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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)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Beth
  • Salem, OR, United States
  • 03-05-14

interesting

Not my usual genre for reading, however, I thought I would check it out, very interesting and entertaining, good performance, purchased the next two in the series as well. Strangely enough the last 3.5 hours were blotted out and I was unable to listen to them on my Ipod only online.

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Engrossing story; amazing performance!

Would you listen to Speaks the Nightbird again? Why?

Halfway through this book I bought the next three Matthew Corbett books! I thoroughly enjoyed them all. The performance by Edoardo Ballerini is phenomenal!

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  • debra
  • BEL AIR, MD, United States
  • 02-25-14

Excellent... True Sherlock/Watson spin mystery

I couldnt put this one down.. The dialog, period banter was amazing. I was waking up with a new accent...Narration was spot on, sucked you right into the time and story with ease.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Very Adventuristic

What made the experience of listening to Speaks the Nightbird the most enjoyable?

This book had many facets of intrique, there was a mystery around every corner a lot of suspense and romance to boot<br/>

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The plot always kept me on the edge of my seat, not knowing where the story would take you next.

Have you listened to any of Edoardo Ballerini’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is the first of any Edoardo Ballerini"s performances, but if this is an example of his future presentations yes I would gladly listen to more <br/>

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

it follows what makes any good book a good listen, it brought out most every emotion.

Any additional comments?

must listen

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Sucks you in....

If you could sum up Speaks the Nightbird in three words, what would they be?

history, witch trails and greed

What was one of the most memorable moments of Speaks the Nightbird?

The moment when Matthew discovered the secret - won't say more so I don't spoil it for someone else.

What about Edoardo Ballerini’s performance did you like?

I loved the accent as it was perfect for the story. It was told as a gentleman of the times, polite, even at the not so polite parts.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I couldn't stop listing. The story builds up very slowly and have surprising twist and turns.

  • Overall
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Awesome narration, great story

I don't usually tackle 18+ hour audiobooks except on special occasions. A recommended this book, but told me nothing about it. I downloaded it and started listening without knowing anything that it was about. I felt the writing was very good. I like the characters. The narrator was perfect. You can always tell a good narrator by how they handle the voices of the opposite sex. I don't think I was bored at any part of this book, nor did I mind going the distance with it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anders
  • Handen, Sweden
  • 02-04-14

Swept away by the colourful language

What does Edoardo Ballerini bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narrator did an excellent job of voicing the different characters. Each character had his and her own lives, so artfully pictured by McCammon, and the narrator capitalised on it.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The moment of intense affection, when a youthful boy experiences the depth of emotions, I realised just how brilliant the author is. It is something that is present throughout the book, but at that moment - I knew I have not experienced anything as visual and abstract at the same time.

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  • Andrew
  • Wesport, CT, United States
  • 02-01-14

Great, Great, Great

This is a must read, happy to find another historical fiction novel of quality, the characters were well developed and likable, the story was engaging. Also the background history of the time was illuminating. You won't be disappointed or be able to put this one down.

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  • elaine
  • United States
  • 01-29-14

Fantastic EVERYTHING

I enjoyed this book so much.
The narration was OUTSTANDING! Among the very best narration I've ever listened to.
The story included so many interesting pieces- 1690's law, justice, medicine, prejudices, fears, fashion, housekeeping, cooking, city development... I really could feel the world back then!
At just over 30 hours, it's a bit of an undertaking but I loved it!

  • Overall
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  • Story

Great Book Fabulous Narration

A lot of this review is just my thoughts while listening to the book…

This book was so hard to put down between the great story and fabulous narration by Edoardo Ballerini I wanted the world to go away so I just listen without interruptions.

From English gentleman, to slaves, to women, to Indian Chiefs and everything in between Edoardo Ballerini is so absolutely amazing! Ballerini has earned a spot in my favorite narrators list his narration of this book was absolutely amazing. I will listen to anything he narrates!

There were times this book made my blood boil , these sickening men the way they treated and talked to Rachel and she just had to take it but I loved that the author let us know that our champion Matthew was feeling the same way right along with me! Matthew is so far ahead of his time and has his own mind and doesn’t go along with the hive mind thinking of this witch hunt. I have all these feelings about Rachel’s innocence but when she asks Matthew to hold her hand my mind says, but, but what if she is evil?!!? Great writing plus the hesitation the narrator (Ballerini) puts into Matthews’s voice had me on the edge of my seat. Matthew getting the whipping just broke my heart and made me sick to my stomach but it was an amazing scene.

I can’t stand this Reverend Jerusalem the minute I hear his voice the hair on the back of neck stands up if she really is a witch she should smite him! And Bidwell too he is such an ass!

There are times I feel so bad for Rachel it makes me want to cry and I am not sure I would have such strong emotions without the fantastic narration.

I was a bit shocked by a certain scene with a horse.

I don’t know why this has been shelved in horror because as usual the demons and devils are just good old human beings. This book is not paranormal, fantasy or horror it is just a good old fashioned mystery.

This was a long story (31 hours on audio) but it kept me rapt the entire time it never bogged down and I enjoyed every word. This was such an interesting look at life at the end of the 1600’s, the superstitions that ruled people’s hearts and the recent fever deaths that still remain in people’s memory. I will definitely continue to listen to this series especially since Edoardo Ballerini narrates them all!

I truly enjoyed this book and look forward to more from this author and narrator.

4 Stars
5 star Narration