Book review: That Dark Infinity by Kate Pentecost

Published October 19th 2021 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Annotation:

By night, the Ankou is a legendary, permanently young mercenary. By day, a witch’s curse leaves him no more than bones. Caught in an unending cycle of death and resurrection, the Ankou wants only to find the death that has been prophesied for him, especially once he begins to rot while he’s still alive….

After the kingdom of Kaer-Ise is sacked, Flora, loyal handmaiden to the princess, is assaulted and left for dead. As the sole survivor of the massacre, Flora wants desperately to find the princess she served. When the Ankou agrees to help her find the princess, and to train her in exchange for her help in breaking his curse, she accepts. But how can she kill an immortal? Especially one whom she is slowly growing to understand—and maybe even to love?

Together, they will solve mysteries, battle monsters, break curses, and race not only against time, but against fate itself.


My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

TWO MILES FROM THE VILLAGE OF IVO, IN A FOREST full of shifting shadows, a caravan stood alone in a shaft of moonlight. It was solid black, including the walls and the shutters and the curlicues of wood that ornamented the sides. The spokes of the wheels were black, the trimmings on the window and roof were black, and even the horses who pulled it were as black as the night they blended almost seamlessly into. This caravan was one of the greatest mysteries of Valacia, not because of anything about the caravan itself, but because of the one who drove it.
Quite an intriguing start of the story. I was hooked right away! The Brother’s Grimm vibe exists throughout the story, creating an atmosphere simultaneously scary and magical, despair and hope. I would go as far as saying that this book is like Yin Yang because light goes hand in hand with darkness.

The story revolves around immortal mercenary Ankou. He was cursed by the witch and cannot die. At night he lives but at dawn, he crumbles to bones until the next night. Ankou has been in such a state for over 300 years and his only wish is to find peace. But while he’s searching for his death (does it remind you of Koschei the Deathless???) Ankou fights different monsters who terrorize human villages and cities.

The variety of monsters is really astonishing: starting from vampires, ghouls, demons, sea creatures, and so on. And let me reassure you that these creatures are pretty scary and… sarcastic. There was one episode when Ankou was fighting a demon who kept delivering sarcastic and snide comments. Poor Ankou could not keep up with comebacks and he decided to write a book of comebacks for such cases because the best answers always come after the right moment passes. I know right, so freaking relatable!

The other main character is Flora – handmaiden to the princess of Kaer-Ise Kingdom. When the Kingdom is attacked, Flora is brutally assaulted and left for dead. To be honest it was a horrible scene and I would go and give a trigger warning in advance for gang rape. It wasn’t utterly descriptive but Flora’s thoughts during the scene and her feelings were quite vivid and it may be hard to read if you find this topic sensitive. I have to add that the way the topic was handled and how Flora dealt with the aftermath is really commendable. Flora is such a strong and reliable character!

Ankou and Flora together made a perfect duet that turned into a trio with the appearance of another great character. That Dark Infinity is a road trip story about friendship, humility, resurrection, and finding a true home. Such strong themes are touched and delivered in the best way I could’ve imagined from a story like that.

I am sad this book has so little attention and few people have read it yet. I hope the situation would improve because this gorgeous book (the cover though!) deserves to be recognized by more readers.

Highly recommended!

2 thoughts on “Book review: That Dark Infinity by Kate Pentecost

  1. Stephanie - Bookfever

    The cover is both beautiful and freaky at the same time! 😍 The story sounds also really good and perfect for spooky season.

    Liked by 1 person

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