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
Series: Captain Kit Brightling #1
Published by Berkley 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..
I am fond of this author’s work but the description of this new series, Captain Kit Brightling, didn’t really appeal to me. Wow, was I wrong. Still, it took me a bit to get started on reading (as is often the case this year), but I was drawn into story quickly.
Bright and Breaking Sea has so many things I love. The setting is some sort of historical fantasy world. There is a class system with the elite, Beau Monde, and the regular folks. Women are considered inferior by the misogynistic which is many Beau Monde men. After marriage, they would be expected to stop their career and cater to the home. However, the ruler is a queen. She took over when her father the King died and is savvy and capable. The world has an interesting magic system we only begin to see.
Of course, characters are key to a great book. Kit has an interesting backstory as a foundling. Her current work as a sea captain is a position she loves and handles very well. She has amazing intelligence, care for her crew, abilities with magic and strategies. Kit is also better able to control her temper and follow orders, even when there is bias or injustice than I would be. She has the support of a great found family.
There are other characters who add to the development. There are the key members of Kit’s family and crew, as well as those in the palace. The queen has a bit of personality as does one of her advisors, Chandler. She has a few male friends, Kingsley and Dorian. And for her new mission, she is teamed with a soldier, Rian Grant, part of the Beau Monde. Grant has fought in the war recently ended in some horrific battles with great loss of life.
The missions here take place mostly at sea with wind, sails, storms, pirates, and magic affecting the travel, and strategy, magic and guns part of the battles. But sea battles are not all of the action. There is covert surveillance, theft of documents, and retrieval of key individuals from kidnap. So the queen assigns diverse tasks to Kit and Grant.
I liked this more than a little and highly recommend it. The writing was charming, but the clincher is the humor. The banter between Kit and Grant is distrustful at first and then teasing as they learn to work together. I ran looking for when there would be more, as the threats from the Queen’s enemies will undoubtedly continue.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
I was also not super excited about Captain Kit…until I was.
I had trouble starting the book, which is a theme this year, but once I was a chapter or so in I was happy to be reading it.
I’m glad you loved this, Anne. It just never grabbed my attention when I saw the cover, which to be honest I do not like. This sounds like this is a case of “don’t judge a book by its cover”! I may have to try it?
Definitely that is a common issue. I am like the least interested person in covers ever but there are some gorgeous covers which entice me and then I don’t always like the book. But I agree on this one. Luckily with most ebooks one doesn’t even see a cover much.
Wow. This is NOTHING like what I thought it was! Like you, I gave it a pass. Excellent review, Anne? Your description of the surrounding world is very intriguing.
It isn’t what I expected but I got it because I enjoy this author and I really liked it a lot.
I think I started a Chloe Neil a while back, but it didn’t immediately grab my attention so I stopped and moved on. Must have been my reading mood at the time. I’ll have to try her again. Glad to hear this first book was such a hit! 🙂
It was a hit for me. You can see Robin’s audio review coming up today also. I have enjoyed many of Neill’s series. Chicagoland Vampires was one of the very first series I listened to on audio, on CDs from the library no less, but now I own the series on audio. It has its ups and downs but I enjoyed it.
Yay! I am so glad you enjoyed this one, Anne. I admit I was feeling a little nervous about this one too given it seems so different from her other books. Your great review has reassured me though.
I don’t know what I expected I didn’t pay really close attention other than I like this author but it wasn’t what I expected and I really enjoyed it. I think it’s that most of her other books have been current time rather than historical maybe.
My only complaint was that I wanted to know more about the magic and world, but I had a blast with this one!
Yes if I like a series book I always want to know more. But it seemed to give enough while leaving room for more in future books.
I don’t know why it was difficult for me to connect but I’m glad you had a good time
Well honestly I think reading is harder to start these days and it’s a moody kind of year.
I am kicking myself… I really wanted to give it a go, but I am making myself cut back on new series to tackle some of my TBR. Maybe I’ll give it ago next year. It sounds so good.
It really was and it has a historical and cozy sort of feel I think you would enjoy. You could always get it at the library or something and just enjoy it without worrying about reviewing. I do that often enough.
I love it when a book includes humor. This sounds like a promising book and series, Anne. ♥️
I think it’s going to be great. Humor can be tricky and very personal so it won’t strike everyone the same. Bot I really enjoyed this much more than I expected somehow.
How funny….I was going to pass on this one as well. I decided to take a chance on it and it ended up working out very well. Great review!
Well I wasn’t ever going to pass on it but I was not certain. But it did turn out to be just great.