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Speaks the Nightbird | [Robert McCammon]

Speaks the Nightbird

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....
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Publisher's Summary

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....

Evil Unveiled

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.

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (3502 )
5 star
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4.5 (3119 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Michael Weston, MA, United States 06-20-14
    Michael Weston, MA, United States 06-20-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    333
    14
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    2
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good but long."

    Fascinating historical detail, good characters many of whom I'd like to see again, very talented narrator who can do many distinct voices well. My only complaint is that the author tends to go on too long, repeating or extending his prose when I wanted the plot to move along. Others might feel differently about that, I'll certainly try something else in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    barry Yountville, US, Canada 05-21-14
    barry Yountville, US, Canada 05-21-14 Member Since 2010

    barryology

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    81
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Delicious Guilty Pleasure Tale of the First Order"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Speaks the Nightbird to be better than the print version?

    N/A


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Wonderful characters, wicked and heroic, sympathetic and pathetic; great setting--time/place, outlandishly detailed and delightfully grisly adventures, an against all odds kind of derring do that wins the day, and so on.


    Which character – as performed by Edoardo Ballerini – was your favorite?

    Well for pure over the top, hard to beat Exodus Jerusalem, the fire breathing evangelical charlatan, a character out of Dickens for pure disgust and villainy.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Certainly Corbett's scenes with his mentor and the woman he falls in love with and sets out to save from the massive injustice facing her.


    Any additional comments?

    I have read the whole series up to now. Books 2-4 are all good, but I do not know if I would have picked them up without reading the first one, which predated the author's success with this character. Many found the length of it not to their liking, but it was precisely the length and loving detail that for me makes this book far and away the best of the series (each new installment has been progressively shorter, and suffers as a result), a book that really does stand on its own, a great, long, rollicking delight of an adventure, whether or not the author would have pursued this character (HBO--this would be a natural for you guys) with new episodes in his life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Browder Ocala, Fl USA 05-02-14
    Bill Browder Ocala, Fl USA 05-02-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    78
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    296
    114
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    6
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    "Great writing"

    This book captivated me from the start. When I recognize great writing and a great story I feel like I am using my spare time to good purpose. Set in 1699 this is an historic novel with graphic realism. Not knowing the author I did now know how the ending would work out. I now have the sequel ready to download.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay Bailey Jerusalem, Israel 05-02-14
    Jay Bailey Jerusalem, Israel 05-02-14 Member Since 2006
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just a winner, all around."
    Would you listen to Speaks the Nightbird again? Why?

    It's a mystery, so it'd be hard to be gripped with the same tension and curiosity a second time. But I hope to find more by this author and narrator.


    Which character – as performed by Edoardo Ballerini – was your favorite?

    The fact that he managed to create a voice and tone for each and every character is way more impressive than any one character. It was so real that I genuinely felt transported every time I listened, and could see the faces, expressions and movements clearly, as if I were watching a movie. I've listened to 30-40 audiobooks, and this is without a doubt in the Top 3 -- a great story, yes, but I'd follow this narrator anywhere.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The realism in the plot... the good guys don't always have it easy, the dialogue wasn't predictable, and each time it felt like it was winding down, it jump-started.


    Any additional comments?

    Historical novels are tough because you need to paint a detailed picture of a world (here,, 300 years ago) without spending too much time narrating all the "Stuff" that the reader might not know about the period. Here's it's woven in fluidly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 04-30-14
    Jennifer 04-30-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    39
    3
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    0
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    "Love Robert McCammon"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Speaks the Nightbird to be better than the print version?

    I can't compare written to audio. I often am reading two books while listening to another.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    I had read the book but it had been many years so I was very interested in what I remembered and what I forgot.


    What about Edoardo Ballerini’s performance did you like?

    I wasn't sure at first but he really grew on me.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book when I first read it (at that time it was in three different books). I really enjoyed listening to it after all this time and have continued with the other books as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Jyväskylä, Finland 04-25-14
    Lisa Jyväskylä, Finland 04-25-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
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    142
    19
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    1
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Entertaining, atmospheric mystery"

    This is not a literary historical novel with something to say about the time and society it is depicting. If you want that, read e.g. Hilary Mantel and stay away from this (unless you enjoy scoffing).

    This is entertainment fiction; an atmospheric murder mystery with elements of horror, centering around a witch trial in a colonial village. In creating its atmosphere and drama, it evokes plenty of the tropes associated with this setting in popular fiction. However, as such it is very well-written and good quality. I was pulled into the story from the first chapter through great characterization, intriguing setting and an entertaining plot. Perhaps it could have been shorter - it did drag out a bit - and it did get really lurid in places. But overall this was a good find and I recommend the series to anyone who likes gritty historical, horror/fantasy or crime *entertainment* fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    anne RICHMOND, CA, United States 04-23-14
    anne RICHMOND, CA, United States 04-23-14 Member Since 2011

    Artist, publisher/editor

    HELPFUL VOTES
    60
    ratings
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    106
    25
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    11
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Engrossing! Great story great performance."

    I kept finding things to do like going for extra long walks or washing the dishes [my husbands chore] so I could keep listening. I purchased it based entirely on the ratings not at all interested in period pieces but I was more than pleasantly surprised.

    Never heard such a great narrated performance and given the amount of characters, accents and the time period, it could have gone horribly wrong. Instead it was perfect and so believable.

    The story is an A1 murder mystery [I usually hate mysteries] set in a time when supernatural beliefs were the norm. The characters are all so complex and I miss them already. I can't say enough. One the best I've audiobooks I've listened to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Florida 04-18-14
    Amazon Customer Florida 04-18-14 Member Since 2013

    Soupie scoop

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Very entertaining"
    If you could sum up Speaks the Nightbird in three words, what would they be?

    American historical thriller


    Which character – as performed by Edoardo Ballerini – was your favorite?

    Matthew Corbett


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    this book kept me wanting to know what happens next


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the American historical suspense in this book. The way people lived and how the areas we are familiar with were formed. The book was long, but did not seem tediously so. The length make my money last longer. A good buy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheri Kennesaw, GA, United States 04-18-14
    Sheri Kennesaw, GA, United States 04-18-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    7
    6
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    0
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    "Great build up but disappoints towards the end"

    Great story and character development which appears to be building towards a complex resolution. But towards the end story become simplistic and predictable. Some extraneous material seemed irrelevant to the story. Great job by the narrator

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Toronto, ON, Canada 03-28-14
    Karen Toronto, ON, Canada 03-28-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
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    136
    20
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    1
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    "Excellent read if you are in for the long haul."
    If you could sum up Speaks the Nightbird in three words, what would they be?

    Early-American who-dun-it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The narration fits the writing style perfectly. The way modern issues are interpreted through an older set of scientific principles. I saw much of the set-up a head of time but it was still suspenseful to see how the facts would play out in this older period.


    What about Edoardo Ballerini’s performance did you like?

    The variety of voice, perfectly enunciated, especially of the protagonist. I will look for other books read by this actor.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Way too long for one sitting, but I found myself listening to it at all hours cramming into each day as much as I could.


    Any additional comments?

    For a story about witchcraft, this is told from the point-of-view of the men with power. The women get very little play except as cliches; damsel in distress, the jealous house wife, the silent waif etc. I wished they had had as much dimensions as the males.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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