Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Review #75: Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt

Keturah and Lord Death
by Martine Leavitt

Genre: YA Fantasy / Romance
Ages: 13 and up

"I will tell you . . . a story of magic and love, of daring and death, and one to comfort your heart. It will be the truest story I have ever told. Now listen, and tell me if it is not so."

After following a hart into the woods bordering her town, Keturah is faced with Death. Lost and hungry after following a stately hart through the forest, Keturah encounters Lord Death, who is ready to take her. Like Scheherazade, Keturah spins a story that she leaves unfinished and extracts from Lord Death a promise that if she finds her true love in a day, she can go free. Thus begins Keturah's search for her one true love and the salvation of her beloved town. But Lord Death is falling in love with her, and as the villagers begin to sense her alliance with this horrifying figure, her life twists and turns on itself.

My Review:
This book is beautiful and strange and sad. It reads like a fairytale with a young girl lost in the woods, meeting a handsome, dangerous stranger. She convinces him to let her go for a day so she can find her true love, but what if her true love is nowhere to be found?

Keturah is sweet and somewhat naive and occasionally downright foolish. She struggles for true love, not understanding that it is not something that can be won but has to be given. Through the story, she grows in wisdom and eventually learns things she thought she already knew and realizing things about the people around her that she never noticed before. Even as Keturah both prepares for and fights her death, she endeavors to protect those close to her. While looking for her own true love, she finds other's and helps them find each other. I love her selflessness.

As for the menfolk in the story, Lord Death is entirely attractive in a mildly creepy sort of way and the lord's son John is kind, caring and likable. While Lord Death offers, well, death, John offers a life as lady of the manor. Ben, the village boy who thinks he must marry the Best Cook, is simply not too bright, but friendly enough. Since Keturah is the bravest, loveliest, best cook around, all of them vying for her affections.

This story was beautifully written, dramatic and lyrical. I could see the dark forests and medieval villages as well as the multitude of diverse secondary characters who lived there. Though not a funny book, there were instances of dry wit and humor that made me smile.

There were some parts of the story that were a little weird to me. Would choosing to go with Lord Death be a form of suicide even if you didn't technically kill yourself? That is only one of the strange philosophical questions that came to mind while reading this book.

Keturah and Lord Death was an interesting read and I really enjoyed it, but I don't think it would be for everyone. It is frankly rather strange.

1 (mild) through 10 (extreme).

There is no profanity in this novel.

I give it a 1.10 for a brief, harmless scene of nudity.

I rate it a 4.10 for attempted murder, some perilous situations and, of course, quite a bit of death.

                             Lieder Madchen


  1. I also really liked this book, too! It was really unexpected and quite different from anything I'd read before. It was a book that has really stayed with me. Great review!

  2. Oh, I want this book! It sounds like a great story and I love the cover! This one is definitely going on by "to buy" list!