Audie Award Nominee, Fiction, 2013
Judgment of the Witch
The Carolinas, 1699: The citizens of Fount Royal believe a witch has cursed their town with inexplicable tragedies - and they demand that beautiful widow Rachel Howarth be tried and executed for witchcraft. Presiding over the trial is traveling magistrate Issac Woodward, aided by his astute young clerk, Matthew Corbett. Believing in Rachel's innocence, Matthew will soon confront the true evil at work in Fount Royal....
After hearing damning testimony, magistrate Woodward sentences the accused witch to death by burning. Desperate to exonerate the woman he has come to love, Matthew begins his own investigation among the townspeople. Piecing together the truth, he has no choice but to vanquish a force more malevolent than witchcraft in order to save his beloved Rachel - and free Fount Royal from the menace claiming innocent lives.
©2002 Robert McCammon (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
“Edoardo Ballerini performs this story of accusation and fear flawlessly. He effortlessly switches his pitch, accents, and timbre to suit the unfortunate Rachel Howarth, the endless curious Corbett, and the various determined characters, good and evil.” (AudioFile)
"a compelling story that should find a wide readership. Highly recommended for popular fiction collections." (Library Journal)
"An excellent story, full of tension and suspense.” (Stephen King)
This was one of the best narrations I have ever heard. It is hard to believe only one person narrated given the variation for the different character voices and overall consistency. He even did the female voices tastefully and believably...not corny sounding as other male narrators I have heard in the past who try too hard to sound like a female. The story was good but i felt the ending was a bit disappointing and hard to believe. (accept) after such a long journey. that's all i can say without spoiling it. I do agree the plot maintained interest up to the very end. The way it ended was just a bit disappointing...
My attention was kept the entire story. Well written historical fiction with a mystery woven throughout. I felt as if I was there due to the well described characters and scenery. The narrator was fantastic. The combination of story and narrator was perfect. The only caution is: IT IS VERY GRAPHIC in description of some sexual acts. Not at all for children or people bothered by frank and explicit language.
A good story that I couldn't believe I'd listened to for so many hours, as, they flew by due to how much I enjoyed the story and the mystery.
Variety...the spice of life! I read a variety of genres. From historical fiction, to murder mystery, to vampires and on to teen fiction.
I took a gamble on this one as I had never before read this author, and was pleasantly surprised. It is a longer book, but has a lot of depth to all the characters and occurrences within. Matthew grew up in an orphanage, but was rescued by a judge due to the boy's aura of curiosity and willingness to learn. Over the years, Matthew becomes the judge's court reporter, so to speak, but also develops bonds of family because each has lost their own. In this story, they are traveling together to a new town that has experienced murders, suspicious illnesses, and a supposed witch is in captivity. The town leader seeks to do everything in a lawful way and invites the magistrate to hold trial and place judgement. (The town members hoping for a guilty verdict meaning the witch will burn at the stake for a glorious spectacle for all to see!) There are other adventures along the way outside of the town/trial happenings and even though this book was a longer one, I found enjoyment throughout. I'm glad I stuck with the length of the book and I now am delighted to see that this is not the end of the adventures of Matthew Corbett. I enjoyed this book and will be curious to see where his next journeys take him with the rest of the series by this author. In the meantime, I'll be sure to be able to recite the Lord's Prayer should anyone ask, lest I be accused a witch and burned at the stake. Don't forget to keep your birthmarks covered as well!
Thought the storyline was well developed and told. Reminded me of. Sherlock Holmes story set in the colonies.
I find that I really loved this book. I was hesitant to buy it cause some of the reviews said it was unnecessarily long/long winded but, I think it added enough in the details to really draw me into the story and the world. I would definitely recommend this to anyone.
Robert McCammon description of the living conditions almost made me stop reading. I didn't, was I so glad. This great story about trusting in your heart what is truth or just agreeing with majority and not asking the hard questions.
I loved this book! Initially attracted to the subject matter and the hefty length, I nearly stopped listening after the first 15 minutes. Nothing seemed to be happening of interest. I like strong female protagonists and at the rate it was going, I felt we would never get to the witch.
But I became 'bewitched' by the richness of the narrator's voice and the finely drawn characters. I love a book that is like watching a movie, and this one includes vivid imagery, wonderful dialogue, and some characters who you would like to know and some you would detest. Historical details make it seem like you are actually there!
Although the author never really draws the female psychology as realistically as the male, I forgive him because I just liked the book so much.
So glad there are more books about the main character, Matthew Corbett. I hope for the same engrossing experience.
"A beautifully read, chilling tale."
I have always liked stories about the 17th Century, but good ones are few and far between. This is one of the good ones.
I often find that novels which are so long struggle to remain gripping throughout, so I approached this one with some trepidation. I don't like to waste my monthly credit! I should not have worried.
Ballerini's narration is superb and he has a great way of changing his voice for every single character so you know just who they are. This, coupled with McGammon's detailed and, sometimes, startling revelations which are revealed steadily throughout the novel make for an fascinating audiobook which thrills and entertains in equal measure. The thirty-odd hours have all but skipped by and, with only another four to go, I can't wait to find out what happens. I'm about to download the next novel in the series - I'm assuming this is the first in the 'Matthew Corbett' novels (Come on, Audible, make your labelling more helpful! This is not the only series poorly labelled. How about some more specific, advanced genre labels?) - because I'm looking forward to seeing in 1800 with Matthew in the colonies.
A top quality read, highly recommended.
"speaks the nightbird"
This was a very long book and took most of a month to listen to it! but was well worth it in the end. It took it's time in drawing you in and you felt you knew the characters personally. Robert McCammon has a unique insight into the way people lived and their intolerance of anything or anyone different while they were building their America. Also how religion and superstition held sway over their lives .Edouardo Ballerini., as narrator was excellent his voice leading you on and very charismatic. An excellent book. I would recommend it to anyone who has the time to listen and enjoy.
After the first couple of hours of listening I decided I was not enjoying this book, but as soon as I stopped listening to it, I needed to know what happened. I then found it compelling listening, with no hitting the fast forward button.
This is a very descriptive book, with characters I could admire, empathise with and detest, a good storyline.
"A good listen and value for money...but very long!"
I would say that this is an enjoyable listen and I didn't guess the ending at all so it did keep you guessing throughout, however I feel it was slightly too long and drawn out for me. I found myself forcing myself to listen to it during the end of the the 2nd and the 3rd sections as the pace had really slowed. Having said that the narration was fantastic and I'm glad that I stuck with it. A good story....but not necessarily a great one!
I downloaded this after reading other reviews and was not disappointed. The story is a little slow to get going, but it soon sweeps you up and has many twists and turns to keep you guessing. I shall look out for others by this author.
"Great stuff from south of Salem."
An interesting take on the idea of the Crucible moulded into a detective novel. It's a great listen with one or two minor irritations( why the hell does our hero never tell anyone of what he has found out until the end?) However it's a well crafted novel and well appreciated.
From the very first chapter McCammon's detailed and skilled narrative transports the listener into the mud, humidity and brutal reality of life in 17th century Carolina. With witch trial hysteria, intrigue and deception thrown into the mix this is a superb novel which twists and turns it's way through to a satisfying conclusion. I can't wait to listen to the next in the series.
"Very, Very Clever"
This story is not generally my kind of subject matter, but both the author and narrator have gripped me with a very, very clever story, that is as factual and historic as it is murder, mystery.
I only really downloaded this because I was absolutely blown away by Swan Song which after 34 hours of listening, I was left wishing there were another 34 hours remaining, I was that enthralled.
I have already downloaded the next 2 instalments in the Matthew Corbett series and I cannot wait. Summed up in 1 sentence ' Robert McCammon doesn't just write, he paints images that immerse you into the very fabric of the story'.
"Speaks the Nightbird"
I really enjoyed this book. It set the stage from the beginning and kept me enthralled throughout. I felt I was right there the whole time.
"Wonderful historical, mystery, thriller"
This slowly developing, detailed and descriptive novel brings alive an historical period while weaving a web of mystery. Drawing pen portraits of a collection of frontiers people, all with an unusual history, McCammon introduces the reader to witchcraft and ignorance, murders and an underlying sense of threat. But striding through this grim and frightening landscape is the determined and morally sound Matthew Corbett, judge's clerk. The reader sees the characters and the new town through Matthew's eyes, shadowing his perseverance as he investigates the crimes being blamed on Rachel's witchcraft. Beautifully read too. I will be looking out for the other books in this series!
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