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)
Yes. I would listen to this again. The characters just come to life. I could feel, taste, smell, and hear them.
I loved the characters.
I loved the Scottish servant. She was my favorite.
I have so often been thoroughly engrossed in the beginning of a novel, investing high hopes in its potential, only to be let down by the author who seemed to lose any idea of where he or she is going (Night Film comes to mind). I hoped that this book would not break my heart this way, as I really loved it from the start. I was so happy that this book was true to the story right up to the very end. In fact, the final sentence wrapped up the final loose thread of the novel, and everything made sense. I loved this book, and was transported to a time and place in a rare way. The narrator is a marvel...I often think when I listen to a new Audible book "...now this is the best narrator I have ever heard", and then someone like Edoardo Ballerini comes along to make me forget the rest. He is spectacular. I really did not want to read a series, but I finished this book last night and will buy the next book today. It was that good. Just a great book, folks.
Say something about yourself!
Overall, it was an interesting story and kept my attention. At times though, it really felt like it was dragging; therefore, I highly recommend listening to it on 1.25x speed because it's very long and also, the narration is painfully slow. Another issue is that the writer seems to have an inordinate fixation on male genitalia, and at times, uses language that almost certainly would never have been spoken by folks in 1699. This sort of breaks the illusion of the storytelling.
I would recommend it. It was nice to see such devotion to the truth in the face of social self-righteousness.
The young clerk Matthew. He had a fairly modern take on things in a very dark time. People really believed in witchcraft. So many were killed as witches to assuage the fears of fools.
Even though it was set in a long gone world, the persecution of women by a whole town of ignorant and fearful people who overwhelming believe in their fear-based religion rather than take a look at something reality-based. I guess I felt a resonance in today's world.
Interesting story. Set in a long ago era, it was full of fairly contemporary people. the money-grabbing baron, the truth seeker, the victim of abuse, the law, the chorus of "true believers"
I love this book series and the writing style of the author. I had never heard of him before but will continue through the series and then start on some of his other titles.
Perhaps a Charles Dickens book with the complex stories, multiple characters and interesting names.
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.
Love my family...along with guitars, road bikes, cameras, and a good book!
I can't even begin to describe how much I loved this book. 30+ hours was not enough, and seemed to fly by. The language and mannerisms of the characters was perfect, to my mind and imagination, for the time period of the end of the 17th century. The author drew me into the story so quickly, and I didn't catch my breath throughout the process one time! I was kept guessing until the very end, and that is rare for me. So eloquent, and elegant in the prose and pacing of this novel. It was truly a breath of fresh air in a sea of mediocre books and stories. Will listen again soon!
This was a fresh take on a "who done it". I enjoyed the entire story line and characters. The reader is one of the very best out there and I was not disappointed by his perforamnce of this. As is so often the case with mysteries, everything seems to go along making sense, until it is time to pull it all together and people start doing things way out of character or that they just wouldn't do. This is the case with Nightbird. I kept my rating low because the book was so long. Who cares what color pants every guy in the room is wearing? Not me.
Fine art photographer, retired English professor, dog mom to an adorable Maltese mix, long-time Californian, genealogist, what else?
It actually took me three tries to get going on this book. It starts off slowly, you have no idea of who the people are, and twice I put it aside to read something else. But finally came a time when I had nothing on my iPad I hadn't read but Speaks the Nightbird, so I sighed and turned it on again.
Wow. It certainly picked up, and turned into one of those books that you feel obsessed about -- looking for reasons to drive the car, sitting in the driveway listening long after you're home, and so on. There are so many plot twists and turns, it's guaranteed to keep your attention and keep you guessing.
And the narrator is wonderful. He does the voices beautifully, including the women, which I can't say for all narrators. Others have given you information about the subject matter and details, so I'll just say, Read It. Now.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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