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)
Fantasically descriptive and beautifully narrated. I loved it. Listened to it every chance I got. Looking forward to the others in the series.
Tell us about yourself!
This is one of the few times that the publisher's summary is enough to get you interested in the story without giving major spoilers. Please read it and then be prepared for every aspect of the story to be expanded.
This is a long book. Do not expect to hit the ground running and keep up a heart pounding pace for 30 hours. That being said, I never felt that it bogged down or got boring.
The background, conflict, and resolution unfold with just the correct amount of detail. Some of it is predictible, but this is not a "Salem" type story. Matthew Corbett is curious by nature, feels that an injustice has occurred, and becomes a "detective" to unravel the truth. Mind you, there were no official detectives in the 17th century and "evidence" could be easily falsified and accepted as truth. The evil comes from several sources, each with their own reason, and the town is eager to make an end of the witch business. Matthew is strongly encouraged to leave it alone by all parties. However, he persists and gets himself into trouble more than once. All of the threads are neatly tied up at the end.
Edoardo Ballerini does an excellent job of narrating. The character's voices and personalities change from person to person and in different contexts.
This is my first time listening to a book and I must say...I really enjoyed my time with the reader and author. This author leaves you wanting more at the end of each chapter. He is a master of transitions. The plot was intriguing to say the least.
Speaks the Nightbird as won we over I have purchased Robert McCammom's other books as well.
What a voice! Outstanding in every way.
I was moved by the plot and the point of justice that Matthew was moving towards.
I love audible during boring laundry duty. I seem to be drawn to fantasy most likely to get a break from reality. I love my family!
If you like tails of the old days, some emotional suspense. If you don't mind a bit of a tall tail. I think this is a very fun book that definitely captured my attention and kept me in a world far away as I did laundry and other mundane chores. I loved this one enough to get the next one.
well I just liked the action and the suspense.
I would listen to Speaks the Nightbird again because of the interesting character sketches and the way McCammon weaves in the clues leading toward the conclusion of the story.
A memorable moment is when Matthew sees the outcome of the innkeeper at the Indian camp, a very just punishment. I kept hoping for the innkeeper to "show" up again, and was not disappointed.
I look forward to more tales about Matthew and enjoyed the narration of Edoardo Ballerini. He is superb in tone and has a great ability to change voice with regard to each character...keeps the interest alive.
Well written, well read and very much enjoyed
All characters were interesting
It touched my heart.
I have come to understand the previous reviewers. This book is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it attempts to be an exploration of that era's severely repressed sexual and societal expressions, when shaped by an oppressively narrow religious doctrine on top of the deep superstitions of the time, added to prejudices springing naturally from our baser human nature--all of which we still struggle with as a species. And of course, all from the point of view of a well educated, but not privileged-by-birth, and definitely hormonal 19 year old young man. It can be a bit overwrought, especially the time spent in Matthew's head--but, since there's no one else there for him to talk to, his internal dialog (though not first person) is how we see the world he's living in. On the other hand, this is a story about an unusually self-possessed young man's journey into manhood and, it's also a mystery. There is humor and light-heartedness here and there but not a lot, until one realizes that there is some tongue-in-cheek from the author. It's not Umberto Ecco, but it's a quick, entertaining read and I've already started on the next one. As for narration, Ballerini is excellent, save for the truly sub-par Scottish accent.
Lover of history, travel, and MP3 players (to distract me from things I'd really rather not have to do)!
I'll say right up front that Matthew was just a little too smart, and the pieces fell together just a little too neatly, for my taste. However, that didn't keep me from enjoying the listen! In the end, I really did want to know how all those pieces dropped into place.
The atmosphere of a colonial town on the frontier between English, Spanish, and native America was fascinating to visualize, and Edoardo Ballerini did a fine job of creating a variety of characters who on the surface all could have sounded exactly the same. He has a smooth and soothing voice (probably leading some to say "dull") that to me creates subtle characterizations and no little bit of suspense.
In spite of this story's being rather heavy on coincidence, I enjoyed Mr. McCammon's writing well enough (and he does have a wonderful way with words) to be curious about how Matthew proceeds with his questioning and theory-generating personality into the 18th century and the big city. Give it a try!
With twists and turns galore, this is not your average murder mystery. Set in colonial (I know! Just trust me.) South Carolina, it's filled with dark, volatile characters, and plenty of intrigue, all delivered in pitch-perfect narration. On my way to purchasing the sequel as soon as I post this review.
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