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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.

Critic Reviews

“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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • anne
  • Lakes Entrance Victoria Australia
  • 06-19-12

The best audio book I have listened to.

What an spectacular listening experience. This would have to be one of the best audio books I have listened to...
Great value 30hrs of listening for only 1 credit.
The narrator added another dimension to the riveting plot..beautifully written by Mccammon..
I have downloaded the next book in the series and am looking forward to another great listen.. so glad that Ballerini is again narrating.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • colleen
  • ANCHORAGE, AK, United States
  • 07-08-13

3 and a half stars

Another reviewer said this book was like Outlander. I seriously disagree with that. It was an interesting tale but nothing like Outlander. I found little difference between the depictions of the characters of the towns people, the story dragged on far too long and not always believable. Not bad, i was just expecting better.

21 of 28 people found this review helpful

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Witch Trial (plus lots more!)

STORY (historical mystery) - Speaks the Nightbird is a great book. The main plot line follows a witch trial to its conclusion. It's interesting to see how it unfolds -- the investigation, the trial and learning the beliefs/motives of those involved. There are lots of characters and lots of clues, but it's still very easy to keep things straight. Don't try to figure out the ending because you probably won't be able to.

The book has some very dark characters and some very endearing ones. The main character, Matthew, grows from a young adult to a mature one during the span of the story. I really liked the way the author addressed his relationship with the accused witch.

I considered rating the book a 5 but made deductions for three small things: (1) a few scenes make me wonder about the sexual inclinations of the author, (2) some scenes were too dark and/or gross for my taste, and (3) even though it's never, ever boring, it's bit long for my personal taste.

PERFORMANCE - Wow! Wonderful expression, timing, foreign accents, perfect portrayal of an evangelist and a character on his deathbed. I'm going to check for more books read by this talented narrator.

OVERALL - (Actual rating 4.5) I've read some harsh complaints about this book, but I found it thoroughly enjoyable and recommend it highly. There is sex, language and some gore, though, so it might not be for those who are sensitive.


7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Beyond my expectations

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Reading was one of the best I have heard. I was wrapped up in the story in no time at all

25 of 35 people found this review helpful

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  • Craig
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 11-11-14

History Encapsulated

Burn a witch? Reveal an conspiracy? History comes alive in this crisp retelling of an horrid era in Colonial history…witch trials and the intersection of faith and law.

The reason why I am recommending this audiobook has nothing to do with the story (which is phenomenal). It is a tale of one boy/man and his intellect, against a myriad of biblically-misguided Colonials who see darkness with every twist of fate. I want you to listen to this book so you understand from whence we have come as a Nation.

There are some eye-rolling moments, however, they are so infrequent that the story abides…as does our Nation. That is, America abides…even though we were at one time serious ignoramuses.

Go for it!

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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This is no ordinary book

This book is not your ordinary suspense novel. It is not anything I as a reader expected. The writing style is unique and fascinating, old and quite descriptive. And more than once I thought to run to the dictionary to look up the words used to describe the situation. And when I thought the story itself could not get darker, it did. This book transformed me to a time in history I know now I wasn’t at all familiar with. And there was one thing for sure that kept crossing my mind and that was that I became very thankful I did not have to experience this kind of life personally myself. Sometimes I can’t help but remember what it must have been like when all the material that was made like wool, cotton, linen and silk were not easily cleaned and would retain odors that totally soured the air around them. The author Robert McCammon turned into a hypnotist as he wove the book from beginning to end and I could not stop going back for more. The danger, hardship and adversity of living in the early days of this countries birth was made painfully clear and the greed and darkness of some men’s soul was laid open for all to see. This book did have a saving effect on me personally as I compared my life’s experience lot with those in the book. As a child who often suffered from strep throat, I was very thankful for the discovery of penicillin and to be living in this later time span. No movie, TV show etc., could ever capture the reality of how it must have been to actually live at this historical time of struggle and challenge. I could not feel more blessed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Hoping for Pirates and I get Witches Instead

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend this book, but only to individuals that I know their preference in stories. I enjoyed how the story was narrated, and it helped keep my interest.

What other book might you compare Speaks the Nightbird to and why?

I think it's similar to some of Baldacci's books, without the government conspiracy elements.

Which scene was your favorite?

I enjoyed the slave house scenes as well as the indian village scenes.

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

Yes.

Any additional comments?

It was good enough for me to quickly download the next in the series. It won't disappoint.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • jacques
  • otterburn park, QC, Canada
  • 07-20-13

Where to begin...

Any additional comments?

O.K. Imagine an author has a good idea for a book. He sketches it out, builds up some interesting characters and situations, and sets it in the latter part of the 17th century.
Now imagine he gives it to Mike Tyson to flesh it out.

This was a Hardy boys novel, set in colonial north America, and meant for grownup adolescents. It was not a bad book, i enjoyed most of it. But the language was clumsy, to say the least. " i shoveleth the walketh of snoweth this morningeth" Anachronisms abound. Modern slang spoken by colonists of yore. The use of words twelve letters long apparently just for the fun of using them. I sometimes got the idea the writer had a list of words on his desk that he just had to use somewhere, and fit them in where he could.

If you are not a fusspot where language is concerned, (I am, and this book made me laugh out loud more than once) and historical inaccuracies don't bother you you'll probably enjoy this. Not bad, but definitely not high culture.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Absolutely Captivating!

I don't remember the last time I enjoyed listening to a novel this much. I got drawn in as soon as the magistrate and his clerk got to Fount Royal to investigate and determine the fate of a woman accused of witchcraft. This was 1699, and it didn't take but a few loose accusations to condemn a woman to be burned at the stake. Unfortunately, mob mentality takes over too easily when there are a few people encouraging their fears.

It's not about the witch----this is a story about what happens when evil wins if good men do nothing. In this novel we have a very good man--the clerk Matthew Corbett who assists the magistrate Isaac Woodward. Is the beautiful Rachel a witch, or the target of nasty gossiping women? Or is there another reason she has become the focus for all the evil acts which threaten to bring down this new town? The author masterfully keeps us guessing until the end.

A complex story with suspects galore! Matthew in his quiet, soft spoken manner, goes about investigating on his own when the magistrate falls ill. He is steadfast in his determination, yet never lets anger or frustration interfere with his goal.

A small caution for the squeamish--there are some graphic bloody scenes and some explicit sexual language (including people and animals) -however, these types of acts probably are true to that period and as such - are not inappropriate.

- - - -and what is it about that voice of Edoardo Ballerini that makes it possible to listen for hours without ever tiring of it? Truly one of the best narrators on Audible.

Highly Recommended!

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Katherine
  • New Hartford, CT, United States
  • 05-02-13

did this guy get paid by the word????

This book was painful. I made myself listen because I had spent the money, but it was a terrible book. Seriously! It didn't help that the narrator made me want to scratch my earbuds out. Over dramatic whether he was talking about eating breakfast or running for his life - there was no difference. In this sense it was nearly comical, except that the book is so long that I nearly stopped listening countless times. REally, apart from the money spent, the only reason I kept with it was to find out what would happen with the witch.
The writing is just painfully bad. The guy is maddeningly verbose. This book is stuffed full of words that get the story no where, and make me care not ONE BIT about the characters which is one of the main criteria for judging a story - do I CARE about anybody I am hearing about. In this case, although there were plenty of people I could have cared for, by the time McCammon was done with them they were as lifeless and flavorless as yesterday's chewing gum. Dont bother.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Earthymama
  • 11-28-17

Slow start but stick with it!

I struggled at the beginning of this book, though when I took some time to concentrate I became thoroughly involved with the characters.
I really enjoyed it and am going to look for Mathews's next adventure.
The narrator was great too.

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  • ellen
  • 10-20-17

Long!!!

The story is fairly good but so, so long! It needs editing more and thinning out and then , probably, it would be a really good read/listen. If you like long yarns its worth it.

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  • sally
  • 09-23-17

Fantastic

What a book, could not put it down, the story telling was fantastic, great, great, great.

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  • Mr Steve Williams
  • 09-20-17

Fantastic

A wonderful story. Well written and difficult to put down. Excellent narration by Eduardo Ballerini. I'm feeling a little sad that it's ended.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-18-17

Outstanding

Outstanding performance from the narrator and a story to revisit. I am going listen to the next bookof this series.!

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  • Russnb
  • 08-11-17

Very long.

I enjoyed the story in all respects but one. It's just too long.
I usually listen to an Audible book for about an hour a day, but it would have taken a month to get through this one, so I had to double my listening time. The story just didn't seem to progress at my normal listening rate.

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  • Alexred
  • 07-31-17

Amazing book

Any additional comments?

I don't usually write reviews but was compelled to do so about this book. 30 hours of joy, beautifully written book brought to life by fantastic narration. Loved not only the main character but the supporting characters, and the descriptive phrasing. Normally I find long minutely descriptive text extremely boring but instead I was enthralled. I normally will listen to a book whilst I drive to and from work, and that's it, but with this I was finding ways to listen at any opportunity. I was so sad when this book came to an end that I immediately bought the next. I can not recommend these books enough, they are totally addictive.

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  • laura
  • 07-18-17

Good story

Unfortunately the 'sexy' bits were woefully funny!

Good story and well narrated . Would read others in series

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  • Kat
  • 07-16-17

Loved this story.

Great narrator. I hadn't heard or read anything by this author before, I really like the style of the prose. I would highly recommend.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-09-17

great story

i really enjoyed listening to this on the way to work. good storyline. a little long winded in places but worth sticking with