Publisher's Note:  

"I will tell you . . . a story of magic and love, of daring and death, and one to comfort your heart. It will be the truest story I have ever told. Now listen, and tell me if it is not so."

After following a hart into the woods bordering her town, Keturah is faced with Death. Lost and hungry after following a stately hart through the forest, Keturah encounters Lord Death, who is ready to take her. Like Scheherazade, Keturah spins a story that she leaves unfinished and extracts from Lord Death a promise that if she finds her true love in a day, she can go free. Thus begins Keturah's search for her one true love and the salvation of her beloved town. But Lord Death is falling in love with her, and as the villagers begin to sense her alliance with this horrifying figure, her life twists and turns on itself.

Martine Leavitt offers a spellbinding story, interweaving elements of classic fantasy and high romance. The romance is intense, the writing is startling, and the story is spellbinding--and it is as difficult to turn away from as the tales beautiful Keturah tells to the people of her village, Tide-by-Rood.

Keturah and Lord Death

by Martine Leavitt

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Overall Review:  

What would you do in order to have another day to live?  Would you bargain with Death?  Do you think he would listen?  In Keturah and Lord Death, a bargain is made.  Lord Death comes for Keturah in the forest, and as they talk, she learns of a great danger that is coming to her beloved village.  Instead of succumbing to Death, she talks him out of it; begs him for another day so she can warn her village and think of a way to live longer.  How?  She tells him a story—and withholds the end!  The story draws Death in, and he grants her her wish: Just one more day.  In the spirit of Scheherazade, her tale begins each evening—but only half of it—with a request for yet another day, and perhaps a boon. 

There aren’t 1,001 tales, but just as Lord Death, I was pulled into the story.  It was a unique narrative: Keturah is telling the story around the town’s evening campfire, and the language is beautiful and slightly different.  The views of death were also singular and distinctive.  I had never thought of death as a benefactor or bringer of joy before.  His description is reverent, peaceful and thought provoking, yet powerful and magnificent.  The little summaries at the beginning of each chapter were lovely, as they gave you a little taste of what each chapter held, and made me ready to read more!  Keturah’s discussions with the eligible bachelors as she searched for her true love were very funny, and the descriptions of the town fair made me feel as if I were there enjoying the festivities!  You feel the awkwardness of having to deny suitors, the joy of seeing your loved ones safe and unharmed, and the fear of facing the unknown.  A lovely fairy tale with an engrossing twist!

Content Analysis:  

The content in this book is very mild!  The instances of profanity could, of course be taken either way, as they are either religious in nature or descriptive of a specific place, and not exclamations, and there are probably three altogether. 


As far as sexual content, there is one instance of a character undressing in front of another—but it is very innocent, even though one character blushes.  Two characters kiss, but again, it is innocent. 


A woman gives birth and almost dies, but there are no details.  The only instance of violence is when a character threatens to kill himself.  There is some sorcery/witchcraft involved.  One character has a charm that is an eyeball and was a touch disturbing at times.  Everything about this book is mild yet still effective; including the themes of death, sickness, loss and love. 

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Reviewed By Emily
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