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)
Historical fiction that has all the trappings of a mystery novel with a little romance.
The author's sense of humor does not beat you over the head, it is subtle and clever.
Loved this story. It was well written and the narration was outstanding. I fully intend to read more of Mr. McCammon, and Mathew Corbett's adventures. While I thought the book was overlong to begin with, once into it, I couldn't imagine any part which could have been eliminated. I hope the next one is as good.
All mysteries all the time, that's what I read. I joined Audible when I started having a long commute. Now I listen everywhere!
This was an well-crafted mystery as well as being interesting as historical fiction. I really felt as if I could see how the village and environs appeared and truly felt the flavor of the times. I love the character of Matthew and how his confidence in himself grew through the investigation.
I loved the part when Matthew realizes what the Indian Chief has in the walls. I also enjoyed knowing that the evil innkeeper got what was coming to him.
Mr. Ballerini's voice and reading were perfect accompaniments for this novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I haven't checked yet, but I'm hoping this is a series character.
This would be a good work of historical fiction if not for excessive sexual fantasy, making this more a trash novel. I am not doubting that such things occurred, but the author's fixation and repetition of the most lurid details and unlikely scenarios rob this book of any historical setting. After many scenes, I felt like I'd just read a gossip session from a junior high locker room. The author could eliminate 90% of this, and more subtly infer the rest, and be left with a powerful work of historical fiction. Instead, the reader is jolted out of the plot to endure a misplaced fantasy that just doesn't fit with the time period.
The narrator does an excellent job except for one thing, and I'm not sure how to write it. His 's' pronunciation, in about a third of the book, turns into an irritating hiss. Maybe if he hydrated more before speaking it would help. This is a shame, because otherwise his performance is very good.
WW2 and Holocaust junkie - as well as a big fan of the plain old good story. I love discovering new great books.
The narrator is decant. So far he isn't my favourite but I thought he did an excellent job with the numerous different characters and such.
omg it just goes on and on and ON.... I haven't finished it yet and I have been contemplating for hours about if I even want to! The story goes from "OOOH INTERESTING" to "please get to the point" over and over again. The ups are why I've stuck it out this far. Perhaps it's just to long for me at 30 hours but there just seems to be to much lacking on a solid story line here. This book will not leave me with a book 'hang over' that's for sure. I wish I had taken some of the more negative reviews more seriously because I agree with all the lower reviews but got sucked in by all the positives... This one wasnt really worth the time I've put into listening to it though.
I'm a father of four and a husband of one. I am a big fan of The Pendergast series by Preston and Child as well as Dan Brown's Robert Langdon books. James Rollins' Sigma Force series is also one that I am always anxious to see. My favorite author of all though is easily Bill Bryson.
While listening to this excellent book, I got the feeling I was watching the early developement of an American Sherlock Holmes. Matthew Corbett is young, exeedingly clever, and tenacious to a fault. The supporting characters do a wonderful job of completeling the picture if 1699 American back country.
The plot is well paced and the resoluion is satisfying. Some of the pieces come together a bit too easily in the end; therefore the climax is a bit predictable, but not so much as to lessen the enjoyment of the listen.
The narrator gets top marks. His reading is fantastic. The next time I'm in search mode for an audiobook I've yet to enjoy, I will definitely look for some of his other readings regaurdless of the author.
An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.
"Speaks the Nightbird" is a mystery. Is Rachel really a witch, or is she being framed?
Because the story takes place in 1699, there are no modern methods of testing for fingerprints, no Internet for background checks, no telegraph or telephone ... so an investigation takes legwork and time. LOTS of time. Perhaps it is my modern world impatience with the main character's slow approach necessitated by the era, but this book was difficult for me to get through.
Audible divides this book into four parts. At the end of Part I, I thought, "This is painfully slow. I'll never get to the end." There was virtually no suspense to encourage my interest and persistence.
However, the fourth quarter made it all worthwhile. Most of the action, all of the explanations, and of course the big reveal of "who dunnit" were in this quarter.
I should also add that the main character is fabulous, and the narrator is spectacular. Almost all of the characters had British accents, so Ballerini had to create a different tone and rhythm of speech for each. Absolutely perfect.
If you like really BAD bad guys and really GOOD good guys, you will enjoy this book.
Just be patient.
I had heard of this book when it was originally published, but didn't read it at the time. When I found it on Audible I purchased it and enjoyed it more than anything I've previously purchased. I thought the performance was impeccable. After seeing it was a series I purchase them all.
I have not read the printed version of this book, but I am positive that Edoardo Ballerini gives these characters more animation and life than my unimaginative mind would have.
I am quite sure this is a new version of a "witch-trial" novel. The complexity of the plot draws you further and further into an appreciation for the types of characters that may have lived during 17th century settlements in the new world.
Edoardo Ballerini simply has the perfect voice for these characters. Every one of them is believable and the main character's voice is precisely what I would expect such a person to sound like.
Wanted to, but couldn't.
Such a good book that I also listened to the following book in the series, which is also fantastic!
Only to bad friends. I was so disappointed by this book for several reasons, the main one being that I could not warm up to the supposed hero of this story. Matthew is introduced to us and we see him as a boy or young, inexperienced man - and for the life of me it was wholly unconvincing how this feeble, thin voiced scholar would turn into a man in the course of one week(!) and even attempt a solo hike through the wilderness. Yes, he mans up and he acquires some back bone - but please! Give me substance! I was also disappointed by the story. To me it was thin and just felt like a row of forced and contrived events rather than of an unravelling of events. I have about 2 hours left, I know whodunnit, (such an anti-climax, too. I wanted to pull out my hair!!) and I do not care how it ends.
Most interesting: Glimpse into medical practices. Though I must also say that I am not sure how much I trust the author so that I will be doing some reasearch of my own into medicine of the 17th and 18th century.
Least intersting: Matthew + Rachel, unfortunately.
I had read in several reviews that it was as good as the "Outlander" books, which is one of the reasons I was interested in "Speaks the Nightbird". I don't think it was nearly as good as even my last favorite Outlander book of the series. It is also not a great comparison, I think.
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