Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Speaks the Nightbird

I am new to the author, Robert McCammon, but he came highly recommended from another blog I follow so I thought it worthwhile to give him a shot.  The results?  Speaks the Nightbird will be a very strong competitor for my best-of-the-year list and now that I think about it, will probably make my best-of-all time reading list.

Yes, it's that good.

This is an historical novel set in the Carolina territory in 1699.  Mathew Corbett is a clerk to a magistrate (judge) based in Charles Town and together they travel to the village of Fount Royal where the magistrate must have a trial for a reputed witch.  Of course, the townspeople all firmly believe the witch is guilty and there is no need for a trial, and indeed, the evidence is damning.  In fact there are even eye witnesses to her devilish acts.  What follows is a rather complicated and intriguing mystery in which we watch our protagonist uncover the truth of the matter, using his keen powers of observation and deductive reasoning much like Sherlock Holmes would do.  But there is far more to this novel than the mystery for this author has mastered the arts of setting, pacing, characterization, and plot.  The book is a rather large one, coming in at 792 over-sized paperback pages, and yet it did not seem like a "long" book.  I kept wanting to read and then read some more, cutting short some of my other well-loved hobbies (and sleep) just to get more reading time in.  And thankfully, there are two more novels featuring Mathew Corbett following this one.  Delightful!

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Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

  • "The Stand" by Stephen King
  • "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

Top Books/ Series in no particular order (Lesser Known Authors)

  • "The Sculpter" by Gregory Funaro
  • "Power Down" by Ben Coes
  • "Revolution at Sea Saga" by James L. Nelson
  • "Black Rain" by Graham Brown
  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire