Mary-Beth's Reviews > Keturah and Lord Death

Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt
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's review
Dec 04, 2013

it was ok
bookshelves: fantasy, fiction, fairy-tales

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 real sense of human relationships or reactions to events. The story had the very feel of an old school fairy tale in which often people's motivations are inexplicable.

The dialogue was very iffy for me at times. I got the feeling there was no way anyone would ever be talking like this, whether they're from a quaint little medieval village or not.

Some people probably threw up their hands at the ending, but it actually was one of the few things that redeemed the story for me. I liked that it was so odd and inexplicable, because the peasant turned gentry was not an ending I was looking forward to particularly.

Anyway, my biggest problem with this story is that it wasn't as short as a classic fairy tale, so it had no excuse for being as implausible as it was. In classic fairy tales we don't get any glimpse into the character's psychology, which is where the strangeness comes from which makes us wonder, 'why would anyone do that?'

But in this book the characters had some interior monologue and we got a sense of their hopes and aspirations, these hopes and aspirations were just rather bizarre. I'd compare the characters here to characters in a Disney fairy tale movie. They're all very well for a cartoon, but in a novel they seem a bit thin and as it was very much a character driven story, this is problematic for me.
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