Thursday, September 10, 2009

REVIEW: Keturah and Lord Death

Keturah and Lord Death
By Martine Leavitt

November 2006 by Front Street
Hardcover, 216 pages

SUMMARY: Martine Leavitt offers a spellbinding story, interweaving elements of classic fantasy and high romance. 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 and stern. Renowned for her storytelling, Keturah is able to charm Lord Death with a story and thereby gain a reprieve -- but only for twenty-four hours. She must find her one true love within that time, or all is lost. Keturah searches desperately while the village prepares for an unexpected visit from the king, and Keturah is thrust into a prominent role as mysterious happenings alarm her friends and neighbors. Lord Death's presence hovers over all until Keturah confronts him one last time in the harrowing climax.

PLACEMENT IN PILE: Reaching New Heights

This book is very beautiful, and very poignant. It is borderline "reaching new heights" and "top picks". Martine's writing is gorgeous and lyrical as the story sweeps you along into the climax and Keturah's final acts and decisions. Parts of it were hard for me to read, because of my own trials, experiences, and fears (in my life). She is coming to know Lord Death after all, and death is not always timely, pretty, and rarely is it happy. It is a very well written book, and one I highly recommend. In fact, my friend and author of THE AMARANTH ENCHANTMENT Julie Berry, has said that this is one of the most influential books on her writing and one of her favorite reads. (That is paraphrasing obviously, so correct me if I got it wrong Julie! But I that was the basic gyst of what she said.) I had the opportunity to meet Martine in June, and she is as lovely and gentle as her writing style.

As for my "rating system" I'd go with PG, just because I think some of the descriptions and elements of the story are a little too mature for a really young audience (since it deals with death). But maybe it would go right over their heads, and not be sad for them at all. Part of why it was so sad for me are my fears as a mother, and some experiences I've had with death. So maybe an innocent pre-teen with no real experiences yet with death wouldn't find it so moving and emotional as I did. You'll have to read it yourself and let me know what you think!

As always, Happy Reading!


Shari said...

I've read this book. I thought it was excellent and a really good read.

Ratliffs said...

I like the sounds of this book! Thanks for the review!

Aubrey (AKA Stacey) said...

This is one that I bought because it sounded so good and then I still haven't read it! Thanks for the review SaraJ!

Allyson Condie said...

I adore this book. Great review, Sara!