The Bright and The Pale Readalong Day 5!

Stunning picture by @leowithbooks_

Hello Fairy Friends!

Today is the final day of the readalong for The Bright and the Pale! It’s time to finally finish this book, and I’m very intrigued to hear everyone’s thoughts on the final section. Today we’ll be reading from chapter 25 until the end.

Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for The Bright and The Pale by Jessica Rubinkowski, from chapter 25 to the end. Please only read on if you’ve finished the book!


Inside the nest of Those Who Dwell Within, Valeria, Alik, Ivan, Chinua and Serafima are climbing over a rock fall to try and escape the nest. They enter another tight room, and they’re all feeling very helpless, wondering if they will be able to escape Knnot. Valeria decides it’s finally time to listen to the voice that has been haunting her.

The voice leads her to the door, and inside is The Pale God!

The Pale God tells Valeria that he is trapped within Knnot, and Those Who Dwell Within were attempting to heard them towards the exit, not attack them. The Pale God also tells Valeria that they have met before, and that Valeria is The Pale God’s Champion! What do you think about this reveal?

Lovite is the bones of The Pale God, and the more it is mined, the weaker he becomes. He froze Ludminka to protect himself and frighten people away from the mine.

Valeria is enraged that he froze her family, and the only reason she lived is because she is his champion. Turns out, he also set Luzia up to collect Valeria. He offers her a deal:

“I will give you all the powers your mortal body can hold. You can use them to free yourself from this place and destroy the Czar. I will consume all the hurt and pain you’ve felt for years. I will take the burden as my own . . . you will take my heart from this mountain. Once I’m out of this wretched prison, I can find my way to a new body.”

She has two days to accept. Is she going to take his offer? Can we trust The Pale God?

Waking, Valeria is back with her group. She doesn’t tell anyone about the deal she has been offered. They find a new exit, but before they can leave a trap goes off, set up by the Thieves Guild.

Valeria realises that the entire situation has been orchestrated by Luiza. She leaked the reports detailing where Alik and Valeria would be so that Alik would be injured and that Ivan would collect them. She set up the fortune teller and the pendant to entice Ivan to take Valeria to Knnot, knowing she would go anywhere when she found out Alik was alive. But why? Because Luiza knew The Pale God was her champion, and that the Czar knew too. She hasn’t hidden well, he’d turned a blind eye because Valeria is valuable. How do we all feel about this revelation?

They decide to head back to the entrance, as it’s the best way to escape. Chinua and Serafima set up a distraction while Valeria, Alik and Ivan make a run for it. Valeria notices that Chinua and Serafima aren’t following as planned, and so she and Alik stay behind to help them while Ivan flees for his life. When he gets to the exit, more Storm Hounds are waiting. They have been caught!

They are all sent to the Storm Hounds camp, where the camp commander is revealed as The Bright God’s champion. He’s been ordered by Luzia to keep her protected, but Valeria won’t talk. She’s lead back outside where Ivan and Alik are murdered.

Valeria finally accepts the bargain with The Pale God. Instantly, she becomes powerful. She lets The Pale God take control and they attack the Storm Hound camp and the Bright God in an epic battle. Using her new abilities, she resurrects Alik.

“They wanted a war. I will give it to them. Those who feared the Gods will now fear me. I am no longer just Valeria. I am Vengeance.”

And so, we are at the end of the book! Wasn’t that an action-packed ending?

Did you like the ending? Anyone’s theories prove to be right, or did parts take you by surprise?

Who was your favourite character? I definitely have a soft sport of Alik!

This book kept me on my toes with all the revelations towards the end, and I wonder what Valeria will do now with her new powers.

Thank you all so much for joining me in this readalong! It has been so lovely getting to know all of you and hearing your thoughts each day. Keep an eye out for our next readalong!



34 thoughts on “The Bright and The Pale Readalong Day 5!

  1. My assumption from the beginning is correct! Val is the Pale One’s champion! I had no clue that the scar would play such an important role, I figured it was a special mark but never that it marked her as the champion!
    Also, Luiza betraying them like that and thinking Val would help just to save herself was not that much of a shock after all the hints that were dropped throughout the book.
    I was so worried when Alik died, Val had just found him again, but luckily she saved him!
    That last line has me so excited for the sequel! Val is vengence.

    1. The last line was so powerful, really looking forward to finding out what happens next, thank you for reading with us!

  2. I really liked the first half of the book but the rest wasn’t for me. It was predictable. I enjoyed it (except the creepy dark monster in mountain part) but it could have been better. Alik is my favourite as well but Chinua and Val herself were good too. Since they are out of that mountain I’m looking forward to book 2. I really want to meet Luiza again and confront her
    This book was a great choice and a great box as always 😊

    1. Thank you for joining us, I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing Valeria confront Luiza 🙂

  3. That was one action packed ending! Now I just want to read the sequel!! I do wonder where the story will go from here… how will Alik react? How will Val cope with the power and having the pale god in her head all the time?
    Can’t wait to get to know!

    1. Yeah, Alike reaction for Val bergain with the Pale God can be interesting.

    2. I wonder if Alik will be affected by Valeri’s powers in some way too? So many questions! Thanks for reading with us 🙂

  4. I knew Valeria was the Pale god’s champion!
    I like the fact that the Bright god, that’s usually associated with good things, is actually not good at all. It is a clear example of “winners write history”.

    My overall feelings toward this book are positive, maybe the story was a little too predictable about certain things, but it was an enjoyable, easy ride. I’ll check out the sequel when it comes out.

    P.s. a little useless random fact that bugged me: wool does not burn. Or better, it takes a huge flame/heat for it to burn, and anyway it will smoulder more than producing a flame. End of random fact.

    1. The Bright God is definitely not like what we were told! Thanks for joining our readalong 🙂

  5. Alik dieing was a bit of a shocker but I thought she may resurrect him. Really liked the world of this book! Looking forward to the next one to see what happens next.

    1. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next, thanks for joining in Grace 🙂

  6. So I finished this early hours this morning not realising that this is a duology and the second one won’t be released until next year😭 I hope fairyloot does a matching edition for its release!

    I was getting worried towards the end when everything was going wrong but I was running out of pages and now I know why.

    In my opinion, a lot of it was rushed and decisions were kinda made very quickly but this is a very fast paced book so it’s to be expected.
    I personally had a hard time figuring out how long the travelling took so liked that the main character would go over that stuff as I often miss time frames and such.

    That ending though! I expected Valeria to accept the Pale Gods power but I didn’t expect Alik to die, sort of again? 😂 but when he did die, I expected him to come back to life and that it would be the final straw before Valeria accepted and would use her powers to bring him back. I also thought that when Serafima pushed Valeria aside in attempt to save Alik that she actually would but it was a shocking twist that it was still Alik that received the hit. That’s different from most storied I’ve read and even watched.

    Kinda shocked at how Ivan tried leaving them. Of course, he didny succeed but I thought if anyone was going to try and save themselves over the others it would’ve been Serafima or even have a shocking twist and it he Chinua that ran away at the first chance she got. But I really didn’t expect that from Ivan!

    I don’t know why, I know I probably shouldn’t but I really like the Pale God! He just seems misunderstood and his brother seems like a false good guy.

    I honestly have no idea how the next book is going to go but I definitely want to find out!!

    (Posted a pic @bookish.fantasy)

    1. Ivan’s choice of dashing off really surprised me too, especially since he wants to redeem himself. I’m very intrigued by the Pale God too, it feels like we’ll be learning a lot more about him in the sequel.
      Thank you for joining our readalong and sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  7. Sorry for two comments!! But I also feel like in the second book, Alik will stop like Valeria but not her necessarily but the person that the power is turning her into. I feel like she’s going to have a very big moral dilemma throughout the next book. Does she do what she believe is best for everyone or for her and Alik to be together.

    Expecting betrayal and sacrifice but hoping for a happy ending☺️

  8. I was hoping for a bit more action at the end but over all I liked the story.

    1. Happy to hear you enjoyed it, thanks for reading with us! 🙂

  9. That was indeed an action-packed ending but I feel like it was a littel too rushed. I don’t think we got anywhere near enough character development (especially Ivan-and now he’s dead). I like how Valeria was developed and I’m glad she’s become a rage monster, but there was way too much wondering around in the mountain being lost when no one was being moved forward.
    I am however interested in how the battle for ultimate Champion plays out and how they take down the Czar.

  10. Huh, I’m glad we got over to creepy parts yesterday, it was a bit too much for me. So, those who guessed Val will be the Pale God’s champion was right! I did not expect we will meet the Bright God’s champion this fast though. I wonder how much the Pale God told Val is true. Also, I wonder if she might have to lose her favor in the next book, Alik would still survive, or there a sliver of power lingering in him now that he was resurrected.

    I really liked the ending, it was really action packed! I expected a worse cliffhanger, so I’m glad! My favourite character was definitely Alik. Can’t wait to read the sequel!

    Thank you for hosting the readalong! 🙂

  11. We all knew that she was going to be a champion I think. I’m not sure that this book was really for me.

    Thanks for hosting the read-along! It’s good because it means I definitely read the monthly books sooner rather than later 🙂

  12. Interesting read. I didn’t really like most of the characters, but the book was really well written.

    I do have to admit I sometimes got annoyed by how stubborn Valeria was in not taking the offer drom the Pale God, because it was obvious there was jo other choice and now people died who could have been saved.

    Also not sure how I think about resurrecting Alik. That was a bit a too easy of an solution for me. I’m glad he’s still alive though. Even if I don’t believe in their love story.

    That said: I feel really cynical writing this xD. But it is my honest opinion.

  13. I knew from the beginning that she was the pale gods champion and although it was disappointing that the book was so predictable I still enjoyed reading it. I enjoyed Valerias character and I would love to see her as the villain in the next book. I also would have liked to know more about the other characters, especially Serafima, and hope that’ll happen in the next book.

  14. Yessss! That gave off very strong origin story energy and I’m 100% here for it!
    I think this was a good read, fairly short and for the most part it had me theorizing quite a few options! I liked how it all played out, it was a really good ending. When I finished I was like yes, trust the process! I have high hopes for the next book, hopefully we get some action between the pale and bright champions… some reuniting scenes. Ugh! So excited. I’m really glad this was the FL pick, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up otherwise but I’m glad I did. The scar’s backstory was really cool and the Pale God’s connection to lovite was not a guess I had.

  15. Hi Everyone!

    Wow! What an ending!

    I really enjoyed the action throughout the last bit of the book, but I have to say that I’m a little confused as to why Ivan left everyone behind and runaway. From the build up of his character arch and the reveal of his backstory, his leaving everyone behind to get out of the mountain seems out of character! I was extremely disappointed and then he dies, so…What was the point of his character? Does anyone else feel the same?

    I was also a little upset with Val at the end of the book. There were plenty of moments where she could have freed them if she just took the deal. I think I feel this way partly because it’s a book, so it feels inevitable, and therefore, anything that happens before she does take the deal could have been avoided…

    I also didn’t read the author’s note until I finished the book – always do this when I get FairyLoot boxes – and I really liked that Jessica Rubinkowski wrote a story about girls being unapologetically angry. I love that! And honestly, females characters in the stories I want to write are also unapologetically angry, too. I agree with Rubinkowski when she says that girls aren’t really allowed to express anger much both in life or in stories. So, when I say that I wish there had been more to Val, it’s not about her anger. In fact, the way she expresses and reacts to it, is part of the reason I find her compelling and wanting to read the next book – other than Rubinkowski’s wonderful and atmospheric descriptions! But, I still don’t feel like I ever got to know Val much outside of the people in her life. It always felt like she was reacting to or making discussions based off of what other people told or influenced her to do. (But maybe that’s all of us.)

    if nothing else, I wish I had seen her interact one on one with any of the other characters without Alik there. See how those relationships grew because she was making the decision to interact with them.

    Overall, I’m glad I read this book, and I do plan to read the sequel – as I do tend to like them more – but I have to say I’d only give this book three stars.

  16. Whelp… ⭐⭐◽◽◽ for me, I’m afraid!

    Getting a two star because one star is reserved for books that actively offend me in my ratings system, and the Bright and the Pale didn’t do that but honestly I found it really meh. I didn’t entirely follow what was going on multiple times and couldn’t really tell you a distinct personality trait of any character besides Serafima (her’s being ‘mean girl’ lol).

    I did like the frosty atmosphere though, and the monsters were kind of interesting but I didn’t especially feel like they, nor those murals Valeria and Alik found, were discussed enough.

    Alik dying in this section was a pretty cool plot twist but I kind of suspected it would be retconned. Which… idk, kinda killed the impact for me. Also killed any hope I had of Valeria moving on and ending up with Chinua. Or Valeria, Chinua and Serafima going off on their own and starting some kind of… I don’t know… frosty god girl gang lmao.

  17. I thought this last section was pretty great – lots of action as always but also interested to see where the story goes in the next book, and how much Val is changed by the power she still has access to, also what her family will think and if they remember anything from when they were asleep.
    Thanks Nicole for the readalong, I particularly liked your use of gifs:)

  18. I really enjoyed this, I loved the whole atmosphere of the book. I didn’t really like that she bought Alik back but just because I’m never a huge fan with the love interest gets bought back from the dead.
    Think im going to give it 3 stars

  19. That was such an eventful final few chapters! Everyone who guessed Val was a champion – spot on there! I found the Brother God dynamics so interesting and think it’s going to be super fascinating to see how it all plays out in book two. I also really love that the scar actually meant something – it was mentioned so much throughout the book, that I’m really glad it was so significant. I also love defiant Val – she’s going to be such a badass in book two, I can tell. Chinua however remains my favourite character, I think, and I hope she’s in the next book.
    Thanks for another super fun readalong! It’s always so much fun to join in with them!

  20. Of course, I forgot to add the comment here yesterday. My brain is so good…

    For me last chapters had “The Bear and the Nightingale” vibes. Especially the Pale God remind me Morozko, cruel, but with some feelings. Especially when he said to Val that he saved her life, because for him her dead wasn’t something needed.

    Ivan’s dead wasn’t a surprise, I expected that his life will end during this journey.

    Alik’s dead as an impulse for Val to accept the bargain with the Pale God, really reminded me about Alina and Mal. The same Modus operandi: “I will protect you and the cost doesn’t matter”.

    The Bright God Champion, well, I think he will be a worst person that we expect. I hope that Val will learn how to fight and will be able to fight with him effectively.

    It was really good book. I’m waiting for 2nd book from the series.

  21. I was kind of disappointed in the end. Valeria telling Serafima and Chinua ‘follow me or die here’…. w.t.f.?? She changed! And why did she wait so long to make the deal with the Pale God. She could’ve saved Ivan and Alik.
    And what bothers me as well… so…she unfreezes her family and then let them become murderers???
    Until the last day of reading I was enjoying myself but I’m afraid the ending ruined it for me 😔

  22. I finished a day later than expected, but I did enjoy the book quite a bit!
    Some things were definitely predictable for me, like the fact the Valeria was the Pale God’s champion and that Luiza was going to betray her; she was very sketchy from the beginning and the fact that Ivan knew exactly where to find Val was a dead giveaway.

    Though I could relate to Valeria for most of the book, and I overall like her, I didn’t vibe with her actions towards the end. I am definitely happy that Alik is alive at the end, but I don’t like that Val took the path to vengeance.

    My favourite character throughout is Chinua, I think she is very sweet and loyal, and she deserves so much better. Overall I gave the book 4 stars and I am excited to read the sequel to see how it all comes to an end!

    I really enjoyed the readalong and I hope to take part more actively in the next one 🙂

  23. Okay, I like the way it ended. The last sentence was good to keep me waiting for the next book. The pale god twist was a good one!! I was not expecting it; I was expecting more monster, hahaha. But I still don’t trust this Pale god.

    OMG, I am so glad Alik is back!! I was so sad when he died!! I like that in the end, the Pale God’s power saved Alik and the village. I am actually sad we didn’t get to see Val meet her parents; it would have been such an emotional moment. 🙁 Overall, it a good read.

    Thank you so much, Nicole, for hosting this read-along. I love taking part in this fairy loot read-along, and you guys have a great choice of books in the monthly boxes!! So excited for the coming months 😀

  24. mhmm, i mean sadly the ending and the champion part was very predictable and it feels now very meh that Valeria waited so long to accept the bargain, now that she basically dwells in it and yeah it was clear she will revive Alik again.
    I enjoyed the Pale God’s personality though, he is pretty dope and intriguing, also that he nourishes on the pain and hurt of people, that’s a cool effect, i also didnt really expect him to have frozen the villagers himself but it adds up indeed.
    I think my fave was Chinua, i pretty much loved her and she was a very soft and gentle character.
    Yeah, i dunno, it was okayish but also a bit boring at the end, with that end fight and stuff.

  25. This was a really fun read, can’t wait for book 2! Some aspects were a bit too predictable, however some details were truly surprising. I would never have guess at the importance to the scar on val’s wrist. I am excited for Wrath & Vengeance!

  26. I completely forgot to comment my thoughts on the ending hahaha but its essentially what everyone else thinks, action-packed but a little rushed! And does Alik ever actually die?! Seemed a bit too crazy to me but Im excited for the next book and I really enjoyed this readalong :))

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