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Speaks the Nightbird Audiobook

Speaks the Nightbird

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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 (4947 )
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Performance
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  •  
    ROBERT 04-18-15
    ROBERT 04-18-15 Member Since 2013
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    6
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    Story
    "Astounding!!"

    I came across this title and author by chance. I am so glad I did. Absolutely compelling in every way. Mr. McCammon creates such lush and vivid prose, while carrying us back in time to know these characters; astounding. And Edoardo Ballerini brings everything to life with perfection. Mr. Ballerini is right up there with Michael Kramer as the best I have heard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonita Selden Elmhurst, Illinois USA 03-30-15
    Bonita Selden Elmhurst, Illinois USA 03-30-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Left me wanting more"

    This was my first time I have read this author. I truly enjoyed the story and writing style. I have downloaded book two. Best recommendation I can give it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    donavan moritz 03-30-15
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    8
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    "Entrancing Story"

    Not my usual style of novel but kept me entranced night after night! Great narrator, great book. Can't wait until the next book in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison Brinston, ONTARIO, Canada 03-17-15
    Alison Brinston, ONTARIO, Canada 03-17-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great book...right up until the end"

    I really wanted to like this book. It started out so well and had lots of good things going for it. There's a ton of interesting characters, a pretty good mystery (ie. you are unlikely to guess the culprit in the first twenty pages), well researched history, a plot that moves along at a fair pace. Then, at the last maybe the last fifth of the book it all fell apart for me. In general, I liked Matthew, and I appreciated that McCammon didn't fall into the anachronistic trend of having his 'good' characters assume that there are no such things as witches or witchcraft. Matthew really isn't sure if Rachel is a witch or not for a fair chunk of the book. It's the kind of book where there are lots of clues given here and there and you know perfectly well that they're clues and will be important later, but it's hard to predict how they will be useful. It seemed like it was going places. Then everything went to pieces, when Matthew leaves Fount Royal the book starts to fail. The ending was such a disappointment. It was't that the villain didn't fit the role, but there was an entire chapter of exposition on why he/she had done what he/she had done and all the tired cliched reasons. After such a carefully realistic and convoluted setup, it all wraps up so neat and tidy. I just wanted more. I suppose if the next book in the series went on sale, I might consider it, but I won't be rushing out to spend a credit on it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura L. Johnson 03-11-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Wonderful first in a series"

    If you love adventure, great storytelling, and a series, read this book. Robert McCammon gives you a tale of Matthew Corbett that you won't want to put down. So much so, that you'll want to get the rest of the series to read them continuously without interruption. Five stars all the way around, including Edoardo Ballerini's masterful narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cecilia 03-02-15
    Cecilia 03-02-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Dark and Suspenseful"

    Fantastic storytelling. I can't wait to read the 2nd book in this series. I'm a fan!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-25-15 Member Since 2011
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    90
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    Story
    "loved it. lots of twists and turns."

    The story line was awesome. lots of twist and turns. some were predictable whereas some were a complete surprise.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 02-22-15
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 02-22-15 Member Since 2010

    MTF

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too long mystery/historical fiction"

    I like mysteries, and I like historical fiction, and this novel seemed like a great combination of both, with some witchcraft thrown in. There were engaging parts of this tale of a witchcraft trial in a small southern settlement in 1699. I liked the two main characters, a magistrate and his curious, smart, and precocious clerk. My problem was that there were not 30 hours of material in this story to keep it engaging the whole time. There were times I asked myself if I liked it enough to stick with it for another 20 hours. It barely passed that test. The novel did pick up near the end, even if it descended more into true pop fiction. In short, I give this a mixed review. I did stay with the whole thing, which says a lot. Still, it could have been a lot better 20 hour novel with better editing. The slow pace, though, was in keeping with the times, and the reader was quite good.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerrilynn 02-15-15
    Jerrilynn 02-15-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb"
    Would you try another book from Robert McCammon and/or Edoardo Ballerini?

    I would try more books narrated by Edoardo Ballerini, but no to Robert McCammon. I seriously hope to avoid any more of his work.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Robert McCammon? Why or why not?

    There were rave reviews on this book, and I can see why. In the first half of the book we are introduced to well developed and exciting characters on a mission. There are mysteries to solve, a damsel in distress, bad guys galore, and common individuals that are like most real people, both good and bad.

    On the other hand, McCammon seems to have a predilection for abnormal sexual practices. For example, the descriptions of Rachel's supposed sex scenes with Satan, or the guy who prefers to have sex with his mare (yes I do mean his horse). I don't know if this was his attempt to titillate his readers, but I've seen a lot of negative responses to the sexual preoccupation of this book. I can't say I was forced into indignation, but at the same time I was repulsed. We all know there are examples of such doings, but really, is that what we signed up for when we purchased this book?

    This author does seem to have an obsession with the penis. There are many descriptions, inferences, and innuendoes that I doubt very seriously would have been in use in 1699. As a time piece the preoccupation with sex in the puritanical early America's seemed out of place and completely unnecessary.


    Did Edoardo Ballerini do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Ballerini does a stellar job at differentiating characters with tone, accent, and pauses.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Maybe, but unlikely. Not just because I wasn't crazy about the book either. I almost never watch t.v. and I manage to make it to the movies less than once a year.


    Any additional comments?

    The mystery was interesting if convoluted. The main characters were well developed and interesting. The story line, well, I've already covered enough of that to justify my rating.

    Would I recommend this book? No, not really.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcheta 02-03-15
    Marcheta 02-03-15 Member Since 2007

    love audio books - Anglophile

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unlike any other historical fiction I've ever read"

    I bought this audio over two years ago and just got around to listening to it. WOW! I love the writing, the plot(s), and the characters. To me, the mark of a good writer is that he/she can populate the story with not only good main characters, but also with great secondary characters. It is 1699 and a magistrate and his young clerk, Matthew Corbett, have been sent from Charleston to Pont Royal, south of Charleston, SC. after a previous magistrate disappears. Their purpose is to investigate and condemn a witch who is causing havoc with the struggling community.

    Edoardo Ballerini is nothing short of brilliant. I love that the colonials have English accents - the colonies were still English after all. There are a lot of characters voices, and Mr. Ballerini does justice to them all. There are also quite a few laugh out loud moments, which I greatly enjoyed. I have already listened to the other four audio books available in this series - they just get better and better - and I'm looking forward to the sixth one.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • J. PERROTT
    Surrey
    7/7/12
    Overall
    "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.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Jackie
    basildon, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "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.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    LISS, United Kingdom
    1/21/13
    Overall
    "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!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Sparks
    elham, United Kingdom
    6/18/12
    Overall
    "intriguing read"

    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.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Norwich., United Kingdom
    11/21/12
    Overall
    "Good story"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Garethman
    9/4/12
    Overall
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Aylesbury, United Kingdom
    8/2/12
    Overall
    "Utterly gripping"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Yvonne
    BrightonUnited Kingdom
    5/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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'.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Kindle Customer
    France
    7/13/12
    Overall
    "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.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • S. E. North
    Oxfordshire, UK
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Wonderful historical, mystery, thriller"

    This slowly developing, detailed and descriptive novel brings alive an historical period while weaving a web of mystery. Drawing pen portraits of a collection of frontiers people, all with an unusual history, McCammon introduces the reader to witchcraft and ignorance, murders and an underlying sense of threat. But striding through this grim and frightening landscape is the determined and morally sound Matthew Corbett, judge's clerk. The reader sees the characters and the new town through Matthew's eyes, shadowing his perseverance as he investigates the crimes being blamed on Rachel's witchcraft. Beautifully read too. I will be looking out for the other books in this series!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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