We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Speaks the Nightbird Audiobook

Speaks the Nightbird

Regular Price:$39.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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 (4247 )
5 star
 (2043)
4 star
 (1419)
3 star
 (487)
2 star
 (154)
1 star
 (144)
Overall
4.2 (3805 )
5 star
 (1891)
4 star
 (1179)
3 star
 (456)
2 star
 (146)
1 star
 (133)
Story
4.5 (3817 )
5 star
 (2456)
4 star
 (951)
3 star
 (270)
2 star
 (69)
1 star
 (71)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    CB2 Australia 11-09-13
    CB2 Australia 11-09-13 Member Since 2016

    CB

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    1
    Overall
    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
    276
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    250
    54
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    35
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    97
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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 2016

    leahiniowa

    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    64
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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 10-21-13
    D. R. Green 10-21-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    26
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    wbc 10-16-13
    wbc 10-16-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    115
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "VERY long, but now I want to listen to the sequel!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This was a well researched exceptional piece of historical fiction. I was not sure I would stick with it, but it held my interest and I became caught up in this lengthy novel. It was, however, a dark story that made me very grateful I live in the 21st century.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There were many interesting and unusual characters. Very few of them were likable.


    What does Edoardo Ballerini bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I listened to this book because of the narrator. I enjoyed his reading of Beautiful Ruins and was anxious to hear another book with this fabulous narrator. He once again did an excellent job.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy Lawrenceville, GA, United States 10-08-13
    Wendy Lawrenceville, GA, United States 10-08-13 Member Since 2011

    To All My Favorite Narrators: You are the voices in my head...

    HELPFUL VOTES
    160
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    106
    23
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    17
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Holy Plot Nightbird!"
    Any additional comments?

    This book has been sitting in my library for over 6 months. I attempted to start the book when I first purchased it, but I found it too slow to grab my attention. My second attempt was much more successful.

    This is a book that you need to invest in a few chapters before the story really hits its stride. But once it does, oh man! Think, Sherlock Holmes set in Colonial America. I don't do plot summaries in my reviews, but I will say that its been a while since I have come across a book with such a twisting plot...it kept me guessing the entire time.

    The narrator was outstanding and very well cast for this story. He's one of my favorites!

    Credit worthy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack Enzo San Diego 09-14-13
    Jack Enzo San Diego 09-14-13 Member Since 2013

    To live, to love, to leave a legacy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Masterful Storytelling"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Speaks the Nightbird to be better than the print version?

    I do not know. I did not read the print version. Bellerani's performance was absolutely amazing so I imagine just reading it pales in comparison.


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

    So many, but I'll go with the rising tension between Sarkholm, Mathew and the Magistrate in the very beginning also noted was Mathew being hypnotized in Lancaster's doorway (very intense), oh and Lancaster's song of the rat (who can forget that).


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

    Sarkholm (Rough,Frightening and downright mean). "Fancy you wanna look at her oyster basket". Still LMAO.


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

    No. I relished sitting on my porch an hour at a time waiting for my night bird to deliver.


    Any additional comments?

    My first McCammon book. I was ecstatic to find there still four more books in the series, though I don't know how he can top the first. The characters lingers long after Bellarini uttered the last words and Fount Royal is still vivid and alive in my mind. Mr. Green, Rachcel, schucks even Bidwell still have me wondering how their lives will pay out as I'm sure Fount Royal will thrive in the future. I thought Mr. Winston's betrayal of Bidwell did not really fit into the narrative nor did Corbet's assiduity that he would be loyal in the future. AS William Blake said, "It is easier to forgive an enemy than it is a friend."

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Molly Encino, CA, United States 09-13-13
    Molly Encino, CA, United States 09-13-13 Member Since 2013

    M.A. in English. Avid reader and listener.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    108
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "captivating"

    While there are a few grisly scenes in McCammon's books I could do without, overall the whole series is excellent. It is such a pleasure to listen to a well-fleshed out plot and engaging characters while picking up quite a bit of history along the way. It is narrated beautifully, too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 09-12-13
    John 09-12-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    95
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    292
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Move over Follett, Flynn, Baldacci, Grisham"

    And yes, George Guidall as narrator.
    I have hundreds and hundreds of E-Book.
    This book is in the top three I have listened to.
    THIS IS A MUST READ.
    This book will take you back to "1659"
    I have never heard better Narration.
    Every sentence flows to the next.
    Don't miss this jewell.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.