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Keturah and Lord Death

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,982 Ratings  ·  1,526 Reviews
Martine Leavitt offers a spellbinding story, interweaving elements of classic fantasy and high romance in this National Book Award Finalist. Keturah follows a legendary hart into the king's forest, where she becomes hopelessly lost. Her strength diminishes until, finally, she realizes that death is near. Little does she know that he is a young, handsome lord, melancholy an ...more
Paperback, 198 pages
Published 2006 by Red Deer Press
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Rishiwizzz (OutlawQueen Shipper) I don't think that Lord Death works with other reapers because he IS the one and only Death. But I would like to know a little bit of a backstory from…moreI don't think that Lord Death works with other reapers because he IS the one and only Death. But I would like to know a little bit of a backstory from him, but that's what makes him mysterious and perfect for Keturah. As he is Death, he's been living eternally around our world for a very long time.
I totally agree with you for the last bit.(less)
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2009 ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
31st out of 95 books — 72 voters
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Canadian YA
163rd out of 207 books — 69 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Emily May
“There is no hell, John Temsland. Each man, when he dies, sees the landscape of his own soul.”

This book kind of stomped all over my heart. Not because of the love story, which I don't consider a spoiler because anyone with a brain will see it coming from the beginning (Or the cover. Or the description.). But because of the beautiful, magical simplicity of the writing and the world and the characters. I love stories like this, that capture the timeless magic of fairy tales and make you feel lik
Maggie Stiefvater
I am having one of those lucky runs of book reading where I keep pulling very Maggie books off the shelves. Of course, this book had come highly recommended to me as a Maggie-book, but . . . well, it's just not the sort of summary that begs you to pull it off the shelf. It's the historical, aspect, I think -- I invariably end up enjoying a lot of historicals over the course of the year, but I always think, before I start them, that they'll be more work.


The plot of this slender novel is sim
Mar 21, 2012 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I can't even tell you how much I loved this book...made even more special because it will forever be the book that I read the day my mom died. And I think that was "meant to be". The way death (not the person) is treated in the book is so reverential and gave me a great this passage:

"Tell me what it is like to die."
He dismounted from his horse, looking at me strangely the whole while, "You experience something similar every day, " he said softly. "It is as familiar to you as
Jul 15, 2011 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of fairy tales similar to "Plain Kate"
Recommended to Tatiana by: Jillian -always aspiring-
I have been such a Debbie Downer lately, moaning so much about lack of good books, that I completely forgot how much I enjoyed Keturah and Lord Death.

You know how some authors can infuse magic in their works using simple, everyday words? Their stories always have that fairy tale air about them. Robin McKinley is great at it, Laini Taylor, Erin Bow, Juliet Marillier. And so is Martine Leavitt.

Keturah and Lord Death is a simple enough novel with familiar fairy tale themes. 16-year old Keturah lose

It’s a sad day when you think someone isn’t good enough for Death. What’s that condemn them to? Surely not endless life, that seems like more of a reward. Purgatory then? I suppose if I believed in it that would apply here but wait a minute, don’t you have to be dead to go to purgatory? Drat. I'm back where I started.

At the beginning of this book I thought Keturah was a brave, selfless, humble and honest young woman.

By the end I thought she was a cowardly, selfish, dishonest and dim witted chil
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Medieval peasant Keturah, a beautiful 16 year old girl known for her story-telling abilities, sees a lovely hart in the forest and decides to follow it for a while (because medieval peasants had lots of time to wander after stray harts) and ends up hopelessly lost. After three days of wandering in the forest, she meets Death in person when he comes to take her.

Not this guy.

Lord Death is kind of hot, but ice-cold at the same time.

So Keturah bargains with Lord Death, trying to get another chance
Apr 05, 2015 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that teetered between Wow! This is awesome!, and What the hell is this?. In the end, I think that size really does matter, because I believe the length of the book was it's saving grace. There were some things in it that probably would have really annoyed me if the book had been much longer, but the author managed to keep it short and sweet at around 200 pages.
I would recommend Keturah and Lord Death to anyone who likes a nice blend of fairytale and fantasy.
Gah! This book was wonderful, and would be an automatic add to my favorites, except for 2 things. I know. Me and my 2 picky things, but they're big issues. Maybe eventually this will go in my favorites, but for now those 2 things are bugging me too much.

Keturah follows a beautiful deer into the woods one day, and after a long chase, discovers that she is lost and cannot find her way back. On the verge of dying, Lord Death comes to take her, but, Keturah, renowned in her small town for her storyt
Jul 23, 2008 SR rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to SR by: mistful - the only time she's led me astray
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 18, 2008 Angie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: retellings, ya
This one has been getting lots of good press and was a National Book Award Finalist for 2006. Keturah and Lord Death is a sort of Scheherezade meets Beauty and the Beast meets the Persephone myth, in which a young woman is forced to spin a new tale each night to keep her captor from killing her. In this version, her captor is, in fact, Death himself (hence the Persephone connection), and he actually lets her go on the condition that she will return the following night with the end of the tale. S ...more
A Fairy Tale

"Keturah, tell us a story, one of your tales of faerie or magic."

Yes, Keturah, do, but I would have a tale of love."

"A story, yes, but a hunting tale, please, one of daring and death."

"One to comfort your heart on a gloomy day."

And so it was. Keturah told her tale of following a great stag into the forest and she became lost. Without food or water for three days, she slowly started to die and who should she meet on the third day? Lord Death.

Except she refused to go to The Great Beyo
Drew Cernava
Dec 27, 2015 Drew Cernava rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I find it difficult to express just how much I liked this book—and even trickier to explain what it's about.

This is a very beautiful, very simple story.

When Keturah is lured into the woods by a hart, she finds herself lost and unable to find her way back to her medieval village, Tide-by-Rood. Just as things are beginning to look grim, Death appears—only he is in the shape of a man named Lord Death and Keturah has been able to see him all her life.

Keturah weaves an intriguing tale for Death, but
Mar 11, 2015 Giovanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-read
“And so he did his endless work,' I continued quietly, 'without feeling, without pity, without rest, for to open his heart to these would be to open his heart to his loneliness and longing and that was beyond bearing.”

Read this one with Claudia (kind of, sort of, but still) :3

This was incredibly cute and heartwarming.
Keturah and Lord Death is a fairytale. You know, when your mom, or your dad, used to tuck you in at night and read you something to make you fall asleep? Keturah and Lord Death cou
"Undying," the eldest girl corrected. "And eternal.”

Keturah, a young girl, gets lost in the deep forest after following a legendary hart. Soon, she feels that Death is near and when he finally appears Keturah asks him for another chance. She desperately wants to live, so she captures the Lord Death with her story and promises to tell the end of it when they meet the next time. And the Death gives her one day. One day to find the true love and stay alive.
But the search for the true love is n
Nov 30, 2008 Miriam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya
This story starts with a young woman following a mysterious hart into the woods, where she becomes lost for days. On the verge of death, she sees Lord Death and bargains for an extra day of life to find her true love. Also, she learns from Lord Death that the plague is coming and wants to warn people so they can stop it. I guess I was supposed to be rooting for her as she accomplishes various not very interesting feats, saves the village, gets her friends married off, and reaches the conclusion ...more
"Readers will be carried away on the wind of Leavitt’s words, and few will be able to guess how she finally ends her story.” And yes, I was indeed carried away .

Keturah is beautiful and a great storyteller. One day, she got lost in the forest and met Lord Death. She bargained with Lord Death by telling him a story, a love story of a girl who hadn’t found her true love, yet without the ending. She promised to give the ending only if Lord Death kept her alive for another day. Lord Death was intr
Althea Ann
I chose to read this book after 'Rebekah' because in that story, Keturah is Abraham's concubine after he is widowed. But the Keturah in this book has no connection to the Biblical figure at all.

This book is a Gothic Folktale, relating in a very pure, fairytale style a story of a girl who follows an enchanted hart into the forest and meets with Lord Death. '1001 Nights'-style, she holds off the handsome and regal Death by telling him a story and withholding the ending, eliciting promises from him
May 21, 2008 Holly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this YA fantasy novel set in early Middle Ages England all in one day. Quite easily, in fact. Like a lot of literature aimed at teens, it's a feather-light read, and it goes even quicker because I guarantee that you've read this all before. The story is riddled with cliches. A Faustian bargain made by an otherwise good character. Someone has to find true love on a deadline or they'll die. Buying time from the executioner by telling a story with no ending. Been there, done that. Utterly pr ...more
Summer ✿
A very heartwarming tale with writing reminiscent of your favorite fairy tales. Keturah and Lord Death managed to steal a few tears from me despite its relatively unconventional structure and spellbind me with the way love and death were handled. The characters, aside from Death, were unremarkable--but the atmosphere and tone set by the sophisticated prose made up for them.

I was torn between 3.5 and 4 stars, but now I realize that this short, simple story was utterly unique in ways that I am no
Mar 03, 2012 Krystle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Romance novels always get the tough end of the stick in the business and are usually dismissed in the hierarchy of literature. The critiques constantly point out the abundantly flowery language, severe adherence to plot conventions, and stock characters. Well, let me tell you this book uses the tropes of the romance genre to absolute perfection.

One of the most prevalent formulas used in romance books is the idea of the pure, virtuous female who tames the dark, devil-like male character and refor
When I picked this up I expected it to be fluff and I wasn't mistaken. If you're looking for some fluff then don't be scared away by my review. This book was decent for what it was, an odd combination of some fairy tale archetypes. It was a bit of a mixture of the storyteller from The 1001 Nights and those fairy tales where Death is present as a character.

The biggest problem I had with the story was its realism. But the way the thing was written, it was clear you weren't supposed to expect any r
Enna Isilee
A great fairy-tale like story about finding true love and the hidden side of Death. Simple, but nearly made me cry at the end. Definitely reccomend it.

Click here for a more detailed review
Bekah AwesomeBookNut
i'm going to have to reread this because I thought i lOVED it????
Sep 18, 2014 Kay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fairytale lovers
Keturah and Lord Death is an intriguing story told in a simple, fairytale style. The concept is familiar enough: Keturah loses herself in the woods for three days, and on the brink of starvation, Lord Death postpones her demise in exchange for a story. The prose is like that of a child's fairytale—flowy and descriptive, but not burdened with the grittier realities of life. However, despite the simplicity of prose and plot, the story is deceptively multi-layered. The concept of death is central t ...more
Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship
I really wasn't about to review this book but the betrayal I feel wants to be let out.

Almost a week ago, just before I read this book, I had been having a real, good-book streak. Truly, every book I read was a four-star read and I either loved them or just really, really liked them all. And I looked at everybody else and they were all having some bad reads on their shelves. So I felt left out and I wanted to read a bad book.

[I know that is very screwed up.]

Not a deliberate bad read, but an accid
Rebecca ♥ Matrim, Kishan, Magnus ♥
This review can also be found on my blog: A Match Made in Heaven

his was such a unique story. I loved it. It read like a fairy tale, or folklore or myth. Keturah was such an unusual girl. She had never been in love, but she wanted to love with all that she was. It seemed to be her life's ambition to find her soul mate and fall madly in love. But there was no one that piqued her interest. She gave everyone a fair chance. She was very forward about it. She spoke to every man in her town to see if s
Mar 13, 2008 Meagan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
This book perfectly captures the entrancing nature of a perfectly told tale. My recommendation is to set aside a block of a few hours to read it, because if you start and are unable to finish right away (like me) you'll be so so sad to put it down. The main character, Keturah, has a talent for telling stories and so when she sees the beautiful hart at the edge of the forest, she follows it so she'll have a new story to tell. The hart leads her deep into the forest, where she becomes lost and wan ...more
Dec 20, 2014 Lys rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“There is no hell. Each man, when he dies, sees the landscape of his own soul.”

There are many comments around that do more justice to this book than my rambling could ever do.

I'll say just this: I loved this book. As Keturah and her true love story is not something that burnt right away, but it slowly grew and it became not stoppable.

I love the writing, the pace, the style. Leavitt decided to tell a fairy tale and everything in her book reflect it. I love how the big themes of love and life and
Arah-Leah Hay
Oh I'm in love. This is a beautifully dark and poetic fairytale. All my love of reading started with a fairytale and to this day I still adore them. This was just wonderful to read. Graceful even.
Keturah follows the elusive stag into the woods. In her pursuit she becomes lost and after a few days Death comes to claim her. She tricks Lord death into letting her live another day by telling him a story. A love story, in which she promises to reveal the end of on the following day. So begins this b
Jun 13, 2015 Lois rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
keturah is a beautiful cinnamon roll
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Martine Leavitt is the author of eight novels for young adults, including My Book of Life by Angel, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and winner of the CLA Young Adult Book of the Year Award. Keturah and Lord Death was a National Book Award finalist, Tom Finder was a winner of the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, and Heck Superhero was a Governor General’s Award finalist. Martine’s novels ...more
More about Martine Leavitt...

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“Tell me what it is like to die," I answered.
He dismounted from his horse, looking at me strangely the whole while. "You experience something similar every day," he said softly. "It is as familiar to you as bread and butter."
"Yes," I said. "It is like every night when I fall asleep."
"No. It is like every morning when you wake up.”
“Each man, when he dies, sees the landscape of his own soul.” 87 likes
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