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)
The narrator was fantastic. Each character had depth which kept this interesting until the end. Very highly recommended!
The novel is extremely slow. It is so slow that you do not get to pay attention to Rachel, the poor woman who is locked in the jail. I listened to the entire novel, but found that it was not as intriguing as other reviewers had found.
It was a boring book, except for the part where Matthew and Rachel are with the Native American tribe. I wish 75% of the story could have been about their visit with the tribe! That was an interesting and enjoyable part of the story.
It also could have been a better story if it were written as a horror novel.
Oh well, I am a little leery about reading anything else by this author.
Narrator Edoardo Ballerini did an excellent job.
A fascinating study of evil in pre-revolutionary South Carolina. Can't wait to see what Matthew Corbett does in Book Two. A slow start, but stay with it and you'll be hooked.
Exceptionally well narrated by Eduardo Ballerini.
I would not say that I was on the edge of my seat, but I was always anxious to get back to the story when I was away.
I really enjoy the accent. It really brings the story to life.
I thought this was just a very enjoyable listen. A good story and a good narrator. The book was just a tad slow to start for me, but was well worth it!
I really wanted to like it, I enjoyed Swan Song and although Speaks the Nightbird is not something I would normally read, I wanted to give it a try.
Here is my problem, the main character, Matthew Corbett is a bore, and whiny, and I just did not like him.
Some things were just too much and unnecessary.
I will say that I loved the performance, Edoardo Ballerini is fantastic, he is the only reason I kept listening.
Say something about yourself!
Trying to visualize the modern landscape of the setting
I enjoyed the book and I'm glad I got it, but I don't think I'll continue the series. It was very tedious.
Firstly I must say that I haven't been able to get past the first part. From reading many of the reviews I was under the impression that " Speaks The Nightbird" was going to be great, one of the best books of the year, and a brilliant new series to enjoy. The first chapter alone is riddled with dick jokes, unnecessarily crass, and off-putting. I kept getting pulled out of the story, and found it difficult to continue. Edoardo Ballerini, from what I have listened to, does more for this audiobook then the author.
Besides the witty banter, the emotional interplay between individuals, the biting humor, and the fantastic mystery woven by Robert McCammon, the narrator, Edoardo Ballerini, brings to life a whole cast of lively characters in the most believable way. One finds oneself plunked right down in early America of the late 17th century, authentically slogging through the grime and filth and alternatively enjoying the benefits of a gentleperson’s life. It’s impossible to choose a favorite characterization, as Ballerini so adroitly expresses personalities, but as much as I felt incessantly irritated by over-the-top preacher Exodus Jerusalem, I couldn’t help but enjoy the portrayal of him. Likewise, though Bidwell was a vociferous bully, his conversations with protagonist Matthew Corbett often elicited a chuckle. I cannot reveal here without ruining the story the most touching moment for me between Matthew and his mentor, magistrate Isaac Woodward, but it brought me to tears. Never since reading Aztec by Gary Jennings have I experienced an author so skillfully weave the graciousness with the savageness of human nature. McCammon is a new favorite, and I was thrilled to be brought to an ending that hinted at a continued story. I will also be listening to everything Ballerini has ever or will ever narrate. Bravo!
Not sure what to say really. I love listening to audio books. :)
Yes! Just to see what clues I may have missed the first time.
I've never heard of Robert McCammon before listening to this book. Nor have I ever been very interested in detective type mystery stories. So you can imagine my surprise at how much I enjoyed this book. A friend recommended it to me, and I sort of reluctantly began to listen.
The narrator is very good, he tells the story with flavor and portrays each character with depth and intelligence.
A very good read!
This book was really good, with excellent characters. I loved the way the author didn't leave any detail hanging. My only problem with the book is it got a little long in parts. I had no idea how this book was going to end and was satisfied with the ending. Overall very good book.
"A beautifully read, chilling tale."
I have always liked stories about the 17th Century, but good ones are few and far between. This is one of the good ones.
I often find that novels which are so long struggle to remain gripping throughout, so I approached this one with some trepidation. I don't like to waste my monthly credit! I should not have worried.
Ballerini's narration is superb and he has a great way of changing his voice for every single character so you know just who they are. This, coupled with McGammon's detailed and, sometimes, startling revelations which are revealed steadily throughout the novel make for an fascinating audiobook which thrills and entertains in equal measure. The thirty-odd hours have all but skipped by and, with only another four to go, I can't wait to find out what happens. I'm about to download the next novel in the series - I'm assuming this is the first in the 'Matthew Corbett' novels (Come on, Audible, make your labelling more helpful! This is not the only series poorly labelled. How about some more specific, advanced genre labels?) - because I'm looking forward to seeing in 1800 with Matthew in the colonies.
A top quality read, highly recommended.
"speaks the nightbird"
This was a very long book and took most of a month to listen to it! but was well worth it in the end. It took it's time in drawing you in and you felt you knew the characters personally. Robert McCammon has a unique insight into the way people lived and their intolerance of anything or anyone different while they were building their America. Also how religion and superstition held sway over their lives .Edouardo Ballerini., as narrator was excellent his voice leading you on and very charismatic. An excellent book. I would recommend it to anyone who has the time to listen and enjoy.
After the first couple of hours of listening I decided I was not enjoying this book, but as soon as I stopped listening to it, I needed to know what happened. I then found it compelling listening, with no hitting the fast forward button.
This is a very descriptive book, with characters I could admire, empathise with and detest, a good storyline.
"A good listen and value for money...but very long!"
I would say that this is an enjoyable listen and I didn't guess the ending at all so it did keep you guessing throughout, however I feel it was slightly too long and drawn out for me. I found myself forcing myself to listen to it during the end of the the 2nd and the 3rd sections as the pace had really slowed. Having said that the narration was fantastic and I'm glad that I stuck with it. A good story....but not necessarily a great one!
"Witch or not?"
A lawyer and his scribe arrive at a new town to mull over whether a local lady is indeed a witch.
This was a very slow moving book, but that wasn't really a problem. Ideally they could have cut out a lot of humming and hawing, but the historical background to the Spanish and English occupation of Florida was interesting.
I downloaded this after reading other reviews and was not disappointed. The story is a little slow to get going, but it soon sweeps you up and has many twists and turns to keep you guessing. I shall look out for others by this author.
"Great stuff from south of Salem."
An interesting take on the idea of the Crucible moulded into a detective novel. It's a great listen with one or two minor irritations( why the hell does our hero never tell anyone of what he has found out until the end?) However it's a well crafted novel and well appreciated.
From the very first chapter McCammon's detailed and skilled narrative transports the listener into the mud, humidity and brutal reality of life in 17th century Carolina. With witch trial hysteria, intrigue and deception thrown into the mix this is a superb novel which twists and turns it's way through to a satisfying conclusion. I can't wait to listen to the next in the series.
"Very, Very Clever"
This story is not generally my kind of subject matter, but both the author and narrator have gripped me with a very, very clever story, that is as factual and historic as it is murder, mystery.
I only really downloaded this because I was absolutely blown away by Swan Song which after 34 hours of listening, I was left wishing there were another 34 hours remaining, I was that enthralled.
I have already downloaded the next 2 instalments in the Matthew Corbett series and I cannot wait. Summed up in 1 sentence ' Robert McCammon doesn't just write, he paints images that immerse you into the very fabric of the story'.
"Speaks the Nightbird"
I really enjoyed this book. It set the stage from the beginning and kept me enthralled throughout. I felt I was right there the whole time.
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