Don't like romance? This book might just change your mind.


Keturah (16) follows a deer into the woods and gets lost. On the third night of wandering around, a handsome figure in black approaches her and says it is her time to leave the world. But Keturah bargains with Lord Death and promises him a story as long as he spares her life for one more day. Lord Death has his own offer: if in the next day, she can find her true love, she will be able to have her life.

Keturah returns to her village and she searches hopelessly for her soulmate, in hopes that it can save her life. When Keturah fails, she returns to Lord Death to spin him an unending story about a girl who could not find love and a man who was filled with darkness. Every night, she refuses to tell Lord Death the ending of her story unless he gives her another day to live. For the next days, Keturah searches desperately to find her true love and fight for her life, all the while knowing that her story is ending and time is slipping out of her hands.

BTSYA / Teen Reader (17):
This may be a short book, but I was completely spell-bound by the entire thing. I really loved how it is simple yet powerful. The plot is purposefully and intricately wound together with a folk- and fairy-tale charm to it. Every event and each character is thoughtfully and perfectly placed. As the story grew to its climax, every stray detail seemed to assemble into one beautiful and striking event.

Beyond the brilliant storytelling, I really appreciated the hidden lines about life and death. Being in Lord Death’s presence, only made Keturah appreciate her life so much more, She had to consider the sacrifices she would make to give life to the people she loved as well. This not only served as an enchanting romance novel, but it also helped to uncover a deeper reflection on the concept of life and death. I appreciate that the author could have easily turned this into a cliché romantic tragedy or a love story focused more on passion and intensity. Instead, the story is unpredictable and worked in mysterious ways. By excluding the drama, the story felt a lot more purposeful and captivating.

I recommend this for readers 12 and up. It is a young adult novel, but I think younger readers will enjoy this fairy tale-like story. For children younger than 12, Lord Death may seem a little frightening, and a younger child may not fully understand and appreciate the deeper symbolism and literary beauty in the story.

To be honest, I’m not that big on romance novels, but this one left me in a kind of magical trance that made me reconsider my opinion on romance novels. So even if you may feel like this may be a little far from your taste, I still encourage you to give it a try.

Keturah and Lord Death would be especially great as a gift for someone who loves folktales and fairy tales. Even it’s just for a nice casual read, the whole thing will still leave you quite contented and a little awestruck.



Reader Enjoyment Factors:

A bit of suspense, a bit of storytelling, endearing characters, and a story that will capture your heart ... even if you say you don't like romance books!

Content Awareness Factors:

None noted.

Type of Book:
This is a middle-grade novel that has the feel of a classic fairy tale but without all the drama.
Educational Themes:

Read this for fun. What other fairy tales and folktales can you pull out from this book?

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
11 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
10 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer's Age: 17
Purchase Recommendation:
Definitely borrow. If you love fairy tales, you'll want to have this on your shelf.

Title Keturah and Lord Death
Author Martine Leavitt
Publisher Boyds Mills Press © 2012 (Reprint Edition)
ISBN 9781590789490
Material Paperback
Cost $9.99
Genres Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Fairy Tale, Romance
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