rescue a Witch navigates themes of betrayal and redemption, in a spellbinding narrative that blends history, magic, and the unyielding resilience of the human spirit.
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Annaliese Birch is the bastard daughter of an English lord. Her mother was sent to the American colonies as an indentured servant for theft, and Annaliese was born into that same servitude. The man she called “Pa” was no father, but a harsh, abusive brute of a man, interested only in what Annaliese could do to bring in income. The trauma she suffered was horrific, and she has known little else in her young life.

William MacLeod is the Scottish barrister sent to the colonies to retrieve Annaliese at the behest of her natural father. He has no idea what this journey holds for him, and often despairs of many things along the way – that Annaliese will ever trust him, that she’ll ever learn to keep her mouth shut, that she can ever move past the damage life has inflicted to move in more polite society. But the greatest despair he will face is the accusation of witchcraft against Annaliese. He must defend a girl who is decidedly not a witch while also protecting his wife Fiona who is a witch.

Wow, Lisa Traugott gives us a compelling story here! She touches on dark topics – child abuse, slavery, rape – but she does so in a way that presents an accurate picture of the historical period in which the story is set. None of the violence and pain is gratuitous, and if you can stick with the story, it unfolds to paint a beautiful picture of reconciliation, redemption, and hope.

The story is told from multiple points of view, but Annaliese and MacLeod are the characters who have the most to show us. MacLeod isn’t always the straight-up hero of the piece. There are times he struggles to do what’s really best for Annaliese, and as he learns about her experience, he realizes he may have some things to atone for with his own son. And Annaliese. Oh, how I love her. I alternated between wanting to hug her, laugh at the wildly inappropriate things she sometimes came out with (due to lack of knowing what was expected of her, not because she was a bad kid), and heave a sigh of exasperation. She and MacLeod were similar in their stubbornness, their reluctance to open up and share their thoughts, and that particular trait nearly cost them a very high price indeed.

There are characters you will root for and characters you will loathe. There’s pain and misery and betrayal aplenty, but there’s also love of family, doing the right thing, and standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. The historical detail is spot on, and I felt like I was saying goodbye to friends when I read the last page.

If you love well-written historical fiction and a story that will have you alternately raging, laughing, holding your breath, and cheering, grab yourself a copy of To Rescue a Witch.

Keep scrolling to enter the giveaway!

Lisa A. Traugott is an award-winning author and World Championship public speaker semifinalist and spoke five lines on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She lives in Austin with her husband, two kids, and English bulldog, Bruno.

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One Response to Book Review and Giveaway: To Rescue a Witch by Lisa A. Traugott

  1. I just know that I will love this book, and your review makes me ITCH to get reading right now. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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