Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Keturah and Lord Death” as Want to Read:
Keturah and Lord Death
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Keturah and Lord Death

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  10,669 Ratings  ·  1,637 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 ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Boyds Mills Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Keturah and Lord Death, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Rishiwizzz 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)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Emily May
Jul 05, 2015 Emily May rated it it was amazing
“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
Jan 09, 2014 Maggie Stiefvater rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
Apr 05, 2015 Anne rated it really liked it
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.
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
Dec 08, 2013 SR rated it did not like it
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.
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
Jun 18, 2008 Angie rated it it was ok
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
Nov 16, 2014 Liz rated it it was amazing
"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
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 (Drew’s Cup of Tea)
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
Nov 30, 2008 Miriam rated it it was ok
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
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
Dec 05, 2014 Sonya rated it it was amazing
"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
Apr 14, 2015 Althea Ann rated it liked it
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
Sep 12, 2016 Blair rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book.
If you think about it this book was very creepy and weird,but surprisingly also a very beautiful story.
(view spoiler)
Sep 30, 2014 Summer rated it really liked it
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
May 21, 2008 Holly rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Dec 04, 2013 Mary-Beth rated it it was ok
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
Mar 03, 2012 Krystle rated it really liked it
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
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
Enna Isilee
Mar 25, 2008 Enna Isilee rated it it was amazing
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????
Giota Bourha
Jul 18, 2016 Giota Bourha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, short-books
So strange and yet so beautiful!!

As a reader I like to visualize what I'm reading. I can't help it, words automatically become images, sounds and even smells in my head. The more natural this is the more I like the book.

While I was reading this book I could see in my head every character, every setting...everything to the point that I wanted to pick up a pencil and start sketching. It was a very vivid book.

The plot in the beginning reminded me of Scheherazade but that was short lived since all
Enqi ✧ (High Lady of the Night Court)
This book was delicious.

Keturah and Lord Death is a sort of Scheherazade meets Beauty and the Beast meets Persephone myth, retold in a joyously delicious and riveting way. I absolutely loved this book.

When Keturah is lured into the woods by a hart, she ends up hopelessly lost and finds herself unable to return to her medieval village, Tide-by-Rood. Her strength diminishes until, finally, she realizes that death is near. Little does she know that he is a young, handsome lord, melancholy and s
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
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
Mar 13, 2008 Meagan rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Hollow Kingdom (The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy, #1)
  • Wildwood Dancing (Wildwood, #1)
  • The Truth-Teller's Tale (Safe-Keepers, #2)
  • A Curse Dark as Gold
  • An Earthly Knight
  • Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow
  • The Raging Quiet
  • Black Pearls: A Faerie Strand
  • Water Song: A Retelling of The Frog Prince (Once Upon a Time, #10)
  • The Perilous Gard
  • The Seer and the Sword (Healer and Seer, #1)
  • Shadows on the Moon (The Moonlit Lands, #1)
  • East
  • Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot (Cecelia and Kate, #1)
  • Toads and Diamonds
  • Lips Touch: Three Times
  • Bella at Midnight
  • The Princess and the Hound (The Hound Saga, #1)
Martine Leavitt has published ten novels for young adults, most recently Calvin, which won the Governor General’s Award of Canada. My Book of Life by Angel was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and winner of the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book of the Year. Other titles by Leavitt include Keturah and Lord Death, a finalist for the National Book Award, Tom Finder, winner ...more
More about Martine Leavitt...

Share This Book

“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.” 88 likes
More quotes…