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.