The Bright and the Pale eARC Review

I’m still getting out of my reading and blog slump, but I’m getting there! I’m trying to make up the eARCs I’ve read by the order they were released, even if they’re out already.

Book Cover

GoodReads:

Seventeen-year-old Valeria is one of the only survivors of the freeze, a dark magical hold Knnot Mountain unleashed over her village.

Everyone, including her family, is trapped in an unbreakable sheet of ice. Ever since, she’s been on the run from the Czar, who is determined to imprison any who managed to escape. Valeria finds refuge with the Thieves Guild, doing odd jobs with her best friend Alik, the only piece of home she has left.

That is, until he is brutally murdered.

A year later, she discovers Alik is alive and being held against his will. To buy his freedom, she must lead a group of cutthroats and thieves on a perilous expedition to the very mountain that claimed her family. Only something sinister slumbers in the heart of Knnot.

And it has waited years for release.

My Review

CW: death of a family member, discrimination, childhood trauma, work camps

This fun book is already out in the world, and finally I’m here to drop my review.

I like that this was set with brother gods. The premise definitely intrigued me enough to rush to request it.

Valeria it turned out though was hard for me to connect with. Which is odd because she had some major anger and I’m an angry person, so, that feels more like reader error to me haha. I think her anger just consumed her so much I just didn’t know what else there was to her besides that she was certainly loyal to those who she cares about, and that was nice.

The world building was what caught me more than the MC, and I really, REALLY enjoyed the lore. Definitely my favorite part by far. I wanted to know more about these champions and the brother gods and I wanted to know so much more about the world and I look forward to seeing more of it in the second book.

The side characters were lacking, but, I did enjoy the glimpses of them I got.

Valeria and Alik obviously care for each other, they’re besties and their relationship is strong from the past but they’re forging something new now and I think a lot of readers will appreciate that and their interactions. For me, I just didn’t really like them together and found myself more interested in the parts in motion around them.

I think it’s the fact that everyone else felt like filler characters, there to serve a purpose for the plot devices but not strong enough on their own.

The pacing was good and the ending was certainly strong. Valeria DEFINITELY became more interesting with Knott Mountain and the ending.

So, while I may not have loved the characters, I loved the gods, I loved the lore, I enjoyed the pacing and the story.

For me I think book 2 will be the better read for me but this was a solid read too.

3.5/5 stars from me, rounded up to 4 on GR. Thanks so much to Harper360 UK and Edelweiss for the eARC in exchange for my honest review.

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