The Bright and The Pale Readalong Day 4!

Lovely photo by @anotherstoryreader

Hello Fairy Friend!

Welcome to day 4 of The Bright and The Pale readalong. Who’s ready to find out what’s inside Knnot Mountain? Time to read chapter 19 to chapter 24.

Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for The Bright and The Pale by Jessica Rubinkowski, from chapter 19 to chapter 24. Please only read on if you’ve finished this section!


This section kicks off with the group entering Knnot and finding a lot of lovite. Valeria and Alik decide that now is the perfect time to leave to start a new life together. However, when they make a run for it, there are Storm Hounds outside with lovite crafted shields and protective pendants matching Ivan’s. 

Valeria confronts Ivan, convinced that he has betrayed them and lead the Storm Hounds to Knnot. Turns out, the guild have his family because he hid Alik, and forged his papers so it looked like he died to protect his family. That’s why he’s so desperate to find the lovite, it’s the only way he can make enough money to take his family to safety.

Running further into Knnot to hide from the Storm Hounds who guard the exit, our group quickly realise that they don’t know how to escape. Deciding it would be best to split up, Valeria and Chinua explore dark passages in search of light. Suddenly, they see Those Who Dwell Within, monstrous creatures said to be miners who got lost in Knnot and could not find their way out. How will they escape?

Startled, our group head back and follow Ivan, who is revealed to be an ex-Storm Hound. What! Who saw that coming? Ivan defected from their ranks because he couldn’t stomach the cruelty inflicted upon Zladonians.

Valeria’s dreams get more intense, and she’s been told that if she meets the master, they will be shown an escape route. When she wakes, she’s back at a door they discovered earlier, one which looks very similar to the one in her dreams. What does this mean?

Following the river path Ivan chose, they come to a waterfall where they camp. Voices flood the room, and we hear Alik’s final words with Luiza and what the Khan said to Chinua. Everyone’s most terrifying memory is voiced aloud, which is very eerie. Hiding, Alik and Valeria comfort Chinua, who is shaken by the experience.

After, Alik and Valeria finally admit their feeling and share a kiss!

Creeping out from the mist, The Ones Who Dwell Within appear. They’re terrifying creatures, and so Valeria and the group run further into Knnot, hiding in various small rooms before finding a crack in the floor. They slip down into a darker pit, thinking they’ve found a good hiding spot. Until look around and realise that The Ones Who Dwell Within have chased them inside one of their nests, and they’re surrounded by monsters!

How are they going to get out? What is Valeria’s connection to Knnot? What are your theories for the final section of the book? Let me know!

I’ll be back tomorrow for final readalong day, where, hopefully, we’ll get some answers!



50 thoughts on “The Bright and The Pale Readalong Day 4!

  1. Ok, I’m officially spooked 😂 
    I feel like all the characters are slowly coming together, even if I think that most of the fights that happened in this part could have been easily avoided.

    I can’t wait to read tomorrow’s chapters (spoiler: I won’t wait) and see where all of this is going!

    1. It’s definitely getting creepy inside that mountain! Hope you enjoy reading the final section. 🙂

  2. I’m curious what’s behind the closed door…. and the strange creature doesn’t seem to want to hurt them because he watched Chinua sleep? But a whole nest of them, scary!! 😱
    Let’s see how this book ends….. see you tomorrow!

    1. Agreed! : )

    2. It’s getting really tense! The nest was so unexpected, very spooky!

  3. These chapters were so intense! Listening to everyone’s worst days was core crushing, especially for Val who had been holding out hope that Luiza made a mistake. the appearance of The Ones Who Dwell Within was intense and I and excited to see what Val’s dreams mean

    1. So intense, I’m loving all the action we’re getting, even if I’m worried about the characters too.

  4. I think Valeria will have to face whatever is behind that door and that that somehow is the tool they need to escape. Can’t wait to read tomorrow!

    1. Can’t wait to find out!

  5. I was reading the creepy cave scene at midnight and honestly did not think I would be able to sleep! And I’m so curious to see who the master is! Is he evil or friendly?? Is it the Pale God??? :0 so many thoughts!!

    1. Me too! It was late and dark and I was so unnerved! What a well-written section so creepy and just played on all those fears!

    2. It was so creepy and tense, a whole nest of them!

  6. I think Val knows more from her childhood but just can’t remember. That’s what the dreams are I think. Almost finished now…

    1. I agree with you, she in some way forgot about events from her childhood.

    2. Oh, interesting theory! 🙂

  7. I have a feeling that the creature behind the door is rather evil and he’s the Pale One, but who knows. And why did the one creature watch Chinua sleep but not harm her or any of the others? And now they’re in the nest!!

    1. So many questions!

  8. So much happens in every section of this book! I can’t imagine how can get tied up in the few pages left, unless I am remembering wrong I think I saw this was a duology?
    Yes the worst days of their life but was horrible and it is certainly getting creepy…

    1. I totally agree, I cannot see how this is going to get resolved in the few chapters remaining.

    2. Yes, it’s a duology. 🙂

  9. I think it’s come down to what’s behind that door. I have a feeling what she’ll find will actually be a good thing, at least I hope so anyway.

    1. Can’t wait to find out if you’re right 🙂

  10. So creepy! I’m dying to know what’s behind the door!!

    1. So spooky, can’t wait to get some answers!

  11. Oh it’s so creepy! 😱 inside Knnot reminds me of the eight will fall. And gives me shivers down my spine all along. I would habe choosen the storm hounds instead of going down.
    And now they are stuck in the nest of monsters. Absolutely great!
    I’m so currious what waits behind that door Val is dreaming about

  12. I get creeped out by the creatures everytime, but… I wonder why they haven’t attacked them already. They must have had so many chances already. Also, Valeria has her scar, so maybe she’s connected to the creatures? Maybe they saved her when she fot lost when she was little?

    As for the door: it feels as though something evil is lurking there.

    1. I love the idea of a connection between Val and the creatures!

  13. I totally agree with Elizabeth’s comment, I cannot see how this is going to get resolved in the few chapters remaining.

    Valeria is obviously going to have to go through the door in order for them to escape Knnot. There I am sure she will learn her true destiny and why the plague hasn’t been able to touch her and why Luiza knew that she needed to enter the mountatin. Are we missing more of the fortune-teller’s prophecy??

    Definitely interested to learn the secrets of the Pale God (which I assume are tied in with the creatures Within).

  14. Those chapters were intense, but in the same time a lot of time they are spending underground. I won’t feel good without sun light.

    Valeria dreams are so intriguing, I’m pretty sure that it’s connected in some way with the Pale God and I think, what we expected earlier, she can be a Champion.

    Val and Alik are so cute and finally we had a kiss. I can’t wait for the future interactions between them.

    The Ones Who Dwell Within nest reminded me Volcras nest from the Fold. Why did monster navigate them the nest? Do you think The Ones Who Dwell Within are intelligent or somebody is manipulating them/is them master?

  15. The way I’m- ahhhhhh! Okay, I’m 100% invested now. I’m loving the developments but ALREADY am looking forward to the next book! I just have a feeling the next section is going to leave me on the edge of my seat!
    If it was even possible for me to want the romance between Alik and Val more.. well… signed, sealed, delivered!
    I’m so anxious to get all my questions answered!

  16. I knew I would catch up!😅

    I feel like someone (likely Ivan) is going to sacrifice himself to save the others.
    Chinua is sweet and I feel so sorry for her but I don’t think her and Valeria will keep in contact once this mission is over.
    I still don’t like Serafima. Her niceness towards Valeria seems kinda forced in my opinion and I feel like she might portray them for her own gain if she gets the chance or saves herself and Alik at least.

    Very confused and extremely curious to find out what’s going on with these voices and Valerias scar! It’s all very mysterious so I’m not sure what to make of it. I don’t really have any theories. I hope that somehow her family and everyone else gets unfrozen and there’s a happy ending.

    (Pic posted @bookish.fantasy)

  17. I feel my last few posts have been erring on the side of negative in my opinions, so I am totally going to stick to positives in this one 🙈

    First of all, this whole situation with creatures beneath the mountain and the murals and things has seriously got me thinking about what it all could mean! I dont think the creatures are trying to hurt them though. They haven’t attacked anyone, and Valeria has said that the stories refer to them as not wanting others to befall their fate. They’re good horrifying monsters!

    Also Chinua’s story was interesting and heartbreaking. Anyone else low key wish the book was about her? She is definitely my favourite!

    1. Ah! I love Chinua, too! And yes, I think her story would have been so interesting to read as well, though I get why this is Val’s story.

  18. Well, HODOR.

  19. This section made me SICK. The creatures are definitely jacked up, but I think they are just misunderstood.
    I really think we waited so long for this romance that it’s all going to be taken away again… they’re both just very dramatic and they love to bicker! They’re basically already a couple. Haha
    I’m definitely reading on!

  20. I’m not so amused that we went to horror territory… x.x Still, I have a feeling the monsters try to communicate or something. Maybe the frozen people’s soul are inside them or something like that? Or people from an earlier civilization, who did the cave drawing? I’m very curious, but also, was stressed out a lot while reading these scary parts… 😐

    I’m glad I wasn’t right about Chinua dying, she is still alive, so yay! Ivan is a complicated character, but I still don’t like him, I’m sorry.

    I’m really curious what will happen now. I just checked and it’s a duology, so I expect a cliffhanger at this point!

    1. Oh, the drawing? Just some random artist that got lost in the cave and thought ´Ah well, why not scribble a little something on this empty wall´.

      Maybe they´ll find the artist and paint their way outside of the cave!

  21. Yaaay they finally kissed and said I love you to eich other

    Omg this book is getting intense I mean those creapy scenes gave me chills all over my body and reading them at night fidnt help at all hehe

    I cant wait to find out what those monsters are and how Val is connected to them this is going to be so trilling

  22. I don’t think the creatures mean to harm them or they would have done it already when one of them watched Chinua sleep. I think their only goal is to get Valeria to open the door. Maybe one of the gods is locked in there. I also think one of them is going to die. My guess is either Ivan or Chinua

  23. Okay so we finally have Ivan’s story (so long as we are not being mislead). Val and Alik are finally a couple, Val FINALLY accepts that Luiza is not so great. I still have a lot of questions about what the heck is actually going on though…

  24. Also, please convince me Alik and Valeria are shipworthy, because untill now this is what I got:

    There´s more drama than romance and I really didn´t like how Alik reacts to Valeria. He never stands up for HER. Always AGAINST her. He doesn´t have her back.

    Also: he didn´t even stay with her in the cave. They´ve been on countless missions together as a team and he KNEW Valeria was going to stay in the mountain. He KNEW the trauma the village causes her. Of course you don´t want to see dead people you know around you…. But he CHOSE to LEAVE HER after she had seen her parents DEAD AGAIN. That´s not love, that´s cruel and unsupportive.

    I´m dissapointed in Alik 🙁

    1. Not gonna lie, I was also disappointed that he didn’t initially spend that first night with her in the mountain either! I though that was very strange and out of character for him. And yeah, now that you mention it, he is constantly in disagreement with her, which I also find odd and a little forced. Almost like Rubinkowski can’t have them too quickly as a couple and needs to keep the drama and conflict up for them.

    2. I agree! Alik is so on Valeria’s case for not believing him about Luiza, but isn’t standing up for Valeria himself at all! Why wouldn’t Valeria trust her adoptive mother over him when he’s acting like this all the time?

    3. I’m so glad someone else has mentioned this!! It’s frustrating me how Val seems to be constantly putting her heart on her sleeve, but Alik just isn’t responding nor is he sticking up for/supporting her!

  25. Hi everyone! I know I’m late to the party as it’s Friday, but I still wanted to comment and say I was participating in the readalong still!

    I’m enjoying this book and can’t wait to see what happens to Val and Alik next!

  26. OMG THAT CLIFFHANGER WAS CRUEL!! The monsters in the mountain are a terrifying twist, but I have a feeling that they’re maybe mistreated and that’s maybe why the town froze?
    I’m also dying to know what’s behind the door and all the secrets of the mountain. I’m a bit behind in the readalong, so shall be doing my best to catch up!
    Also, I feel so so sorry for Chinua – she’s literally the sweetest bean and I want to protect her from everything back home!

  27. Ooh loving this section. I feel like the creature isn’t as evil as she thinks, its been around multiple times and never once tried to hurt them?

  28. Hi Everyone!

    It was so hard to put the book down and post this!

    First, I agree with Laura above about this book reminding both of us of Eight Will Fall (a past FairyLoot book), and these past few chapters have also reminded me of Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero. I listened to Cantero’s book while I was driving up to college – I finished the whole book by the time I arrived – and even though I was listening to it in a car by myself and during the middle of the day, I kept looking behind me in the car, searching for the creatures crawling out of the caves in the book. SO CREEPY!

    Rubinkowski is giving me the same chills as both of these books! I’m so glad I read this section during the day!

    As I’ve said in pervious posts, I really enjoy the tone and atmosphere of this book at every new setting! I can feel a chill, picture the damp cave walls, the water running over the lovite, and the creatures themselves! I also really enjoy how Rubinkowski has written Val’s hypnotism/ calling to open the door. Val’s following and listening to the voice makes sense and is written so eerily that we almost want her to open the door because it feels inevitable, while also knowing that something terrible is behind it.

    Before I finish, here is my theory about what is behind the door. I think it is either the Pale God or the Bright God. At this point, I’m not sure who might be the worse god due to all the tales we’ve been told. But I’m leaning towards the Pale God being stuck in the mountain, and that Val had went that far down when she was a child and got marked by him to free him later after he froze the town. I also think that Luiza has something to do with the way events have happened as well.

    Something I didn’t like in this chapter is the constant reveal of Ivan’s character. I wish it had all happened in one moment and not stretched to two (you could almost argue to three with what happened at the waterfall). It just seemed to go too long to reveal, and it reminded me of how I wished I knew more about how this world worked socially. Though the Storm Hounds are the ones rounded up Val’s people, it didn’t seem like she would have a problem with them before her village froze. And since we’ve never seen a scene where Val witness a Storm Hound doing something especially heinous (yes, I’m acknowledging that Val did see two Storm Hounds “kill” Alik a year ago, it seems like the distrust and almost hate was there before that moment. Where did that hate begin? Because it only seems like the soldiers are following orders rather than a whole system doing something like that. Maybe I’ve missed something, but timeline wise, this hate between two groups of people doesn’t seem to be lining up right. I would like to see more of what the society/ kingdom was like before Val’s village freezed).

  29. wowowowowow okay.
    Stuff happened very fast now. Well, what the f is wrong with the mountain, for real, why are there suddenly living all these creepy creatures. and why are they humanoid, they really have some wendigo aesthetic, like i absolutely believe they were human before. but i still wanna know Valeria’s connection to them?? uff. like how is she connected, sure we all still suspect she is the champion of someone but… all of this turned out pretty creepy and i really cant make out some connections now, so im excited how this all will play out in the end, so i’m gonna dive into the last part now 😀

  30. Okay, I am way behind but finally managed to catch up. Finally, they admit their love!! Why do I feel like that mean one of them will not survive this journey? Or something bad will happen to them. The last few chapters had me spooked. But I loved the dark, mysterious plot twist of this story

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