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)
Not sure I was going to like this at first but then the intrigue was amazing it with interns I never did figure it out in the end it was awesome
As a fan of historical fiction, I was excited to begin this book. However, after the first few chapters, I increasingly became annoyed with the writing style. McCammon uses a lot of irrelevant details in an attempt to sound authentic. The metaphors and similes attempt to be unique but often elicit an eye roll from the reader. Descriptive passages add nothing but length to the story. For example, when describing Mathew's reaction to a comment, the narrator says: "The soup he was about to swallow had suddenly sprouted thorns and lodged in his throat."
All this further weakens an already weak plot line. McCammon tries to weave different storylines to add intrigue, but nothing seems to tie them together. The idea of the Spanish spy keeps recurring but nothing new is ever really added to the idea. It is like McCammon had several different ideas about plot twists but never fully realized any of them. Rather than paring down to a couple and spinning these fully, he kept a several half developed ones, which damages the overall plot idea.
In the attempt to create suspense, McCammon gives details but rather than building tension, the description falls short of its purpose. It again just adds length and more often than not caused me to groan and roll my eyes.
I wanted to quit listening about a third of the way through the book, but I was still interested enough to keep reading. It was mainly the narrator's performance that kept me listening. I was hoping the ending of the book would redeem it. However, that was not the case. After the climatic scene that revealed "whodunit," the book still took an hour to wrap up, dragging on in the same fashion as the rest of the book.
Speaks the Nightbird is quite possibly my new favorite book of all time. McCammon fleshes out an elegant, precise, and wholly engaging mystery set in a period of American history I normally shy away from. Matthew Corbett is a fantastic protagonist: rational, witty, doggedly determined. The stakes in this story are raised, and raised, and raised again, until the reader is all but certain that Matthew will fail.
I laughed, I cried, I shuddered with terror. I came away somehow imperceptibly but most assuredly changed as a human being.
Fantastic story line, of a time in America we rarely get a glimpse of, the prerevolutionary southern colonies. Mccammon is a master weaver of plot, with a talent for making period language both appropriately floral for the period and accessible to modern readers. The kind of book that makes one thankful that it's one of a series.
A former globetrotting surf punk turned homeowner with ecclectic tastes. Classics, horror, crime, biographies or lectures? Yes please!
Excellent book set in the late 1600’s in British colonial America, which I would categorize as an historical fiction mystery thriller. A magistrate and his clerk are sent to a small town to investigate a charge of witchcraft, and soon they encounter several undercurrents to the charges (social, economic, corrupt, racial, and generational) that presents a more complex series of facts for them to investigate. None of these facts necessarily speaks to the accused’s innocence, merely to an undercurrent that takes things beyond a straightforward witch trial. The book is multi-layered, intelligently written and not the sort of cookie cutter crime thriller format in which you can predict the end far in advance.
I highly recommend this one.
I think many people will enjoy the story. I love the historical story. The journey was slow and hard. I listened to part 1,2, and part of three. By part 4 I skipped to the last three chapters, I usually do not do that. The last few chapters were very good.
The narration was very good.
I think many people will enjoy the journey. I found it difficult. I tried several times over a year. That is why I finally tried skipping parts when I was going to give up again.
Historical or period pieces are so hard to find, so I hate to discourage someone from trying one. This was not one of my favorites. I bought this with it's sequel or..... So I will try it soon.
I am not really one to reread a book or listen so unlikely.
Mrs Nettle, her sound judge of character, and compassion.
His skill of an actor.
I never leave comments but I want to RAVE about "Speaks the Nightbird". Giving only 5 stars feels like short-changing. I'll be watching for ore books by this author. I wonder if he'm take on another advent with Matthew Corbett
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