The Bright and The Pale Readalong Day 2!

Lovely photo by @picklesbooks

Hello Fairy Friends!

Welcome back to day 2 of the readalong for The Bright and The Pale! Who’s ready to dive back into this book?

Today we’re reading chapter 7 to chapter 12.

Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for The Bright and The Pale by Jessica Rubinkowski, from chapter 7 to chapter 12. Please only read on if you’ve finished this section!


We finally get to meet Alik and he seems like a sweet character. His reunion with Valeria went so well! Alik told Valeria that he wrote her letters every day for three months while he recovered from his injury.

The plan to go to Knnot is based on Ivan’s belief in a fortune teller. Are we about to see a prophecy unfold? Valeria warns that fortune teller’s tales always have a dark twist. 

We’re introduced to a new character, Serafima, a tracker. There’s clearly some animosity between her and Valeria. How do we think this will impact their plans?

As Valeria and Alik spend some time together, it’s clear Valeria feels more than friendship for him. Is Alik interested?

Riding through the mountains, the group is heading towards Knnot. Valeria warns that a storm is coming but Serafima assures her nothing is amiss, and that the quickest route is the best route.

And then a storm hits.

Everyone’s feeling a bit under the weather, and Alik is struggling with the journey. Alik has a piece of metal in his leg from the wound that he got a year ago when Valeria thought he was dead and he’s struggling to keep up.

This section is more sombre, we learn about Alik, Valeria and Chinua’s back story.

Ivan’s ambition shows no limits. He orders the group to walk in the dark, meaning no one sees the river.

This can’t be good.

Alik and Serafima plunge into the water, and they’re both quickly dragged to safety. Ivan, Serafima and Chinua stay in the Storm Hound camp, while Alik and Valeria hide in the cave. It starts to get a little heated. . .

While they sleep, Valeria dreams of a mountain and a door. These dreams are starting to get very mysterious! Does anyone have any theories?

Suddenly, they wake. Someone is coming into the cave. Who could it be?

As we venture closer to the mountain, there’s a lot of mysterious dreams and trust issues between the group. How is this going to affect the plot and the characters?

I need answers, so I’ll have to start reading the next section! I’ll be back tomorrow to chat with you again.



59 thoughts on “The Bright and The Pale Readalong Day 2!

  1. Okay, so everyone in this book is suspicious, I feel like everyone but Val has their own agenda. Also, I thought she might be the Pale Gods champion but now I wonder if she is actually the Bright Gods champion. She didn’t freeze, she feels animosity towards the Pale God and the cave was seemingly unaffected by the cold. Did something happen to her when she was a child and lost in the mountain, are the gods trapped in the mountain? It is really getting good.

    1. Yeah, she can be the Pale Gods Champion. It makes sense. Great idea!
      I agree that every single person here has a separate aim and the teamwork can be difficult.

    2. Ooo, that is a very good point!

    3. Totally agree, I don’t know who is trustworthy,hoping for Val’s sake that Alik proves his worth in the end.

    4. I love the theory of her being the Bight God’s champion!

    5. I’m loving all these theories you have! And I agree, it’s so hard to figure out who to trust, we’re really being kept on our toes!

    6. I was thinking the same about her being one of the gods champion!

  2. I’m happy this book is so fast paced, I needed something like this to break out of my reading slump ?

    Ok so, Val e Alik are adorable together ? and I love to see a disabled character as the love interest! 

    I wonder what has gotten into Ivan for pushing them to keep going, it is extremely suspicious ?

    1. Yes! I agree with everything you said. Honestly there’s so many secrets between everyone it’s so hard to know who to trust, especially Ivan.

    2. There must be something behind it that Ivan wants to continue the Journey in the dark

    3. Val and Alik are so sweet!

  3. Alik and Valeria meeting was super cute. He sent the letters, but wait she didn’t receive non of them. Anybody sees here Luiza’s hands and my predictions about her are right, she isn’t so white, as Valeria thinks…

    Val feeling to Alik are so obvious that I’m surprised that he didn’t notice it yet. XD I’m pretty sure he wants to be for Val someone more than older brother/best friends…I guess we’ll have here a slow buring relationship.

    Ivan is stubborn and extremely bossy. I know that it’s his expedition, but “Boy, during the night without good light and look recipe for disaster is ready!”

    Storm Hound camp sounds for me as an extra trouble.

    Val dreams are strange. I think they can be connected with this weird plague which visited Valeria’s home village. Maybe she has some extra magic powers?

    This book from chapter to chapter is more interesting.

    1. Oh this is an interesting theory about Val and power! Ivan is very stubborn, he seems to be putting a lot of pressure on everyone.

      1. Yeah, Ivan is really bossy. ? I think he has his some plan and wants to achieve it no matter what will happen.

  4. I have the feeling Val will end up taking over the lead at some point since both times she told them they should not do something, something happened.
    And Alik’s reaction to Luiza seems like he knows something Val doesn’t, making Luiza seem even more suspicious.
    Ivan’s need to go on is also a bit suspicious.
    And I’m positive someone’s going to die on the journey, since Ivan only assured they’ll get there fine.

  5. Hey, Sorry I’m a bit late to this readalong… 😉 So far I’m really enjoying this book, I like how it dives right into the action from the start.

    I find it adorable how Val and Alik are both incredibly obvious and at the same time utterly oblivious about their feelings for each other 😀

    I’m still not sure about this travelling group… it seems like every single one of them has a hidden agenda. Not sure how that is gonna turn out.

    Also the weird dreams Val is getting along with that weird story about her scar… like some of the others here I’m starting to get the feeling that the Pale God might be involved in this…

    I’m looking forward to finding out what exactly is going on here

    1. You’re right, it seems as though everyone is in it for their own gain. I’m interested to find out what happens and if we’re right!

  6. This book is so good so far I accidentally read one chapter too much… woops!
    Everyone is so suspicious! Keep second guessing evert character…
    But the blooming romance tho!

    1. I’m so glad you’re enjoying it! 🙂

  7. I think the alledged letters that went awry either support the idea that Luiza was not trustworthy or that maybe Alik himself is lying (but that just doesn’t fell right).

    Everyone seems to be keeping secrets and operating for their own agenda. I’m interested to know what prompted Ivan’s abrupt change of character and still looking to learn more about Chinua. Clearly Sarafima blames the Zladonian’s for her Uncle’s death and just can’t get past it to see the person that Valeria is.

    Thoroughly enjoying the budding romance between Alik and Valeria!

  8. The letters being intercepted between Alik and Valeria, plus their friendship dynamic is giving me such Mal and Alina vibes.

  9. I really enjoyed today’s chapters! I am enjoying seeing Val and Alik together and I like Chinua too – I agree seems like Luiza probably kept letters from Val, unless Ivan never sent them? I’m thinking the scar from whatever creature in the snow is what meant Val didn’t die, we shall see!

  10. Oh i really really like Alik! He’s so sweet ?
    And ist’s so interesting why this little group is here and ready to freeze.
    I’m missing a map here. I actually dont really know where I am right now.
    And who dares to interupt?

    1. Alik is lovely!

  11. So something seems suspicious with Ivan’s necklace and I’m wondering if that’s why he was in such a rush to continue on when he knew it was too dangerous.
    I’m now convinced the Czar somehow orchestrated the whole freeze, how I’m not sure.
    There’s definitely something up with Val and the mountains, some connection of some sort.
    I want to like Alik but I’m not sure his real motivation, I mean it took him several months to even bother to supposedly write a letter to Val letting her know he was still alive.
    At this point everyone is suspicious. ?

  12. Welcome Alik, you are a good character… For now.
    Luiza sounds more and more suspicious as I proceed with the book.
    I think Valeria has some hidden capability but I don’t know if it’s because she’s Zladonian or because she is a survivor of the Knnot curse. The way she survived the curse is also very strange, probably she is really linked with the Gods (otherwise the novel won’t be titled The bright and the Pale… Maybe is she the champion of the Pale God and Alik of the Bright God, or viceversa?

    1. I never thought about Alik and power, I like this theory! 🙂

  13. I liked Aliks and Valerias reunion. At first I thought he’d be cold towards Valeria but after the meeting it’s clear that he already has feelings for her which explains why he isn’t mad.
    I’m convinced Luiza stole Aliks letters and I think Alik discovered something about her as he doesn’t seem to like her much.
    Like Valeria I think that the fortune teller told Ivan that at least one of them is going to die during this mission.
    I still think Valeria is a champion but I’m not sure which gods champion she is. At first I thought it is the pale one because of the feeling she had while she passed his statue but it could also be the bright one. Luzia said she knows a champion who is willing to fight the czar and I think it could be Valeria.

    1. That’s an interesting link between Luzia and Valeria! Looking forward to reading more 🙂

  14. Now it’s getting so good, I’m going to have a hard time waiting for tomorrow!
    I definitely agree with others that everyone is very suspicious. I don’t even completely trust Alik. But, I know that might just be because he seems to know something about Luiza’s agenda that Valeria doesn’t.
    I definitely don’t like Ivan, and though Serfima is portrayed as suspicious, I wonder if she may end up being one of the best options for Val as far as any ally goes. I also like Chinua, but wouldn’t be surprised if she betrayed them all.
    I also want to find out how Val’s past and Knnot are connected! What really happened to her as a kid? Does it have to do with why she wasn’t cursed?
    Really really liking this book!

  15. I have so many questions! What happened to Val in the mountain when she was a child? I feel like whatever happened is connected the the dreams she keeps having! I’m think she has some sort of power for sure too!
    Also, what is up with Serafima!? I really don’t like her…I don’t know if it’s because Val doesn’t like her but she is definitely hiding something! All of them seem to have secrets even Alik!
    I’ve also started thinking that Luzia isn’t all innocent and nice! I feel like she’s somehow involved in this whole quest. It’s only got me thinking because Alik seemed to not be happy with her but that could be because she just left him there with Ivan (you can’t tell me she didn’t know he was alive this whole time!)
    Maybe Ivan is supposed to be this Bright God’s champion!? He’s super suspicious though! What possessed him to make them keep travelling when they were tired and it was getting dark!?
    So many questions! And I can’t waist to keep reading!

  16. I must say I´m very suspicous of Luiza right now. Also, I don´t like Serafima at all.

    I´m not sure about the teamspirit of the group. Seems like a bunch of people who have to work together, despite not liking each other, so I´m kind of worried about that. There´s no loyalty to each other, except maybe Alik and Valeria and Alik and Ivan.

    Ivan was pretty reasonable at first, but I didn´t like how he rushed everyone. I´m wondering if it has to do with something the fortune teller has said? He must have a reason to push them.

    All in all I´m worried for the group. I wouldn´t be surprised if there was a traitor or traitors among them.

    1. There’s definitely a lot of tension between them all.

  17. Solid chapters but I want more detail. It’s fast paced but this means that the hints we get about characters motivations are too obvious – Luiza isn’t as great as Val thinks, not sure what the go with Alik is and Chinua definitely has an ulterior motive for going along with them. I enjoyed this section more than the first day though.

  18. First time I am joining a readalong, so far loving it ?

    I am realy bad in predicting stuff what can happen with characters but I know that Ivan is hiding som info what the fortune-teller told him, and I think it’s samthing dark like a secrefice ore some kind. -thats why the dreams maybe??

    I’m not sure about the two ladies what they hidding. But can’t wait to find out ?

  19. Serafima ugh!!!

  20. Hello day two!

    This section introduced us to a few new characters including the (frozen) fabled Alik! But honestly, I’m still not really connecting with any of our leads or secondaries enough to be entirely invested in the outcome of the story. If I had to pick, I would say I am most intrigued by Chinua. Everyone else seems a bit tell-don’t-show, so I appreciate her secretiveness so far

  21. UGH this book is exactly what I needed right now! ?
    I’m loving Val and Alik together. But I don’t trust the others yet I feel like they all have other motives that we haven’t seen yet…
    I definitely don’t like Luiza and it seems lie Alik doesn’t either maybe he knows something… ?
    I can’t seem to put this book down… I might just finish it tonight ?

  22. Today’s section was so satisfying. Alik and Valeria’s meeting was sweet. I love that they still know each other deeply, and I’m curious as to why Val never got the letters. My romantic heart just needs them to admit their love to each other and all will be good in the word lol. Ivan was super suspicious given his desire to keep moving.

    I look forward to learning everyone’s true motivations fo this quest

    1. Alik and Valeria are so lovely together, I can’t wait to see more of them!

  23. I am SCREAMING “KISS ALREADY!” Slow burning romances kill me! This book is quick moving and adventurous! I’m into it!
    Also every character is giving me severe trust issues. Ivan is sketchy, Chinua is hiding something and Serafima is definitely becoming an enemy… YIKES! I have to keep going!

    1. The slow burn romance is so good! Glad you’re enjoying it. 🙂

  24. Hi everybody!!

    Wow! Today’s chapters gave us few answers and a lot more questions – why does the Czar use only Val’s culture as a scapegoat for the plague? Did he have something to do with it?

    Val clearly sees Alik as more than a friend. I REALLY hope he sees her the same way!! Is there something between him and Serafima though?

    I agree with hbaileyw17 – each character has their own agenda. They all seem pretty sketchy to me, besides Val and Alik. Speaking of Val’s why for being part of the mission, does her’s align with Alik’s plans after it? Does he want to go back to the Thieves Guild? In addition, the theory that Val is the Pale one’s Champion is likely based on the information given to us – she was miraculously spared from a freeze that overtook her whole town. How and why? In addition, a definite twist to the story could be that she is the Pale Champion and Alik is the Bright Champion.

    Alik is wise for his age. I wonder how he is so calm about everything.

    I must say though, the storm wasn’t a really big surprise, at least, not in the way the author wanted it to be. Rubinkowski hinted at it WAY too much at the end of the previous chapter when Val said “I really hope I’m wrong about the weather.”

    I look forward to seeing where this cool adventure takes us next!

  25. Okay so many thoughts.

    Why didn’t Val receive Alik’s letters? Did Luiza hide them? If so, why?? Does Ivan know Luiza? Was the whole palace job at the beginning rigged to get Val to Ivan?!

    What is up with Serafima? Why is she so distrustful??

    And what is Val really? Is she a champion? Is she one of those rare seers? What’s with the dreams?

    So many questions!!

  26. This section was so full of distrust and I really can’t understand why Ivan had to insist they walk in the dark….hopefully we will learn why later. Alik and Val are so cute and I love Val’s temper. Luiza definitely must have been the one to stop those letters arriving and I’m wondering if there’s a connection between Val and the pale God

  27. Ok so currently I’m thinking everyone is very suspicious! Ivan forcing them on through the darkness was weird, the fact Serafima completely ignores one of the only two Zladonians about the mountain they called home is just pure insanity, and as much as I love Chinua, she’s hiding something too – I think maybe that she’s related to the Khan? So much suspicion for everyone!
    But Alik and Val in this one were so cute – the hugs! I loved the hugs. And the ‘oh no we have to share bodyheat’ trope!! But I think Luiza may have been stealing Val’s letters from Alik, or maybe Ivan just didn’t send them? I’m not sure about what’s going on there.
    And I’ve been seeing people wondering if Val is the Bright God or Pale God’s champion, which would explain why she didn’t freeze! Also the Bright God’s champion being Zladonian. Would actually do a lot for the public’s attitude towards them and how they’re treated!

  28. I definitely agree with the theory of Val being the bright gods champion, these dreams she’s been having feeling heat and stuff will make sense. I think Luiza somehow knows, that’s why she kept her close all these years.
    I think her being lost in the mountains when she was a child will play a role it in all.

  29. Wow…Ivan killed the Storm Hounds to save Alik!! Didn’t see that coming.
    Serafima is acting like a bitch….maybe a bit understandable, because she’s hurt because she thinks her father was killed by the freeze as well…. but I don’t like her very much.
    I was so sincerely happy when they discovered the encampment…for a moment I totally forgot that Alik and Valeria couldn’t get near Storm Hounds ?
    Why was Ivan in such a hurry??
    Can’t wait to find out more!
    See you tomorrow,
    Love, Sandy

  30. Okay so I’m an absolute SUCKER for the whole ‘- didn’t you get my letters? – what letters?’ trope so :’) Valeria and Alik are my favourites so far it’s great when they interact. The v same trope DOES add weight to my feelings that Luiza as sketchy as all hell – she DEFINITELY kept those letters from Valeria. And from Alik’s less than warm attitude toward her every time Valeria brings her up? Seems like he knows more about the extent of Luiza’s possible dodginess than he’s letting on.

    I actually kinda like Ivan, so my working theory atm about the scene in which he forces everyone on is that he saw something to make him panic?? Valeria does detail that the amber streaked Lovite he has is for once on show so maybe it has something to do with that??

    Regardless, I really enjoyed how this section progressed – (plus we managed to tick ‘sharing a bed for body heat’ off the trope list as well I’m being spoiled).

  31. Catching up to the readalong and I must say I am loving it so far

    Oh man they were going to kiss who dares to disturb that I am so angry that I did not get their kiss hehe. Oh I just love Val and Alik together they are so cute.

    Ooooh I am loving the theories about her being the champion and the theorie about good being traped in the mountains and calling out to them I mean scorching heat that has to be the bright one

  32. Glad this story is fast paced. After reading a slow paced book it is such a relief. I agree with Alik that we can’t trust Luiza. But I also feel that we can’t trust the others. After hearing the back story of everyone except Ivan I am still wondering what his motives are. The fact he is in a hurry seems a bit off. And how do Alik and Valeria don’t notice the feeling they have for each other. If Alik is faking it, he is doing a great job of convincing me he is interested in Valeria.

    I have the feeling some big secret will be revealed when we get to Ludminka. Really hoping we will find out if the frozen citizens are still there. Would be really creepy if they have aged or something. But if they are gone it would also be a mystery.

  33. I’m very suspicious about Ivan, something feels off.
    I’m afraid Valeria really met a monster back in her childhood and that mark is some kind of connection that she feels through her dreams. :/
    I like Alik and Val together, even if it still feels far that they could reconcile.

  34. I’m a little late.. I couldn’t read much yesterday (つд`) I love how everyone trusts no one haha.. speaking of… I don’t trust Alik. I don’t know why – maybe he’s too sweet? ( can anyone be too sweet). There’s something which doesn’t sit right with me.. but we will see. Hopefully I can catch up with everyone ♥

  35. Still a day or so behind but that’s not stopping me and I will catch up! ?
    So chapter 7 I’m loving Alik and then as it goes on I’m questioning that but at the end of chapter 12 I’m loving him again so I have a feeling this might be a rollercoaster! I just want them to kiss already, they both clearly want to.
    Not a fan of Serafina but she’s probably going to have a redemption ARC and have a heart to heart with Valeria and make us understand why she is the way she is.
    Ivan is being suspicious. My theory is that this mission is time sensitive for some reason and has something to do with that fortune teller.
    Chinua is an angel and so sweet, I really like her! I just hope she doesn’t turn out to be bad or betray them somehow.
    I feel like there’s definitely going to be a portrayal along the way.
    I hope that Valeria and Alik are endgame because what I have seen of them so far, they’re perfect together.

    I really like how this book is fast paced and the simple writing style and not super long chapters. It really helps with my short attention span and being in a slight reading slump but I find myself picking this up whenever I can tho because I’m so intrigued!

    Can’t wait to read more and hopefully fully catch up☺️

  36. yeah i’m also thinking she is gonna be a champion of one of the brothers, i mean Pale makes the most sense so i’m actually rooting for bright to be surprised!
    Serafima is so far my least favorite character but i absolutely adore Chinua, she is so sweet and helpful and i’m also very intrigued by her motivation for the expedition. i mean money of course but the whole story with her family – there is more to it!

    There’s obviously very romantic tension already building up between Alik and Valeria, i dunno, i think i would prefer them just staying best friends but we know it won’t go this way.
    But i’m really interested in all their motivations, i mean we dont know too much about Ivan either, also the whole fortune teller thing is feeling off, like i dont think he saw them succeeding the mission, so i guess it’s defying destiny woopwoop

  37. I finally managed to catch up on Day 2. The story is getting interesting! I like Alik’s character just because he is suspicious of Luiza too. Great minds think alike ? I am not sure about Serafima’s character; is she angry or have another reason behind her behaviour? Why do I feel like she doesn’t want them to reach the mountains? Is she purposefully delaying them? I want to know what Ivan felt or saw that made him hurry the team to move? I like Chinua’s character, though; I hope we get to hear more of her story!

  38. I really really WANT to like Ivan but I just don’t know if I trust him. Sera is iffy to me as well but in a weird way I trust her more. I don’t like her, but she seems very forthcoming about her active dislike of Val and her people.

    I agree with the theory that Val might be the Bright God champion, since the freeze seems to avoid her every time. Overall this book is so interesting! I’m excited to see what happens next!

  39. Hi Everyone!

    First, I got to say that I love this slow burn friends to lovers thread going on here with Val and Alik. Friends to lovers has never been one of my favourite tropes, but slow burns are, and I think Jessica Rubinkowski is doing this one fanatically.

    I also really love Chinua as a character! She might end up being my favourite! I think there is something suspicious about Ivan, and I’m not a huge fan of Serafima because I feel like I’m not getting much from her other than anger. I know we get a little more backstory from each character and what happened on the mountain, but I still don’t feel/ understand the social aspects of this world just yet to really feel like there’s anything REAL behind Serafim’s animosity towards Val because of her race/ heritage. Though we get a lot of backstory and tales from this world, I wish we could be more history of how all the different people in this country got along before the freeze that happened in Val’s village.

  40. A little late to the party, but I’m getting through.
    It almost feels too fast-paced for me; however, that is a minor issue.
    I truly hope thr dreams are about the Pale God and that he’s trapped in thr mountain.
    Ivan has a piece of lovite around his neck, could that be a conduit for something to influence him?

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