Review: Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt

9247654Title: Keturah and Lord Death

Author: Martine Leavitt

Publishing Information: November 28, 2006

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Series information: Standalone

Format: Hardcover, 216 pages

Source: Borrowed from my local library

Recommended For: Readers looking for a beautifully written and deeply romantic novel

Keturah follows a legendary hart deep into the forest, where she becomes hopelessly lost. Her strength diminishes until, finally, she realizes that death is near–and learns then that death is a young lord, melancholy and stern. Renowned for her storytelling, Keturah is able to charm Lord Death with a story and gain a reprieve–but he grants her only a day, and within that day she must find true love. Martine Leavitt offers a spellbinding story, interweaving elements of classic fantasy and romance.

There is so much to say about this absolutely beautiful novel. My thoughts while reading and upon finishing were this:


From this you can see a few things, first, I read this book in one day. Second, it is obvious that I thought that the writing was beautiful and I have since bought my own copy so that I can take notes during my inevitable re-read.

Many things happen in this story and the plot is all interwoven as Keturah spends each day talking her way out of Death’s grasp. As Keturah struggles to save those she holds dear, she begins to lose herself to Death’s embrace. Over time, Keturah learns that death is a part of life, and there cannot be one without the other. She learns what it means to truly live, and what is worth fighting for, and that sometimes life doesn’t turn out quite how you thought it would.

“The girl knew that quarrels would come because their lives were intertwined – how passionately one defends a heart that is vulnerable.”

The novel is very straight forward and reads as if it is being heard around a campfire. There are no questions or twists in the plot, and things happen as you would expect. It is the setting that really drew me in, as I was reading, I couldn’t help but think of dark forests filled with fog and hard to place noises. It was reminiscent of Sleepy Hollow in the way that it made me feel chills along my spine with the barest hint of dark shadows. 

I did have a tiny bit of confusion and frustration over the format of the book. You see, it is presented in a way that show Keturah as the teller of the tale and as the main character in the narration. Therefore, at the end of the novel, looking back on the events that befell her, the reader is presented with a moment of confusion: If Keturah is telling this tale to a group, how can it be as true as she promises? What really happened to Keturah? Additionally, I wanted more. I wanted more of Keturah, and Lord Death. As I turned the last page, I desperately wanted to know what happened to the duo. Due to it’s narration, the ending brought me up short and I couldn’t help but feel frustration and bittersweet emotion over the conclusion.

Keturah and Lord Death was written in a way that brought you along on a beautiful journey of growth, discovery, and love. It read much like 1001 Nights, leading you along, one step at a time. It has made it’s way into one of my favorite novels of all time, and I highly recommend it.

17 thoughts on “Review: Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt

  1. Very cool! What a great review. Sounds like the book is a little bit conflicted with the beauty of the writing but just confusing the way the narration is set up.
    I kind of love seeing death personified. I don’t know why but I think it’s such an interesting concept!

  2. Okay… this book sounds AWESOME. You know I’m a huge fantasy fan, especially those that are written beautifully! Will totally be checking our library to see if we have this! Great review!!!

  3. I have to admit, I’m kind of jealous you got to this one before me. 😛

    I’ve wanted to read this since reading one of Leavitt’s books last year, where I just fell in love with her writing. And knowing my love of a personification of Death? Of course this went on my list! I’m so glad to see you enjoyed it so much, enough to buy your own copy!

    • I haven’t read any of her others but I can’t wait to do so!! Obviously you will love this one for many reasons but we loves is some Death!!

  4. I actually downloaded this onto my Kindle a few months ago because it seemed to be so highly rated and of course anything about Death personified and women telling stories is going to pique my interest! Yours is the first full review I’ve read of this story, however, and it makes me more anxious to move it up on my TBR list! Sometimes what I really want is a story with beautiful prose, and this sounds like it delivers in that regard. Lovely review, and it speaks volumes to how much you loved it that you purchased a personal copy after reading it. 🙂

    • I feel like my review didn’t even do it justice, to be honest! It was all FEELINGS!!! Hahah! I did get my copy in the mail this week and I can’t wait to re-read!!

  5. OBVIOUSLY, I need to read this, like, YESTERDAY. Just those few little snippets in your review are gorgeous; I can’t imagine how they compare to the whole thing! Seriously though, I’ve had this book on my kindle for at least a year. Now I’m completely motivated to read it, because if you loved it, then I shall love it.

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