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Speaks the Nightbird (Matthew Corbett, Bk 1)
Speaks the Nightbird - Matthew Corbett, Bk 1 Author:Robert McCammon The Carolinas, 1699: After hearing damning testimony from the townspeople of Fount Royal, magistrate Isaac Woodward sentences the accused witch, Rachel Howarth, to death by burning. Now, Woodward's young clerk, Matthew, begins his own investigation. Piecing together the truth, he sees he has no choice but to vanquish a force more evil than w... more »itchcraft in order to exonerate a virtuous woman and free Fount Royal from the menace claiming the lives of its citizens.« less
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Wow! This was a terrific book! Solid historical detail, wonderfully flesh-and-blood characters wrapped around a mystery that keeps a reader guessing till the end. Frankly, I am shocked that this book has not been made into a mini-series or television show - it was so exciting and fun! I really enjoyed it, though I am not surprised that it was originally split into two books on account of the length. I am glad, however, that I did not have to wait at all to read the conclusion. And I am very excited to read the sequel - Matthew Corbett is a fun character!
hro reviewed Speaks the Nightbird (Matthew Corbett, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
The Carolinas, 1699. The newly founded town of Fount Royal is facing a rash of disasters - murders, arsons, failed crops, illness. In desperation, the citizens cast the blame on Rachel Howarth and accuse her of witchcraft. Magistrate Isaac Woodward and his clerk Matthew Corbett arrive to preside over the trial and to determine Rachels fate. But Matthew soon realizes there is something far more sinister than witchcraft going on in Fount Royal. He risks everything to solve the mystery.and to exonerate Rachel.
The writing quality of Speaks the Nightbird is good; in fact, it is a notch above what I would expect to find in a mainstream genre fiction book. Other than that, all the things I liked were tempered with things I disliked.
The characters are rich and well developed, with distinctive personalities and solid back stories. However, almost everyone is completely unhinged. Insanity, in one form or another, runs rampant in this book, to the point of being unbelievable.
There are extensive descriptions of everything - clothing, cuisine, weather, landscape, furniture, tools, etc. While this made for a very visual read, it grew quite tiresome, and it somehow failed to add a sense of time to the story. And there was an unnecessary amount of vulgarity and crudity, which bothered me and added to my feeling that this was a more modern story. I rarely felt that I was reading about 1699.
The plot twists become increasingly outlandish as the book progresses. And when the mystery is solved and the motive and method revealed, I was stupefied at how ludicrous it was. Pirate treasure and hypnotism? Are you kidding? I read 900+ pages for that ridiculous conclusion? I feel so cheated.