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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 (3384 )
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4.5 (3017 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Raymond 11-23-13
    Raymond 11-23-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating Story & Excellently Read"
    If you could sum up Speaks the Nightbird in three words, what would they be?

    Surprisingly emotional intrigue


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mathew was an unpredictable central character with frustrating and heroic qualities


    Have you listened to any of Edoardo Ballerini’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Don't know the performers name so I probably haven't listened to him before, but I'll definitely look out for him in the 'read by' target area.


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

    This had me biting my tongue in public before yelling out 'Oh come on' or 'you got to be kidding me'! I don't cry, just refuse. But there was obviously a lot of 'hay fever' about while I reading this.


    Any additional comments?

    This is such a great trip back in time into a totally different era. I baulked with the first recognition of when and where this book is set, but some raw tease and action held me until chapter 2. After that I didn't want it to stop. It is a very good story and well presented, and will probably make a great movie one day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harry 11-21-13
    Harry 11-21-13

    Say something about yourself!

    ratings
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    33
    2
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    Story
    "Captivating!! Enthralling!! A definite WINNER!!"
    Would you listen to Speaks the Nightbird again? Why?

    Very possibly. This was one of the best audio books that I have ever had the pleasure to listen to. I normally only watch movies once, read books once ect.. If there will be an exception, this will be it!!!


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

    Absolutely. The twists and turns around every corner. It also keeps one thinking as well which made it that much more enjoyable.


    What about Edoardo Ballerini’s performance did you like?

    His ability to switch from character to character with ease and also with great talent.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Things are not always as they seem.


    Any additional comments?

    I truly wished that this audio book could have continued for many many more hours. I have found that this is a series of four which I most definitely plan to listen to all starting today. As for Mr. Robert McCammon, I now have a new favorite author. An extremely talented man.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela LAKE CITY, MI, United States 11-21-13
    Angela LAKE CITY, MI, United States 11-21-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Way to slow paced and boring."
    What would have made Speaks the Nightbird better?

    I could not finish the book as I could not stand the slow pace and the lagging on and on.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jishu Navi Mumbai, India 11-21-13
    Jishu Navi Mumbai, India 11-21-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This book enters my best-of-the-year list"

    My first McCammon and I became a fan when I was not even half way through. And now that I am done with the book, I can still clearly see the entire Fount Royal, it's surroundings and all it's characters in my mind. I think this will last for a few more days.

    Narrator Edoardo Ballerini made my listening experience as if the real characters were speaking around me. His performance added a great value to an equally great historical fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol 11-21-13
    Carol 11-21-13

    I love to read but don't have much time so, listening to books has become a necessary passion. If I can't read, I'll listen and it makes mundane things like driving long distances and cleaning house bearable.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pleasantly Surprised"
    What did you love best about Speaks the Nightbird?

    I didn't realize I bought a book set in colonial America, a genre I thought would be boring but, after just a few minutes of listening, I was hooked.

    Ballerini, the narrator, does a fantastic job of keeping the characters separate and distinct without being cartoonish about the personalities.

    McCammon, the author, wrote about an era I thought I would never be able to relate to and would normally find dry and overly conservative but, his writing is witty and really brings his characters to life in a modern day way. It can be difficult to understand what our ancestors thought was so funny back then as we might think they are so naive but I laughed out loud many times and realized that humor can bridge the gap of time.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Speaks the Nightbird?

    There were many, some funny and some shocking but no spoilers here.


    What about Edoardo Ballerini’s performance did you like?

    Ballerini did a great job without being hokey as he needed to tackle several languages as well as difficult accents some obscure.


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

    Many laughs, a few moments of frustration and anger were incited.


    Any additional comments?

    Great listen all around!!!

    I have a renewed appreciation for being alive here and now!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Bernard Australia 11-09-13
    C. Bernard Australia 11-09-13

    CB

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    17
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    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting story, great narrator, but too slow"
    If you could sum up Speaks the Nightbird in three words, what would they be?

    The narrator is wonderful. His masterful voice changes kept me listening. The story has an interesting plot. However, in my opinion it took too long to unveil the plot: too much description and mental monologues that did not seem to add anything of value to the story. As a result, I found myself distracted and thinking of something completely different than the story.


    What about Edoardo Ballerini’s performance did you like?

    Masterful use of different voices, excellent diction, pleasant voice.


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

    No. It was a very long book and I listened to it while exercising and driving.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Ypsilanti, MI, United States 11-05-13
    Kimberly Ypsilanti, MI, United States 11-05-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well Done Historical Fiction"

    Looking at the length of this audiobook you will probably not be surprised that the story is slow paced. At times I was totally frustrated by the actions of the protagonist, but I'm glad I stuck it out. Overall it was a good story, with well defined characters. The narration was very well done and the writing was technically good. I will give the 2nd book a go.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alessandro Blacktown, Australia 11-04-13
    Alessandro Blacktown, Australia 11-04-13 Member Since 2015
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    "One of the best!"
    What did you love best about Speaks the Nightbird?

    Mr McCammon's expertise with descriptions and character development is among the best in my opinion. He paints the scenes like a master artist. Mr. Ballerini's interpretation of each character is masterful.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Matthew Corbett, is an interesting and developing hero, without being a super-macho character but tenacious and intelligent.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I knew I was on a good story when Matthew got his leg trapped in a skeleton's rib cage! His fight for mere survival with One-eye was heart stopping.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I hope they do a mini-series, there is too much for just one movie. Heart-stopping would be a well used but correct tag-line.


    Any additional comments?

    I am certainly going to read the rest of the series and will have to wait for the one to be published in 2014.

    One additional comment is that the books are excellent value not only because they are so entertaining but because they are long lasting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. L. Lederman 10-29-13 Member Since 2014

    leahiniowa

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A complicated, enjoyable tale"

    When I purchased the book I was unsure as to whether it would be something I would enjoy, especially as I am writing the first review of the novel. The bare bones of the story is that of a magistrate and his clerk in the year 1699, who have come to an embryonic city to judge whether a young woman is a witch. The clerk becomes interested in the way that the facts don't add up as regards her case; he also falls in love with her and tries to rescue her.

    Don't let simple descriptions of the plot deter you from listening to this audiobook. It grasps you from the very beginning of the novel and keeps your attention the entire way through. The characters are well thought out and include an iinvestor, colonists from England, servants, slaves and Native Americans.

    The main character, the clerk Matthew Corbett, is likeable even when his actions might appear to be foolish. As he works out the truth behind why a widow is named as a witch he encounters the undercurrent of the city's society. His relationships with the other characters, whether filial as regards to the magistrate, antagonistic with the town's investor, tender with Rachel (the accused with) or fearful. The twists and turns he experiences as he seeks the truth are compelling and sometimes quite surprising.

    A word about the performance: Ballerini masterfully peforms a wide variety of characters. I did find his portrayal of Rachel, the accused witch, less credible but it is a very minor complaint compared to his portrayal of every other character in the book. He characterizes a charlatan who is introduced a bit into the book brilliantly, enhancing the character's outrageous claims and offers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. R. Green Sunny Florida 10-21-13
    D. R. Green Sunny Florida 10-21-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    25
    18
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    "Take a Trip Back to 1699"

    This is a wonderful, complex tale of life in 1699 in the Carolinas. There are many characters (including some very strange ones), and many plot twists. I found myself surprised by the changes in direction of the story several times. The language of the story is beautiful, but there are some very corrupt characters and depraved events, so not a story for the faint of heart. I have read most of the author's other works and place this one at the top, along with A Boy's Life. At first I felt that the length of the book was too much, but I was sad to see it end. I now plan to read the other Matthew books. I highly recommend this title and enjoyed the narrator's voice very much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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