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)
I have recommended this book and the ones to follow to many people. The story is very captivating, and suspenseful. There is a lot going on at all times. Many very interesting characters, and easy to follow.
All of the plots in the books keep you very interested. The author is so descriptive, you can almost smell, feel, and hear what he's describing. There are some gory parts, which I love.
I'm hooked on Edorado Ballerini. That's how I discovered this series. I wanted to continue with books he narrated. I love how he flows from male to female, from English to Italian, and so on. He's telling you a story, not just reading a book.
This book and even more with the following books, I laughed out loud at the funny somewhat sarcastic humor from the author. I also winced and cringed at the descriptions he gave. Very realistic.
I hope there are more books in this series to follow!
The story is compelling and full of historical detail.
I wanted to keep listening to see what was going to happen next.
Mr. Ballerini has a wonderful resonance in his voice and is able to differentiate all the voices with great skill.
Too long to listen in one sitting, but the story has lots of twists and turns so definitely keeps you interested.
when Matthew's mentor dies
MR Ballerini's voice paints pictures in your mind
30 hours is a long time to listen to all in one setting, but I woodda if I couldda
I just bought books 2&3 Can't wait to listen
An avid reader of History and dabbler in a bit of epic adventure. Louisianian tried and true.
McCammon, sadly, NO. Ballerini, I'd like to hear him do something less repulsive.
I'm probably going to make some McCammonites mad, but, I couldn't make it through the second chapter. Such awful language and blatant sexual allusions. I realize there is a little of that in much literature, but I quite frankly was appalled at the free use of perverse language - and in such a small portion of the book. When did authors decide they had to be so trashy to be read? Are such boorish scenes really necessary? I read McCammon years ago and thought I remembered liking Stinger, Swan Song and Boys Life, and the others. I don't know, maybe a little age has made me realize that if you have to sink to these depths, you really don't have anything to say. I had remembered McCammon as being a wonderful wordsmith. A shame too, this had the potential to be a really good story.
Not read this book. My respect for his talent was lost in the ignominy of the narrative.
Everyone from the tavern in chapter two. That's as far as I stomach it.
Okay, a little tacky extravagance is understandable in some cases, maybe even needful for the storyline at times. But this went beyond the realm of vulgarity into the dark crevasses of surreal deviancy. If it's this low by the middle of chapter two, what pray tell can be expected by the time the final page is turned? If you've any moral propensities, avoid this one.
This is a great story and easy to follow once you recognize the narrators manner of speech;
However the sound is very poor at the end and chapter 20 is basically a lot of noise..Poor recording quality.
Other than being an extremely long story, it doesn't have dull parts or ramble. The characters are well-developed and as a historical fiction, very interesting. This would be a great book for a long trip.
While listening to this book I enjoyed it for the most part but now that I finished it, I'm not sure how I feel about it as a whole. There was never a time when I was just dying to find out what happened next or where I couldn't stop thinking about the book after I finished listening to it. The writing was very very detailed, which made for a long and slow book, but mostly it wasn't boring. The story was interesting and mysterious but I think it unfolded so slowly and in such a way that it was anticlimactic.
I'm thinking I sort of lost my taste for this book when there was a scene where a man has sex with his horse. It gave WAY too much detail (any detail was too much) and it made me nauseous! I also felt some of the things were a little unbelievable at the end based on the way the characters had been written all the way through the book. It seemed like at the end, all the unrelenting stubbornness just vanished and suddenly all were amicable.
Eduardo Ballerini is a great narrator and does multiple different voices well, but after a while his voices became grating to me, especially the women's voices. I saw that there was a sequel and I may get it one of these days but I'm not feeling super eager at the moment.
Obsessive book hoarder, and intense audible lover.
The mystery! I'm overwhelmingly a fantasy reader, but when this popped up under the daily deals sale, I figured I would try it. It was a long recording and had decent reviews.
I struck gold. This book had me guessing. I remember driving and actually saying out loud "so and so did it, obviously" and I was WRONG! That was thrilling!!
I haven't, but I'll be sure to watch for him in the future! He made characters distinct and had a fantastic cadence which made the interactions between characters seem so natural; and Robert McCammon helped too since.... You know, he wrote it!
At points I was very nervous. I thought for sure some characters were done for, and that our poor clerk could never get a break!
I recommend this book for readers who are looking for a mystery novel that will keep them guessing. I know that if I can guess whodunnit by mid novel the. I don't usually finish said novel. I listened to this one through. And honestly, I don't often do that anymore!
This audiobook is a masterpiece. McCammon painted the characters so skillfully, I could almost reach out and shake their hands. The plot grew from interesting to intriguing to riviting. I became caught up in solving the puzzle, to the point I didn't want to put the book down. The narration is excellent, I could listen to Ballerini's voice all day. I've added this series to my wish list, and I'm buying book 2 now!
Probably not. It is just too long. I normally will make an effort to finish a book, even if I have lost any real interest. I keep hoping it will improve. It was at about halfway through that I found myself wishing, hoping the end was near. Even after the mystery was solved, when the killer(s) were revealed and the problems resolved, it kept on going. I finally stopped listening, leaving another 8 or 10 chapters unheard.A really good book for me is one that moves at a good pace overall. It should have a mixture of fast and slower passages. When I begin to long for the end, I my assessment of that book begins to suffer.
I never finished it, although I felt like the ending for the story had already been established well beyond the end of the recording.
The narrator did a fine job. I did not have a preference for any particular character. Most of them were substantial, and as each was carefully and tediously defined, I felt like I understood each equally. Some behaviors or actions did not seem to fit 1699, but I can handle of literary license if used sparingly.
I would not think this book would translate well as a film. If someone tried, it would need some trimming and changes more appropriate for 1699. The story, as written, would not keep the audience engaged.
It is as if the author was determined to write a massive tome, and sacrificed the story for this goal. Perhaps the editor should have read this book with some objectivity and familiarity with life in 1699 colonial America. I think this 30 hour book could be accomplished in 15 or 20 hours easily. Too bad.
"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!
"Witch or not?"
A lawyer and his scribe arrive at a new town to mull over whether a local lady is indeed a witch.
This was a very slow moving book, but that wasn't really a problem. Ideally they could have cut out a lot of humming and hawing, but the historical background to the Spanish and English occupation of Florida was interesting.
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.
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