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)
No. For me, the book was spoiled by excessive length, overinflated dialogue, and a great many errors of grammar, emphasis and mispronunciation.
The ending was telegraphed from early on and did not come as a surprise.
Excellent voices and accents (sorry, that was four words).
The book was tiresome in its length and while Mr. Ballerini's voices and accents were excellent, and easily distinguished one from another, the very large number of mispronounced words (even quite common words) was distracting and irritating.
I would read/listen to another book by Robert McCammon, although I did find the story very slow to start with.
This is my first foray into Robert McCammon's historical fiction. I'm still getting through the first chapters and I can't get enough! The descriptions and language are exquisite. I love the characters and the narration. It really takes me there!
What a great story. Well-written characters, good plotting, intriguing view of life in 17th century America. I chose this because I had just finished "Beautiful Ruins" (which I loved) and I liked the narrator so much I wanted to hear him read again. I was not disappointed -- Edoardo Ballerini is the best narrator I've heard! I did not want to stop listening...now I can't wait to hear the next book in the series. Matthew Corbett is a great protagonist.
You will not be sorry if you buy this book! I am so happy to see that it is the first of a series. The story and performance are top notch. For me the only bad thing is that sometimes I listen to books at night when I can't sleep. This book does not help! It is so gripping and interesting that you can't nod off at all. The characters are all well drawn, the story intriguing, and the performance among the best I have heard on Audible.
The narrator does an unbelievably great job, both gender voices. The story is so well written you can see the characters in your imagination. The story takes you back to the late 1600's when so called witches were burned at the stake. The main character does his own investigation to reveal all kinds of hidden secrets in this small town where all the people are anxious to see a woman burned at the stake. The sad part is I think this story was probably quit close to what it was like during the Salem Witch Hunts. All the innocent women burned to death but this one character has an open mind and can see beyond it all. Great story, excellent narrator.
Mathew and the Magistrate.
Laughter mixed with some sadness for the innocent victim in the book
Swan Song is another great book by the same author Robert McCammon. I am looking forward to the next in the series.
Speaks the Nightbird will probably go down as one of my favorite books. The story is different than most and certainly has many added twists and turns. The characters for the most part are very believable, however only a few of the characters are well developed. The four or five that are well developed each have fascinating quirks. I did at times have to think back to a minor character introduction to keep track of who was whom. And, the minor characters end up playing some rather large roles in the outcome.
Often with mysteries I find that I can guess the outcome about 1/3rd of the way through the book. You won't find that to be the case with Speaks the Nightbird. It's not a simple story but rather contains stories within a story.
I love the colorful art of language used throughout the book. Though, as in the case of some books, the prose does not cause one to lose the story or even veer far away.
There are many different places in this very long book where you will find it totally impossible to put down. Just as you think the mystery has been solved, a different mystery pops up its head.
For quite a long while you will want to strangle at least a third of the many vile and unlovable characters in this pseudo historical saga, but, dear reader, persist to enjoy the unravelling of a not bad detective novel.
Very near the top for period mystery stories.
Only Time Will Tell by Jeffery Archer - read by Roger Alum and Amelia Fox, due to the mastery of the narrators to separate each character into a distinct person with a unique personality.
I believe this is my first Ballerini-narrated story. Edoardo's mastery of dialects and separation of character voices helped me experience the darkness of the opening sequence of the story as though I was with the Magestrate and Mathew Corbett in the Inn facing the danger that they experienced. Truly evocative and wholly enjoyable.
Without giving away any tenets of the story, there were many points throughout the story that moved me emotially - some due to religious ignorance and intolerance, others because of personal loss that each character had to endure.
A very well written story that. while quite lengthy, covers so much ground in a way that doesn't drag along slowly. Keep a notepad handy for tracking the numerous characters and the various threads of the plot, but don't worry, each thread is part of a tightly woven fabric that comes together by the story's end.
I haven't finished listening to the whole book, but so far both the performance and the story are quite entertaining. HOWEVER, it seems there's a piece missing about 4 hours 20 minutes into Part 3. Just after Matthew leaves Bidwell at Pain's house, it seems he has a conversation with Winston that's been almost completely cut out. The narrator is saying"...[Bidwell] stood with the handkerchief pressed against his mouth..." and then abruptly Matthew is outside and Winston is saying "that's when I went to see Danforth..". I don't feel that I've wasted a credit because it seems a minor omission at this point in the story, but I am pretty disappointed with Audible's quality control. Hopefully, the rest of the story is intact.
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