When I purchased the book I was unsure as to whether it would be something I would enjoy, especially as I am writing the first review of the novel. The bare bones of the story is that of a magistrate and his clerk in the year 1699, who have come to an embryonic city to judge whether a young woman is a witch. The clerk becomes interested in the way that the facts don't add up as regards her case; he also falls in love with her and tries to rescue her.
Don't let simple descriptions of the plot deter you from listening to this audiobook. It grasps you from the very beginning of the novel and keeps your attention the entire way through. The characters are well thought out and include an iinvestor, colonists from England, servants, slaves and Native Americans.
The main character, the clerk Matthew Corbett, is likeable even when his actions might appear to be foolish. As he works out the truth behind why a widow is named as a witch he encounters the undercurrent of the city's society. His relationships with the other characters, whether filial as regards to the magistrate, antagonistic with the town's investor, tender with Rachel (the accused with) or fearful. The twists and turns he experiences as he seeks the truth are compelling and sometimes quite surprising.
A word about the performance: Ballerini masterfully peforms a wide variety of characters. I did find his portrayal of Rachel, the accused witch, less credible but it is a very minor complaint compared to his portrayal of every other character in the book. He characterizes a charlatan who is introduced a bit into the book brilliantly, enhancing the character's outrageous claims and offers.
This is a wonderful, complex tale of life in 1699 in the Carolinas. There are many characters (including some very strange ones), and many plot twists. I found myself surprised by the changes in direction of the story several times. The language of the story is beautiful, but there are some very corrupt characters and depraved events, so not a story for the faint of heart. I have read most of the author's other works and place this one at the top, along with A Boy's Life. At first I felt that the length of the book was too much, but I was sad to see it end. I now plan to read the other Matthew books. I highly recommend this title and enjoyed the narrator's voice very much.
This was a well researched exceptional piece of historical fiction. I was not sure I would stick with it, but it held my interest and I became caught up in this lengthy novel. It was, however, a dark story that made me very grateful I live in the 21st century.
There were many interesting and unusual characters. Very few of them were likable.
I listened to this book because of the narrator. I enjoyed his reading of Beautiful Ruins and was anxious to hear another book with this fabulous narrator. He once again did an excellent job.
To All My Favorite Narrators: You are the voices in my head...
This book has been sitting in my library for over 6 months. I attempted to start the book when I first purchased it, but I found it too slow to grab my attention. My second attempt was much more successful.
This is a book that you need to invest in a few chapters before the story really hits its stride. But once it does, oh man! Think, Sherlock Holmes set in Colonial America. I don't do plot summaries in my reviews, but I will say that its been a while since I have come across a book with such a twisting plot...it kept me guessing the entire time.
The narrator was outstanding and very well cast for this story. He's one of my favorites!
To live, to love, to leave a legacy.
I do not know. I did not read the print version. Bellerani's performance was absolutely amazing so I imagine just reading it pales in comparison.
So many, but I'll go with the rising tension between Sarkholm, Mathew and the Magistrate in the very beginning also noted was Mathew being hypnotized in Lancaster's doorway (very intense), oh and Lancaster's song of the rat (who can forget that).
Sarkholm (Rough,Frightening and downright mean). "Fancy you wanna look at her oyster basket". Still LMAO.
No. I relished sitting on my porch an hour at a time waiting for my night bird to deliver.
My first McCammon book. I was ecstatic to find there still four more books in the series, though I don't know how he can top the first. The characters lingers long after Bellarini uttered the last words and Fount Royal is still vivid and alive in my mind. Mr. Green, Rachcel, schucks even Bidwell still have me wondering how their lives will pay out as I'm sure Fount Royal will thrive in the future. I thought Mr. Winston's betrayal of Bidwell did not really fit into the narrative nor did Corbet's assiduity that he would be loyal in the future. AS William Blake said, "It is easier to forgive an enemy than it is a friend."
M.A. in English. Avid reader and listener.
While there are a few grisly scenes in McCammon's books I could do without, overall the whole series is excellent. It is such a pleasure to listen to a well-fleshed out plot and engaging characters while picking up quite a bit of history along the way. It is narrated beautifully, too.
And yes, George Guidall as narrator.
I have hundreds and hundreds of E-Book.
This book is in the top three I have listened to.
THIS IS A MUST READ.
This book will take you back to "1659"
I have never heard better Narration.
Every sentence flows to the next.
Don't miss this jewell.
The narrator was fantastic. Each character had depth which kept this interesting until the end. Very highly recommended!
The novel is extremely slow. It is so slow that you do not get to pay attention to Rachel, the poor woman who is locked in the jail. I listened to the entire novel, but found that it was not as intriguing as other reviewers had found.
It was a boring book, except for the part where Matthew and Rachel are with the Native American tribe. I wish 75% of the story could have been about their visit with the tribe! That was an interesting and enjoyable part of the story.
It also could have been a better story if it were written as a horror novel.
Oh well, I am a little leery about reading anything else by this author.
Narrator Edoardo Ballerini did an excellent job.
A fascinating study of evil in pre-revolutionary South Carolina. Can't wait to see what Matthew Corbett does in Book Two. A slow start, but stay with it and you'll be hooked.
Exceptionally well narrated by Eduardo Ballerini.