It's nine years after the Salem witch trials

Speaks the Nightbird - Robert R. McCammon

. . . And history is repeating itself in North Carolina.  Rachel is accused of witchcraft, and Michael has been summoned to the town along with the magistrate, to pass judgement and sentencing.  Everyone who looks at Rachel sees a witch.  Michael sees something else.  


Rachel’s intelligence and inner fire were also appealing to Matthew, as he’d never met a woman of such nature before. Or, at least, he’d never met a woman before who had allowed those characteristics of intelligence and fire to be seen in public. It was profoundly troubling to believe that just possibly Rachel’s beauty and independent nature were two reasons she’d been singled out by public opinion as a witch. It seemed to him, in his observations, that if one could not catch and conquer an object of desire, it often served the same to destroy it.