Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Bright and Breaking Sea by Chloe Neill
Narrator: Danielle Cohen
Series: Captain Kit Brightling #1
Published by Tantor Audio on November 17, 2020
Genres: Science Fiction Fantasy
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
Kit Brightling, rescued as a foundling and raised in a home for talented girls, has worked hard to rise through the ranks of the Isles' Crown Command and become one of the few female captains in Queen Charlotte's fleet. Her ship is small, but she's fast--in part because of Kit's magical affinity to the sea. But the waters become perilous when the queen sends Kit on a special mission with a partner she never asked for.
Rian Grant, Viscount Queenscliffe, may be a veteran of the Continental war, but Kit doesn't know him or his motives--and she's dealt with one too many members of the Beau Monde. But Kit has her orders, and the queen has commanded they journey to a dangerous pirate quay and rescue a spy who's been gathering intelligence on the exiled emperor of Gallia.
Kit can lead her ship and clever crew on her own, but with the fate of queen and country at stake, Kit and Rian must learn to trust each other, or else the Isles will fall..
The Bright and Breaking Sea is the first book in a new series blending a slice of romance with a Napoleonic War type story set in a world with magic. Now I, for one, am usually not a huge fan of Napoleonic War stories with all the naval battles and such, but this was a surprisingly fun adventure.
Kit is a woman with a gift with water. On the sea she can feel the magic in the currents and it serves her and her crew well on her ship. She is self-assured and one of the few female captains and a veteran or the Continental war. She is a likeable character, at home on the water, loyal to her crew, savior to other foundling girls and unnaturally afraid of horses. When the Queen calls to send her on a mission to save a spy for the crown it ends up being just the beginning of a journey to save her country from ending up in another war.
Rian Grant (a.k.a. the love interest) veteran of the Continental War and a Viscount to boot is also tasked by the Queen to aid Kit in saving the spy and returning with the intel on the exiled emperor. Sure, he seems a little stiff at first but as time continues, we find that he has issues of his own at home and isn’t such a bad guy. He and Kit work well together and while there is a smidge of a romance going on, it is going to be a slow burner Victorian style but hopefully, we get there eventually. He has some potential though and I could see him being swoon worthy later on.
Overall, I had a really good time with the characters and the story. There are some fun fights, a bit of intrigue on who is trying to reinstall the exiled emperor, and the hint of romance. The story keeps a good pace and does its job setting up the feel for the rest of the series and giving the reader a good intro into this world and how magic works in it.
Swashbuckling fun is a apt description and I liked it so much I’ll have to try some of Chloe Neill’s other works.
Danielle Cohen is a new to me narrator. I liked the slight accent she used for the characters to really give them the Victorian era feel. She gave a solid performance of the entire cast, but definitely captured Kit’s voice the best. I was able to listen to this at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- Robin Audio20
Well I enjoyed this more than I expected and more than you. I really appreciated the dialogue more and the sense of humor in it. I wonder if in a future book we will get a view of Gerard more directly. I’m also interested to have the character of the queen further developed.
I really want to explore the magic more. We got a taste of the water magic but there is also land and air magic and possibly more. I’m hoping for a little more world building. I’m a little harder on books with vague magic systems. I still really enjoyed it, just maybe a little less than you. It needed more magic or more kissing….I can’t decide 😛
I thought that Danielle Cohen did a fantastic job with the narration on this one. The romance was really slow in this one but I am okay with that. Hopefully, this will be a series that you will enjoy more as it continues.
This was the first book I ever heard narrated by her but I would agree that her performance was really good.