Keturah & Lord Death

Keturah & Lord Death

Book - 2006
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U.S. National Book Award 2006 nominee for Young People's Literature

2007 Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Willow Awards nominee

Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award shortlist 2008

Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice Starred Selection, 2007

Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic shortlist

Booklist's Top 10 Youth Romances, 2007

White Pine nominee, 2008

"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."

Keturah Reeve is a beautiful young woman of sixteen who lives with her grandmother in a cottage near the forest owned by Lord Temsland. Keturah is renowned in the village for her captivating storytelling, and this beautifully woven novel is a response to a request from Keturah's eager audience for yet another of her fascinating tales. She tells of her experience of being lost in the forest, her eventual meeting with a dark figure on horseback who is Lord Death and her bargaining with him for her life-and for the lives of the villagers who are threatened by an onset of the plague.

With its richly textured medieval setting, Keturah's story exposes the tensions and desires of the villagers, the dangers that loom in their future and how they place Keturah's life in jeopardy. Keturah's escalating bargains with Lord Death allow her to protect her friends and reveal to them their true talents and destinies. But even as she negotiates with Death, she becomes more isolated from the people she is seeking to protect and seems less and less likely to achieve the dreams of her own heart.

The startling resolution of the novel confirms Martine Leavitt's reputation as a treasure of a writer, a storyteller who can weave magnificent spells. Leavitt confronts readers with issues and revelations that, while they occur in a setting far from their own experience, bear the intimacy of next door.

Publisher: Calgary : Red Deer Press, c2006
ISBN: 9780889953703
Branch Call Number: YA LEA
Characteristics: 200 p. ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Keturah and Lord Death


From the critics

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neyoscribbles Aug 07, 2018

Categorized as teen fiction, this book is embedded with so many thought provoking concepts and philosophical questions. It is written in such eloquent style, readers will easily be swept into the fantastical world, where despite Death being a character, the book is still not gloomy. Long after you've finished reading the book, you will wonder what you would do if you were Keturah.

Does love truly conquer all, even the inevitable?

Aug 30, 2017

In a story reminiscent of mythological tales, Keturah Reeve runs into the Lord of Death. She staves of death by telling stories that keep him enthralled. The author Martine Leavitt manages to convey several important messages for her young adult readers; for example of love being greater than death. Likewise Keturah's grandmother advises that talent defeats beauty any day. Lord Death and Keturah have some interesting conversations but we are all rooting for Keturah to find true love and stave death. All indications lead us to believe somebody will be her true love and right till the end that's what it seems like. Will she really find and marry this true love you must indeed read this book to find out.

Sep 30, 2015

I love having Death as a character. I love the whole conflict with loving a supposedly evil character that causes deaths of people. And although the story was neither as dark as I had hoped nor the scenes with Keturah and Lord Death as lengthy as I wanted, their conversations were really enjoyable to read. The setting has a timeless feel to it, nothing too modern and appropriate for a high fantasy, so the story seems like something written a long time ago despite its recent publication.

Sep 06, 2014

This book is great! I didn't want to put it down. The author has a natural storytelling flair, and uses it through her character, Keturah, who is also a storyteller. The ending wasn't a total surprise, but it was good. I recommend it for teenagers and adults. It's a quick read and it's like a fairytale.

Oct 17, 2013

Combination of fairytale charm and some life themes. Not too captivating but still a nice little read.

Dec 18, 2012

This is such a lovely book. It is short and to the point but reveals how ingrained death is in our lives. This is not a depressing book but a love story. Lord death comes to collect the young Keturah and admires her spunk when she tries to trick him into letting her live. She manages to play "A Thousand and One Nights" with him to live another day. The story she tells is her own story. The love story she'd wish to have. Lord death, so enraptured by her silver tongue, declares he will let her live one more day but when he comes for her in the evening he will take her as his bride. I just love a Persephone themed story. Leavitt makes you sympathize with Lord death and sigh in relief when Keturah sincerely falls in love with him. The message is that life is painful but death is rest and we shouldn't fear it. When I learned that Leavitt wrote this for his terminal little sister I cried. The words from Keturah's epiphany were much more deep and comforting when I realized they were Leavitt's words to his dying sister. The writing was just lovely. A true English major.

Oct 13, 2012

A short and sweet read with a charming and atypical romance. I absolutely adored the ending as well, though it did have me in tears. Definitely recommended.

WGTaylor Aug 23, 2012

Winner of the Ontario Library Association White PIne aware in 2008.

Personally, I thought it was good, but not great - engaging in terms of the atmosphere, but stilted in terms of plot.

Jun 07, 2012

A must-read for all romance lovers! I couldn't put it down.

Dec 20, 2011

I really enjoyed this book. The author's treatment of the storyline and the characters is classic - and classy!

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hbrooke Jun 14, 2012

hbrooke thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Jan 27, 2010

sarah_anne thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

VeganGreen Aug 27, 2009

VeganGreen thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over


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Dec 08, 2013

It is about a girl who is about to die. A guy named "Death" came to take her to the underworld because she was going to die. She didnt want to die so she told Death a story. Death loved the stories she told him. They fell in love and lived...


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